MacCase Year in Review 2016
This time last year everyone at MacCase was hard at work on 7 new designs for the then just released iPad Pro tablet. On the drawing boards were 3 models that would join our nylon line and 4 brand new leather iPad Pro cases.
While the nylon iPad Pro Messenger Bag, Backpack and Sleeve have met with some success, it has been the 4 new leather iPad Pro cases that has been the story for MacCase in 2016. That, and the incredible patience of our loyal customers.
It's no secret that MacCase had it's share of challenges in 2016 when it came to delivering all these new designs. Ambition is powerful thing. The new nylon and leather iPad Pro cases program was the most ambitious in the company's near 20 year history.
4 Brand New Mac Cases
MacCase had never tried to design, manufacture and distribute 7 new models at the same time. While the nylon models were made up of combining a brand new iPad Pro 12.9 Sleeve with an already existing backpack and messenger bag, all 4 leather iPad Pro cases were brand new from the ground up.
All this newness had a overwhelming affect on our tannery. Visiting our manufacturing facility is like stepping back in time, a time before automation, before computers, before robots. Things move slowly. The air is rich with the smell of vegetable oils. Sewing machines start and stop at a snails pace.
It is here in this environment of old world craftsmanship that new MacCase designs are brought to life. Drawings are studied, samples are created, tested, improved and sent back to California for approval. The whole process consume time when you are doing a single design. Multiple that by 4, plus options, and the process can be overwhelming.
Mac Case Leather Folios Arrive
The development time plus several other factors that were out of our control led to a long wait for these new leather iPad Pro cases. The first week of February saw the first of the new leather Folios arrive. The response was very positive. The new design met with very high praise and the customers who had waited for them were very pleased.
There were two customers however who were looking for the new Folio to do something it couldn't. They wanted to access the Notification and Control Centers from the horizontal orientation. The frame that holds the iPad was blocking this access.
Even though this feedback was coming from only 2 customers, our crack design and engineering team rushed to get an updated design that solved this problem into production. By the end of May, new "all access" iPad Pro 12.9 and 10.5 Folios arrived and once again the design was heralded.
Another aspect of the Folio's design that was highly praised was the way the Pencil was stored and protected. Dozens of other companies threw their ideas for storing and protecting the Apple Pencil into the preverbal ring. Some were good. Many were feeble afterthoughts. Customers paying nearly $1000 for the world's most expensive tablets could see right through the poor designs.
The Best Pencil Protection
MacCase chose to integrate the Pencil pocket into the cover, making it into a visual design element that was carried across the entire line of leather iPad Pro cases. This solution was lauded as the best available for protecting the transporting the Pencil on sites like Reddit and MacRumors.
In July, the Premium Leather iPad Pro 12.9 Sleeves arrived for everyone who was waiting for them. Here is a review from Tracy P. after her took delivery and had some time to put it through it's paces:
"I waited a few months after I ordered this sleeve for it to come in, and I am so very glad indeed that I waited. This product is even better in your hands than it is in the pictures and description, and that is saying something. The sleeve feels solid and sturdy. It is very well padded; I would not be afraid to drop it from a 3-foot height at all.
The air pockets around the edges provide an excellent insulation from falls on the corners or sides, and the padding on the front and back is quite thick. I think I could drop it onto the face side without breaking the glass. The leather is beautiful and soft, and there is room in the pencil pocket for Apple Pencil or a pen. Bravo to everyone at Mac Case!"
The Leather iPad Pro 12.9 Briefcase Arrives
By mid August the new Premium Leather iPad Pro 12.9 Briefcase arrived. This was the fist ever horizontal leather briefcase from MacCase. The company was founded on a briefcase idea so a brand new design has to be pretty special to make it to production. This one was. The elegant, minimal and protective design was perfectly matched to the Apple tablet it was designed to carry.
Shortly after the arrival of the new Premium Leather iPad Pro 12.9 Briefcases, a new shipment of leather 12.9 and 9.7 Folios came in. We had thought this shipment would be large enough to last until the end of the year. We thought wrong.
Word was spreading that if you wanted the best, most professional, leather iPad Pro case, you wanted a Mac Case Folio. After almost a year of fits and starts with these new models, we had a hit on our hands. After all the struggle, it felt good.
Finally the iPad Pro 12.9 Flight Jacket Arrives
In early October the new iPad Pro Flight Jackets arrived in all their optional glory. This design was the most complex of all the new models. It involved not only the basic leather iPad Pro case, but a whole host of options that allowed the customer to customize the bag to fit their needs.
The arrival of the iPad Pro Flight Jackets brought an end to a journey that started 12 months earlier. For the first time, all nylon and leather iPad Pro 12.9 cases were in stock and shipping. Whew! What a year it has been.
And what about 2017?
A major revision was just completed to one of our oldest models, the Premium Leather Messenger Bag. Updates and revisions for other "classic" Premium Leather models are in the works. Look for more options that allow customers to customize their cases to better help them get through their day.
One thing that is not going to change is our commitment to designing, building and delivering the absolute best products we can. 2016 has been a great ride. Everyone at Mac Case learned a lot. We are humbled by our customer loyalty. Thanks for being with us, supporting our work and sticking with us when things were difficult. We are committed to improving what we can and providing products that are truly the pinnacle of Apple portable protection.
See you in 2017!
"Bravo to everyone at Mac Case"