Last year during the iPhone 4S launch, no one knew what the new iPhone was going to be. Some thought it would be a tapered design, some thought it would be an iPhone 5. Some thought it would be both. Some thought it would be iPhone 4, and not a new design.
A lot of our competitors made cases for the iPhone 5 based on this [rumored] new design. It ended up being untrue. Luckily, we decided not to take that risk. We held pat until we knew for sure. Q. Can you make a switch if you guess wrong?
We set it up [our prototypes and designs] so we can make last-minute adjustments after the announcements. We get as far as we can based on the rumors. You do that 90 percent or 95 percent, and then you wait for the announcement to see if you’re right. Sometimes you’re way off by 50 percent, and that’s the gamble. Sometimes you’re not even close, and you have to go back to the drawing board. Sometimes you’re right.
Back with the launch of the iPad 3 in March, there were pretty consistent rumors. It seems like a pretty safe bet based on the speculation out there. The one thing nobody saw was Apple switched the polarity of the magnets. All of these cases have sleep-wink lids that turn the device on and off. They weren’t working now because iPad changed the device.
So none of the cases were working properly. You never would have known that until the device was in your hands. You wouldn’t even know that on announcement day. We were caught on that like everyone else. But we were one of the first ones to figure out how to fix the cases we had already made.
On Announcement Day, most of your stress goes away. But you still don’t know until you get it in your hands And we don’t get it in our hands until everyone else does.Q. Why not wait?
If you wait, you miss the opportunity. In the beginning there is a big spike in sales. And it tapers off every day. Q. How often do you go through this?
These past few months have been incredibly stressful for us. We’re launch partners with Amazon; they had their device, the Kindle Fire HD 7, launching in early September. Amazon was also releasing their Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch at the same time. A week later, the iPhone 5 was announcing, so we had two products launching within a week of each other. And now you’ve got this iPad mini.
This has been a very stressful, hectic time. More than any in recent history.Q. Is Amazon as mysterious as Apple?
They are mysterious, but the benefit we have is since we’re “Made-for-Kindle” launch partners, we get some information ahead of time. Q. Broward County may seem an unlikely place for an iPhone-gadget company. Agree?
It’s not like it’s Silicon Valley. People are definitely surprised. Many of our competitors are based in California. Our closest competitor is in Atlanta.Q. Any trouble finding qualified designers and other employees?
We find plenty of great candidates locally. If not, I’ve never had trouble convincing someone to move to South Florida.