The Problem with iPhone 4 Cases

Let me start by saying that, at last count, I own 48 iPhone 3G and 3GS cases. You name a manufacturer, I probably have one or more of the cases that they produce. I have cases from the ultra expensive Vaja cases to the cheap ten dollar rubber case that is sold at discount stores. I have the most protective case on earth (the OtterBox cases) to the flimsiest case (the PowerSupport Air Jacket.) My collection has cost a small fortune and has been the subject of many of my friends’ jokes. But it has served me well over the years.

But now, I have a problem. I have an iPhone 4 and I don’t want to put it in a case.

The problem is not that there aren’t any cases for it. There are actually plenty of cases available even though many of the Apple stores that I visited do not carry any (in my area, there are four Apple Stores within a 10 mile radius and only one of them carries 3rd party iPhone 4 cases.) The problem is bigger than that. I just can’t bring myself to putting the phone in a case. And it is all Apple’s fault.

Apple designed such a beautiful device with such gorgeous curves and lines that any case you put it in, causes it to look like the old iPhone. I want to see the metal antenna surrounding the phone. I want to see the glass back with the Apple logo. I want to see the simple lock and volume buttons. Why hide all of these design elements with rubber or plastic? Forget the fact that these cases help with the “death grip” issue. Forget the fact that a device made out of glass can break easily. I sit in an office all day long and the rest of the time, the phone is in my pocket.

To many people, the updated look was definitely a reason to upgrade. Aside from the hardware improvements, for most people the iPhone 4 is not a necessary upgrade (the feature that Apple touted as being revolutionary – FaceTime – at its current incarnation is not all that useful due to its limitations on hardware and connectivity requirements). But that look is gone the moment you put a case on it.

So does this mean that I don’t own any iPhone 4 cases? Come on, didn’t you read the first paragraph? I own, so far, five cases. It is because of these cases that I don’t want to put another one on. The most minimalist of the them all is Apple’s Bumper case but it is nothing more than a way of getting around the death grip issue. The most protective is Case-Mate’s Tough case which increases the thickness of the new iPhone to be the same as the old iPhone. Everything in between is just a cover. Nothing more. What do I have on right now? Nothing. Do I feel a little vulnerable? Yes.

So what am I to do? The most promising case that I have seen so far is the Vapor Case by ElementCase. It looks like it will be both protective and minimalist at the same time while keeping the phone’s curves and design features. But that case seems to be at least a couple of months away and at a cost of $79, it will have to be an amazing case to justify its cost. For now, if I have to have a case on, it will be the Bumper case. It solves two problems (death grip and scratching) while still maintaining the phone’s design elements.

What case do you use on your iPhone 4? Let us know how you protect your phone and whether or not it is important for you.


11 Comments on “The Problem with iPhone 4 Cases”

  1. Shamu28

    Do you happen to have any recommendations for an “all in one” case w/ front screen protector? All of the screen protectors I’ve used start peeling/coming off around the edges whenever I use a protective case. I am trying to find a case w/ a screen protector built-in – one that will still allow me to use the iphone4 without taking off the case or protector (the iSkin, for example, requires the user to take off the screen protector in order to use the iphone4).

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