This might seem like cause for concern, but Donaho urged distributors not to worry. "Suppliers get stock in batches, but batches deplete rather quickly and the next batch may be of a different price, causing the pricing to shift weekly. It may fluctuate and affect everyone, [but] so far the shifts have been small," she said.
Why They're Good:
Cost and decoration area. Richard Flashenberg, managing director of the Colemax Group, Glen Rock, N.J., explained that cases provide a low-cost way for users to protect their expensive electronic investments. They're also much easier to brand. "The brandability and overall logo exposure is more distinct and visible than on the device itself," he explained.
Where to Sell:
"A key market that has been overlooked is college bookstores," Flashenberg said. He also suggested corporate events where tablets or e-readers are given to attendees, as well as industries that rely heavily on iPads and tablets, such as real estate, logistics and hospitality.
What to Watch For:
There are now six different versions of the iPhone, 24 styles of iPod and innumerable Android-equipped phones and tablets. Each of these devices has distinct design quirks and dimensions, which can make finding the right case problematic. "The biggest obstacle is understanding exactly which device the case needs to fit," Flashenberg explained.
He advised against offering universal cases, explaining that they "fit everything equally as poorly." Instead, he recommended the old-fashioned approach: research. "There are at least six Kindles on the market, all slightly different," Flashenberg noted. "Throw in the other readers and tablets, and the customer has to make sure they know the exact device they need to support, or everyone looks bad."