The Typist, in I Am the Cheat:
According to a recent Business Insider survey, 86% of iPhone owners use a case, with almost 60% of them citing damage protection. Of those who don’t, 50% say “cases are too bulky”. Nick Heer explains why he’s among the minority in a short post titled “I Am the 14%”:
Avoiding bulkiness isn’t an aesthetic decision, it’s a practical one. I don’t wear super skinny jeans by any means, but adding thickness and weight is unwelcome.
I’ve only owned two iPhone models so far: the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 4, plus an iPhone 3GS that was kindly donated by a good friend. I’ve always agreed with the ‘case-less iPhone’ school of thought. My white iPhone 3G was just too nice to be wrapped in any case, no matter how stylish or well-made it was. The form factor of the original iPhone, and of the 3G and 3GS, in my opinion, didn’t really warrant the use of a case. Their back doesn’t easily scratch as the classic iPods, and those iPhone models also have a very pleasant grip that — at least for me — makes it rather hard to mishandle or drop the device. I never dropped my iPhone 3G once, and after three years of regular use, the back is in almost-new condition (only the silver Apple logo betrays the use).
Therefore, when I purchased the iPhone 4 in 2011, I found the new design so pleasant and so much nicer than the previous iPhone models that I, like Nick Heer, didn’t want to even consider covering that beauty with a case, any case. But I soon realised one thing: while being an order of magnitude nicer than the 3G/3GS, the iPhone 4 felt more slippery in my hand when holding and handling it. At first I thought I just needed to get used to the new, sleek form factor. But time passed and, even with my smallish hands, I simply didn’t feel the same nice grip the iPhone 3G had. And I dropped it twice in the first month of use. Nothing major, and I was relieved to see the iPhone come out unscathed in both cases.
Then, a few months later, I dropped it outside, on concrete. Luckily the fall, although bad, didn’t affect the hardware on the inside, but the iPhone gained two visible dents on one side and a few hairline scratches on the display (fortunately unnoticeable when the screen is on). That very evening I was online shopping for an iPhone case.
I still didn’t want anything too bulky. I wanted something that added a minimum layer of protection without burying the beautiful industrial design of the device. The Incipio Feather case was the solution. I chose the glossy clear shell, so that it could feel even lighter visually, and I’ve been a happy user of this kind of case ever since. It adds very little bulk, and what little it adds actually helps to handle the device more securely — it has given my iPhone 4 just enough grip to avoid further drops.
I hope to upgrade at least to an iPhone 5 when iOS 8 comes out, and when I do, I’ll look for a similar kind of case to protect it with. Ideally, I’d still prefer to use the iPhone without a case, but if I have to buy one, a clear polycarbonate shell is the only type of case I consider for an iPhone.