The cases have shipped in boxes with a pink sticker stating "Do not display until official iPad 3 launch," an anonymous tipster told PhoneArena.com. Cases for the so-called "iPad 3" are said to be shipping in bulk, as third-party manufacturers are planning for Apple to begin selling its next iPad soon after it is officially announced.
"The shipment is not of just a few cases â 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.
Multiple leaked components from Apple's supply chain have suggested the next iPad will feature an external design largely the same as the current iPad 2. The third-generation iPad is expected to be slightly thicker, with edges more tapered than the iPad 2.
Despite minor tweaks to the design, its expected that Apple's magnetic Smart Cover will still work with the next iPad. But Apple's protective accessory only covers the front, flat screen of the iPad, while many third-party cases cover the aluminum back.
The rumor that third-party cases are being delivered to Best Buy is supported by a picture that surfaced last week, showing the retailer's inventory system listing "iPad 3" accessories set to be in stock by next Sunday, March 11. The leaked inventory listings included ZAGG's InvisibleSHIELD.
The next iPad is expected to be unveiled at Apple's media event this Wednesday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Calif. The event will kick off at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern, and AppleInsider will have full coverage.