Making an iPhone wear a nasty plastic case is like keeping the best china for the special occasion that never arrives or humiliating your sofa by making it wear a plastic boilersuit.
I don’t really care about the sofas, because the kind of sofas that wear plastic suits probably have gold tassels and deserve to be trussed up this way. They probably enjoy it. But the iPhone is too beautiful to be casually messed with; doing so is an insult to the designer.
I’m not a fan of the current fashion for dumping this thing of perfection in some trashy piece of god-awful plastic that makes it look like a vac form moulded Chinese toy from the front of a Cbeebies magazine. Go and buy yourself an Android phone. Worse still, some are shamelessly adorned in such gaudy bling in the name of ‘personality’ (we’re encouraged to indulge our creative sides by the companies that produce these sorry piles of landfill fodder) that must make Jonathan Ive weep.
In the days when Nokia and Sony Ericsson ruled the mobile phone world, few bothered playing dolly dress-up with their devices. Sure, there were some stupid leather cases popular with salesmen and accountants (barely clear vinyl fronts that affected the functionality of the buttons) but these were in the minority. But it seems that as the design gets ever better, the urge to hide such design from view becomes even greater!
I do sort of get it, really I do. The damn thing is so breathtakingly lovely that you want to preserve its beauty. It’s also relatively fragile; it’s become more computer, less phone, yet is still portable, and so droppable, destroyable. It’s relatively expensive; maybe there’s an investment to protect, resale value might come into it. But in the name of damage and investment protection you hugely lessen your enjoyment of one of the design world’s most successful products by making the thing look utterly dreadful, replacing polished metal and glass with a pig-ugly piece of cheap-shit moulded throwaway trash.
How about I wear a couple of old carrier bags over my immaculate Jimmy Choos, maybe securing the ankle with a rubber band in order to protect their value and keep them spanking new and lovely. (Might be prudent to scrawl ‘Jimmy Choo shoes’ with a Sharpie on the outside so I don’t lose out on street cred after having forked out all that dosh. Yeah.)
Reminds me of the unfortunate kids at school that had really special toys that they weren’t allowed to play with. The whole idea that something is so fucking nice that you just really can’t be trusted with it is a pretty sad message to internalise. I relate to this, in a way. I had kits for stuff to make that I loved so so much. I would get out all the bits, read the instructions, and then carefully put everything back in the box exactly as it was, because I might not do the thing justice if I started actually making it, enjoying it.
iPhone covers are reminiscent of fun fur car seat covers, of those noisy, yellowed, nobbly plastic strips my granny used to have on her carpets, and the best china that’s too precious to be soiled by a pair of dirty lips. It’s all about presenting an image, an unchanging image, one of keeping everything perfect, unscathed, not in any way worn out or used.
But I’ve had enough of these gross bits of tat insulting my sense of aesthetics. To hell with the scratches, or worse. It’s time to unshackle. From now on, free as a hippy at Woodstock, my iPhone is going totally 100% butt NAKED!