I've never used a case for my iPhone 4. Not even after the back broke for the third time. I didn't do it because, unlike my grandma, I don't cover my sofas with plastic. Or unlike idiots, I don't protect my car's front with a bra.
And while you and the other billion people who bought iPhone 4 cases had the totally legitimate excuse of the fragile glass back—arguably the stupidest pretty thing Apple ever did—and the questionable antenna—the second stupidest—you just don't need a f*cking case for your iPhone 5. Really, you don't.
The fact is that there's no fragility excuse anymore because the iPhone 5 is made of aluminum casted by Asgardian dwarf blacksmiths and put together with magicomicronometric precision by virgin she-dragons made of living gold. It can't break, unless you shoot it with a silver bullet at the witching hour under a full moon.
So why the hell is the market getting inundated with iPhone 5 cases? It seems like the stupidest thing ever, so I asked the manufacturers, who gave three reasons.
1. Cases protect the screen
This is total bullshit unless the case actually goes all around the phone—like a wallet. I know plenty of people who broke their screens while using the bulkiest tank cases that are visually painful to endure. With any open case, the phone just has to fall against an uneven sidewalk and the screen will break. Murphy has a law that says this is inevitable.
2. Cases make a "personal statement"
"Customize your phone to make a personal estatement." They have a point here. As one of the manufacturers told me in an email:
We feel a great reason to get a case from [REDACTED] is that you can make it uniquely your own. Whether it's a photo of your family, your pet, or a favorite artwork from [REDACTED] site you can make a case for your iPhone 5 that is truly one-of-a-kind, a personal statement.
So yes, I can understand the personal statement of "hi, I'm an idiot with a photo of my kids and my dog wrapped around my phone." That's fine. I get it just as much as me being a snob with a handmade wooden back replacement that makes my iPhone 4 look like a wood paneled Sony Betamax deck.
Except a printed photo—no matter how pretty—on an ugly plastic case still leaves you with an ugly plastic case with a printed photo on it. At least the wooden back is a material replacement for an original part that matches the original design (and looks awesome).
But the personal statement excuse doesn't work with pre-fabricated artwork. That's just stupid. You "one-of-a-kind" phone it not unique the same you are not a unique snow flake. Your phone will be as stupidly garish as ten thousand other phones.
Another manufacturer also said that some people like to "sport colors" to make their phones exclusive. Because the color purple is exclusive. Except their cases—which imbecilincidentally are made of aluminum too—are bulky repulsive designs. Just like all the other bulky butt grotesque cases churned out by the millions by factories in China. It's a waste of money, a waste of materials, waste, waste, hideous waste glued to your phone. If you want your iPhone to be another color, send it to ColorWare. Or use Crayolas.
3. Cases avoid scratches
The iPhone aluminum back can scratch. If you treat it like shit, it will. But so what? Things get scratched all the time. And most of the time the wear gives them character. Like the first iPhone made of aluminum, which was way more beautiful years later. If anything, the iPhone 5 will probably look better over time.
And at the end, the fact is that your ugly case will look like crap after a couple months too. I've seen that everywhere. People with scratched and dirty cases, some falling apart, some held with tape or stickers, all of them even more horrendous than when they came out of their plastic boxes.
And trapped inside that fat-ass case, a perfectly good looking phone that you never got to visually enjoy.
The whole thing is so dumb that it defies belief.
Which is precisely the point: now you are going to get the thinnest, lightest LTE phone ever designed, made with the most advanced smartphone manufacturing techniques ever developed. Carefully imagined and crafted so you can hold it in your hand, to enjoy its feeling, its quality, its beauty.
Are you really going to put it in a stupid case?
I can already feel Jon Ive's pain.