Why I'll never buy an iPhone case

Technically Incorrect: Would you really wrap your BMW in protective rubber? So why do you do it to your phone?

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Why do people do this?

ArmyBee/Amazong screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Please, I'm not a ranter.

This is more the bemused muttering of someone who's watched an event, a thing unfold for years, and failed to grasp why it happens.

This is the case of the iPhone case. It leaves my mind boggled beyond unbogglement.

I saw someone the other day with a silver sparkly iPhone case that blanketed her phone like so much spangly snot.

I know what your answer will be before I ask the question, but I'll ask it anyway: Why do people buy iPhone cases? Or any phone case?

You'll tell me that the case protects your phone when you drop it. You'll tell me that you're clumsy, uncoordinated, that you like a drink or 10, after which who knows what you can perpetrate.

You'll tell me iPhones are slippery. They easily fall out of your hand.

But there is St. Jonathan Ive of Cupertino every year telling you that he's crafted your iPhone out the finest aluminium (sic) and precious metals from faraway caves and all you want to do is put the thing in a cheap old sparkly condom?

St. Jonathan explains that he's thought about the design from dawn till sunset, from curved edge to two-dimensional icon and all you do is make it look like a mini-Kindle -- or a mini-Kindle upon which someone has been sick?

I understand that, as well as protecting your phone, there's another trigger: personalization.

You buy a case, rubbery or spangly, because it somehow says: "This is my iPhone, not Tricia's."

But you don't buy a BMW and cover it in black rubber, do you? You don't buy a Prada purse and then wrap it in pink clingfilm just to make sure none of the corners get scratched.

So why, oh why must you buy an expensive iPhone and then make it look like anything other than an iPhone?

The whole thing bedevils me more than the love of sriracha.

Are people entirely incapable of buying a well-designed object and treating it with enough care not to turn it into the gadget version of a bouncy castle?

Do vast numbers of iPhone purchasers take one look at every new iPhone and say: 'That Ive boy, he tries. But it's not very exciting, is it? It needs silver stars"?

How many people looked at iPhone 6 and muttered: "Yeah, it's fine, but what it really needs is a bulge and the words "booty call"?

Please, I completely respect your passion for one politician or another, but does your iPhone really need to scream: "Trump For President"?

I feel sure I'm in some peculiar minority here. It may even be a minority of one.

I carry my phone around just the way the deities made it. It happens to be an iPhone, but I'd feel just the same about a Samsung Galaxy -- especially the Edge series, which strikes me as quite beautiful.

Is there no way you can let your phone go commando? Please try it.

If we're going to make America great again, we have to show that we're not scared of our phones slipping out of our hands and crashing to the concrete.

No, we must take care of these precious iPhones -- made in China though they were -- and treat them as they should be treated.

Putting your iPhone in a case is like buying an Audi, wrapping it in rubber and painting flames down the side of it.

It's like going to a three-star Michelin restaurant and asking for ketchup.

It's like going to church, chewing gum and blowing bubbles at the priest.

You're going to tell me that I'm delusional, aren't you?

That's what the Catholic Church told Galileo.