iPad case made from kangaroo debuts Down Under

The next time you hop down to your nearest electronics store to buy a new pouch for your iPad, be aware it could be made from kangaroo.

OK, so the new marsupial-based tablet case likely won't be appearing at your local Best Buy since it's considered a luxury item by its creator, an Australian man named Arnold Aranez who also blogs under the pseudonym of "Mr. Gadget." But the case will soon be available for $199.95 as the first of several device cases made out of kangaroo leather.

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In his statement touting the new kangaroo-based case, Aranez goes to great lengths to describe the virtues of using kangaroos as material for high-end device cases.

"Very simply, kangaroo leather is the best-performing leather in the world," he writes. "In fact, the fiber structure of kangaroo leather is the strongest of any readily available leather."

The press release then describes, without listing any citations, some "recent studies" that suggest "links between the kangaroo fiber matrix and that of birds and reptiles." The press release then states kangaroos' skins are particularly strong because they "needed to survive in the harshest environments against multiple predators," thus making kangaroo leather "ideally suited to shielding tablets and smartphones from the slings and arrows of modern life."

Perhaps anticipating an angry backlash from animal rights groups, the press release then attempts to assuage people who may be "concerned about the welfare of the 'roos." According to Aranez, all of the kangaroo leather that goes into his products is a "byproduct of strategic harvesting instituted by the Australian government to help control the kangaroo population in Australia." The government has had to cull kangaroos in recent years, says the press release, due to "the eradication of the kangaroo's natural predators, combined with the hardy marsupial's prodigious reproductive abilities."

Aranez's kangaroo cases could be a hard sell in Apple's home state of California, however, as the state's Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that it was illegal to sell shoes made from kangaroo leather in the state. And with its price at nearly $200, the case will also be among the most expensive iPad cases on the market. A Macworld review of big-brand iPad cases from earlier this year found that most were priced in the $25 to $50 range, with the most expensive checking in at $170.

But Aranez thinks that the high price will be well worth it for customers who want a top-notch kangaroo-leather iPad case.

"What we're doing is providing consumers with a high-end choice," he writes. "With kangaroo leather we're able to craft cases that are both luxurious and practical."

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