In the movies, time slows down as the hero narrowly escapes an explosion, only to speed back up when she’s all clear.
In real life, you can experience that same time distortion when your iPhone slips out of your fingers and plummets toward the cement sidewalk.
Some of us have more to fear than others. According to a Business Insider survey, nearly 14% of people choose to go case-less, risking the destruction of their $US400 pocket computers at any moment.
The cost of owning a case is only a fraction of the hundreds you would pay to replace a phone: The majority of survey respondents using cases spent $US30 or less on theirs. Even the excellent, super-protective Lifeproof case costs only $US80.
With roughly a zillion different iPhone cases out there, there aren’t clear stats on how much your risk of phone destruction decreases with the use of a case — but it has to make a difference.
Some people, however, prefer not to encumber their sleek status symbols with something so unwieldy and unattractive as a case.
New York Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo is on the anti-case side: He’s tweeted about his hatred of phone cases: “I hate phone cases so much that not using one is almost like a religion for me. This weekend, I paid the price for my beliefs.” Even his phone’s demise wasn’t enough to change his mind. “Better to have loved using a phone without a case and lost than never to have used one at all,” he added.
Of the 14% of survey respondents who don’t use a case, most cited aesthetic reasons — 43% because “I like the look of my iPhone without a case,” 50% because “cases are too bulky.”
But the simple fact is that for many of us, not using a case while using your phone in wind and rain and on rush-hour subway stairs is just asking for trouble. 59% of survey respondents who use a case agree, citing “protection for my phone” as the primary reason they sought out their case.
Even if you can afford to have your phone fixed or replaced every time it hits the cement, it’s still going to cost you hours of your life securing the fix. And if you’re well enough off that the cost of a few iPhones a year doesn’t phase you, is loitering in the Apple store really worth your time?