Do cases kill the iPhone experience?

Apple's iPhone is a gorgeous device and some folks think that cases obscure the beauty of the phone. Do cases ruin the iPhone experience?


Apple has put a lot of effort into making the iPhone one of the most elegant, beautiful devices available to consumers. But using the iPhone without a case can sometimes result in disaster, as many people have found out over the years. Scuff marks, cracked screens and scratches can all happen if you use your iPhone without any kind of protective covering.

On the other hand, cases tend to completely hide or at least obscure Apple's vision of the iPhone as a device that's worth looking at as well as using as a pocket computer. Some cases are also bulky or garish looking, and can be awful looking eyesores.

So we are left with a couple of questions: Do cases kill the iPhone experience? And is it worth losing the elegance and beauty of the iPhone in order to protect it?

MacRumors forum members discuss how cases affect the iPhone experience

I'll share my thoughts below, but here are some comments from a recent thread on the MacRumors forum about cases and the iPhone experience. As you can tell from the comments, folks are passionate on both sides of this issue.

Zord: ”Seems a shame that we put cases on our iPhones when all this time is spent to make them feel right huh? We kill them with plastic and blocky rubber cases.”

Truefan31: ”Well if these phones weren't so easy to break we'd all go caseless. If I had the resources Ive had it'd be easy to dismiss cases. But since the case industry is a billion dollar one I'd say I'm not the only one who feels this way”

Elisha: ”Wouldn't have to if he designed it better without the stupid camera hump and slippery edges!”

Trickhot3102: ”I just like my apple leather case because it gives more grip. It feels too slippery without. Also I have sweaty hands, so it helps there too.”

Adamhenry: ”Yes, IMHO ergonomics are not considered at all in the design of iPhones. I am talking specifically about the handling of the phone while it is in use. Putting a case on my phone increases the ease of use substantially.”

Boyd01: ”Cases might kill the experience. But not using a case can kill the phone. ”

Vicrooloo: ”My thought exactly OP. Those engineers spend hundreds of hours to craft and shape the phone for the users enjoyment. It's your choice to use a case but you should respect and understand the labor that goes into these things.”

Eyoungren: ”I use my iPhones without cases because I want to. Not because the guy who gave us flat white and the unicorn puke of multispectacular colour in iOS 7, 8 and 9 said something glorious about it. I don't really take seriously the words of someone who gets his design inspiration for iOS from PlaySkool and Fisher Price.”

CYKBC: ”Never used a case. Never will. Looks like crap.”

Jimbo: ”Had an Apple leather case on my 6s+. I was really not happy with the size of the phone. I removed the case after a couple of months and it was like I had a new phone.”

Skika: ”I agree completely, there is nothing better than a naked iphone in your hands.”

Newtonsapple: ”Dropping your $1K iPhone will "kill the experience". No way I would not have even a slim case on my iPhone to improve my grip. I am not so "vain" that I need to carry a naked iphone for all to see. But choice is good and each can do as they wish. Just don't post a picture of your dropped phone, complaining about Apple's build quality.”

More at the MacRumors Forum

I think cases are worth using to protect the iPhone

The MacRumors thread aside, an experience I had last year has moved me over to the pro-case side on this issue. As I noted in much more detail on my blog in a post about why I love the OtterBox Defender case for the iPhone 6s Plus, it's very easy to damage the iPhone if you use it without a case.

otterbox defender case iphone 6s plus

And that is exactly what happened to me last year when I was carrying around my iPhone 6 Plus with no case on it whatsoever. It slipped out of my pocket and fell to the ground while I was getting out of my truck. I got a nasty crack in the screen in the bottom left corner and that cured me of the desire to carry a nude iPhone.

Based on the comments I've read when the issue of iPhones and cases comes up, I know I'm not alone. Many people have tried to use their iPhones without a case, only to have a one in a million accident that ends up ruining their phone. Oh sure, some people get away with using their iPhones without a case for a very long time. But all it takes is one mishap and it's off to the Apple store to get the phone fixed or replaced.

So my recommendation is to find a good case for your iPhone and use it. After all, the iPhone costs a significant amount of money, and Apple Care costs even more. A simple case can go a long way toward preventing your iPhone from being damaged or outright destroyed.

And let's not forget about the resale value of iPhones. An iPhone in nearly pristine condition is obviously going to fetch a higher price than one with scuff marks, scratches and especially cracks in the screen. So if you plan to resell your iPhone, a case is an absolute must to get the highest price possible from potential buyers.

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