Could iPad 3 cases already be shipping to Best Buy? Sure, and probably are. Does that mean third-party case manufacturers know what to expect? Don’t count on it, but if so, the iPad 3 case above — a variation on the existing Targus Versavu 360 case for iPad 2 — is the first one you’ll be able to buy.
According to a report from PhoneArena, iPad 3 cases are shipping in bulk to Best Buy, which is telling employees not to put them on shelves until “after the iPad 3″ launch.
“The shipment is not of just a few cases — there’s over 1,000 Targus Versavu 360 stands for the next-gen iPad shipping to Best Buy, meaning that it won’t be long until the actual tablet hits shelves,” the report said.
Well, duh. Apple’s likely to start shipping the iPad 3 in the next few weeks. But the case market is hyper-competitive, and as we’ve seen before, case makers are often willing to bet the farm on conjectural designs ahead of an official Apple product launch in the hopes of beating the competition to market.
Given that the iPad 3 is rumored to have a casing design largely identical to the iPad 2, except for maybe a squidge thicker, we’d say it’s pretty likely that Targus is making a bet here, instead of working on insider information. We’ve reached out to Targus for comment, and will let you know what they have to say for themselves.