The Android leak cycle is well documented at this point. We get some feature whispers, an internal document or two, the occasional press render or blurrycam photo, and then the case manufacturers show up to the party. It happens with just about every phone now, case manufacturers listing products for sale to protect phones that haven't even been officially announced yet. It's not always clear if these manufacturers have already made these cases, or if they're just trying to grab our attention early, and with the LG G5 this seems especially prevalent.
A brief conversation in our G5 forum on the subject left everyone wondering why these case manufacturers behave this way, especially when the phone hasn't even been announced yet. For the most part, it's about getting attention early and hoping for the best — which in their case is early sales.
Manufacturers have been lining up to tell everyone about their cool new cases for the LG G5. Some of these manufacturers have leaked actual details, like the dual-camera setup on the back and the end of LG's "Rear Key" in the design of this phone. Other companies, who scrambled to offer a competing accessory for a not-yet-announced product, are perfectly happy to put up photos of their G4 cases as placeholders until their G5 case is ready for photography. All of these case manufacturers have two things in common: none of them have touched a G5 yet, and their cases aren't shipping until the end of February at the earliest.
When preparing a phone for third-party case manufacturers, it's common for device manufacturers to send those companies a blank. It's basically a 3D-printed block in the dimensions of the phone you want to make a case for, with all the buttons and camera grooves and extra markings carved out so the case folks know where to do their thing. This blank typically includes a render of the phone, so the company can either print those cardboard fillers for the retail packaging or Photoshop themselves a model of what the actual phone would look like with the case on. You see these in the promo images on Amazon all the time, and it's clear from most of these images that the case manufacturer hasn't yet seen the actual phone they're building a case for.
There are of course exceptions to every rule, but for the most part this is how the case manufacturers get little bits of information early but never seem to have the whole picture. The G5 is a little unique in this particular adventure due to LG's participation in the leak cycle. When LG decided to leak their own case to show off features for the phone they will be unveiling in Barcelona, third party case companies are left with little option than to offer their own products as quickly as possible to attract customers. The end result is a little more silliness than usual when it comes to phone leaks, but LG seems perfectly happy with this extra buzz before a launch.
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