It's taken some time but we have finally completed creation of two new custom belt cases for both the Samsung Galaxy Note and its music player derivatives (#290) and Motorola's Droid RAZR and longer battery life Droid RAZR MAXX (#295).
Belt Loop lets you angle the case on your belt,
to avoid covering a pocket.
We became aware of these larger than usual devices during attendance at CES mid January and immediately set about getting our hands on a couple of 'dummies' or replica non-working examples. We've been doing this long enough to know how easy it is to simply take published information and run with it. We may be right 98% of the time, but it is the 2% fail that worries me.
However the stars were obviously not correctly aligned for this to be a simple process.
CES afforded me the opportunity to meet with many Asian component manufacturers.
There were hundreds in attendance; one day I wandered through an unremarkable door off the main LVCC - Las Vegas Convention Center - and found them clustered in the basement of the next door and interconnected Las Vegas Hilton hotel.
This fortuitous stumble opened my eyes to the many, many opportunities available, as well as introducing me to several companies specializing in spare parts...and the aforementioned dummies.
So far, so good.
What was not so good was the fact that following close on the heels of CES was the annual Chinese Spring Festival or New Year. And until then I had never realized that during this celebration time China shuts shop completely for two weeks. During this time nothing, and I mean nothing, gets done.
This global powerhouse and it's 1.5 billion strong population goes into shutdown mode from the last week of January through to the end of the first week of February. And when they do return to work and crank up the volume for the new year, obviously the first thing they do - is clear the backlog - and that takes about another fortnight.
Eventually, six weeks later, at the end of February, we finally got our samples.
Then we had to design the patterns, make the knives to prove the design actually worked and assemble sample cases that had to be approved.
Finally all the design hurdles were cleared and the two new cases are now listed in our catalog.
In a deliberate design change, neither the #290 or #295 has a tab top option; pouch or full flap version only. This is because sales analysis shows these two by far outsell the tab version of our other products. While the pouch gives easy access - and can be easily stowed in a handbag, satchel or briefcase - the full flap affords both total protection and (for those uncomfortable about displaying their device publicly) a measure of security by hiding it from view when not in use.
We have also removed the D-ring from the clip. Nobody ever asked specifically for it, and it was one of those small legacy design accoutrements that somehow managed to find its way into the mainstream. I am sure if it's passing offends too many people we'll soon be told.
There's been very strong interest in the Galaxy Note case in particular. We have just shipped about a dozen cases that were pre-ordered by customers. To those folk who have waited so patiently we say "thank you". We believe you will agree the wait has been worthwhile.
In addition to offering these new products in a variety of leather finishes in our online catalog we are in the process of delivering the first of the Galaxy Note full flap cases in both Black and natural Russet to Amazon.
As a vendor in Amazon's 'wireless accessories' division we are very keen to see how well they are received and to ramping up production to meet what we hope is extreme demand.
But that's another topic that demands an entry like this, all of its own.