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Whats Up With The Cases?

January 07, 2013

Now that the temperature has dropped to the 20’s and 30’s I tend not to walk to the office. Its a beautiful walk, but the T (the friendlier name for the underground portion of the MBTA, aka the Boston public transportation system) is just so much warmer. I have a short walk past Berklee University to get to the Hynes Convention Center stop of the Green line, then a few stops to my office.

One thing I have noticed is that the iPhone, and to a much lesser degree other brand phones, is a major part of everyone’s commute. I see everyone zone out and get absorbed by whatever is on their personal screen: a game, a video, a book, or the album cover to the current track. That’s ok, I am doing it myself. It’s not like I was going to strike up a conversation with one of these folks anyway. What I find interesting are the cases.

Everyone has a case on their phone. I don’t get it. One of the changes that comes with each generation of iPhone is a decrease in size. The 5 is the smallest of them so far, and yet everyone feels the need to bulk it up with an ugly chunk of plastic and rubber.

Of course the argument I would imagine most of these people have in favor of the case is that its to protect their investment. I guess I understand part of that: this is an expensive device. I paid $399 USD for my iPhone 5 and that’s with a 2 year commitment with Verizon. And if I break it, I will have to pay closer to $600 USD to replace it. The problem with that argument is that these phones are pretty damned strong on their own.

My previous phone was an iPhone 4 (not the 4s, just the 4). I bought it while living in Amsterdam. My employer paid my phone bill, and they wouldn’t cover a switch from the Blackberry to the iDevice (they started allowing it 3 months later). So I bought it outright. At about 800 Euros (about $1050 USD) for a standard iPhone 4 bought outside of a contract for everyone outside of the US, that’s an even bigger investment! But even then a case simply wasn’t necessary.

There is a dent on this corner somewhere...

There is a dent on this corner somewhere…

As I mentioned, these phones are freaking strong. My phone is usually sitting in my left front pocket. Its usually accompanied by a sampling of change and of course my keys. They all jangle round in there and the phone always comes out unscathed. One day while preparing dinner, I dropped my phone…from 4 feet up…onto a concrete floor. There is a single dent which is maybe half a millimeter long on one corner. Usually I can’t even find the dent its so small. I can’t imagine what you would have to do to crack the screen.

The iPhone 5 has all the strength of the 4 and moreso. It’s built like a tank. And with far less glass on the back, there is far less to crack if you manage to find a way to crack it. So I go commando with my phone all the time. But looking at my fellow subway riders, I am definitely the only one.

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