The case for caseless iPhones

“The first person I ever met who was fiercely anti-smartphone case was my boss at an old startup job,” Maria Teresa Hart writes for Vox. “‘This,’ he said, pinching his thin iPhone between his thumb and pointer finger, ‘involved hours of effort. People worked to get this phone as slim as possible, and now I’m going to slap a thick case over it?’ He shook his head.”

“My boss wasn’t a pioneer. Caseless crusaders are everywhere, and soon after our chat, I spotted them all over,” Hart writes. “At The Verge, despite tallying potential repairs in the hundreds of dollars and debating whether caselessness is foolish, Nick Statt admitted to keeping his iPhone X bare: ‘It feels like a crime to put a case on the nicest smartphone Apple’s ever made.'”

“Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist and author of Decoding the New Consumer Mind… sees the caseless phone as a way to quietly signal your affluence. The message, she says, is ‘I’m above the possibility of damaging my phone, and if I do, no big deal because I can shell out for a new screen.’ Or as one commenter said at The Verge, ‘If I made $500,000 a year, I think I could allow myself a naked iPhone X,'” Hart writes. “There was a time when simply having a smartphone was a surefire sign of disposable income, but no longer.. [This] could be why we’ve arrived at a place where being reckless with your phone and rejecting a case is the ultimate indication of means.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We don’t see a naked iPhone as an indicator of greater means, we just don’t want to cover Jony Ive & Co.’s largely impeccable industrial design (not counting the notch, which is an inelegant kludge).

Apple’s meticulously-designed iPhones aren’t meant to be hidden; naked iPhones only for us.MacDailyNews, July 10, 2017


  1. All fine if — IF — Apple’s own casing wasn’t so damn slippery. I have a minimalist case only because it affords a better grip. Handling uncased iPhones is like trying to grip an ice cube — or a fish.
    Get a grip, folks

    1. I have a case since I often use my XS Max as a camera. Maybe if the body was squared off like the 4/4S/5/5S used to be I wouldn’t need a case. As it is, the rounded sides are too slick to grip.

    1. Agree. I have owned iPhones from the very beginning. I give my little spiel to anyone who’ll listen (OK, so I’ve not given it too many times :-). Why do I want to cover up the design work of the generally recognized leading industrial designer today?! Makes no sense to me, unless you simply cannot manage to avoid dropping it. I’ll let others do the calcs, but I have not yet broken a screen or caused any other damage to any of the devices I’ve owned over that entire time. I put it into the front pocket of my jeans, so I still use a 7 due to the size. I’m waiting for the newest X for back to the future size — maybe next week?!

  2. Get a clear glass protector for the back of the iPhone as well as the front and you’ll eliminate most potential cracking hazards while detracting very little from the form-feel of the iPhone.

  3. Hey MDN, I think were all still waiting for you to show Apple how to fix the notch… Obviously you know how to do it, you keep complaining about it. Show us all your engineering prowess that fixed it? So put up or shut up…

  4. Because I carry my phone in my front pants pocket I want my phone as small as can be. So generally no case but since they started having the camera bump on the back I have a thin case to equalize out the bump. I’d rather they just made the iPhone slightly thicker with a larger batter and no camera bump. Until then I’ll just use a thin case.

  5. I never used a case for my 4S, which was dropped multiple times. But then, my iPhone 6 had glass that wrapped around the corners and I smashed the screen within a couple months. I’ve been using cases since.

  6. Apple’s products I imagine are designed for a case.

    So I disagree.

    MacBook Air? I have no case.

    Apple TV remote? Case. Otherwise how do you know what end to hold?

    iPhone? Case. Let’s protect the $1000 phone. Glass protector too. And if not, the bulge of the camera is also an inelegant kludge. It begs for a case. And it appears this will continue.

    iPad? Case or cover.

  7. I have a caseless iPhone X and LOVE it that way! I do have a VERY thin screen protector-but otherwise I just keep it in a holster. Many people look at me in bewilderment about this. But I, too, just love the feel and appreciate the design- I could never hide that in a case!

  8. I found a great compromise: a case that only protects the corners and leaves the rest of the phone bare so I can still enjoy the great industrial design and feel while having some extra protection

  9. I used to used to use cases but always found after taking them off that any little particles that got inbetween the case and phone would cause tiny scratches everywhere. Been case-less for awhile now. Simply being more careful and more deliberate with the phone makes a world of difference.

  10. I agree that having to use a case is stupid. Thing should be made hand friendly from the start, not slick as a peeled onion and fragile as an egg. Crazy to have to buy a case for iPhones.

  11. I went caseless until the camera bump became a thing. I still prefer caseless, mostly because I’m not careless, but now it doesn’t sit well on most surfaces, so a case “corrects” that. I would much prefer more battery and no case!

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