For years now, I’ve been Using an iPhone without a case. I have never been against those who want to protect their expensive devices. But I’ve always felt that I lose some of the value that the device brings when you cover it in hard plastic.
I remember when I got my very first expensive, fully-loaded computer that my Dad offered to pick for me on my birthday. At the time I worked for him at his external IT consultancy where he provided tech support to local companies. So the gift was partly , my birthday present, and partly, business expense, because he wanted to get me a computer that could help my position as a Network and PC troubleshooter.
The laptop I choose was a 2011 13-inch MacBook Air with an i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 512 GB SSD. It was the most expensive computer I had ever owned and immediately felt I needed to protect it from the world it lived in. So I purchased a clear Incase plastic casing for the outside of the device.
After five months of using the MacBook Air, I realized that the case was starting to turn yellow. It was quite scratched, but I felt that was the point; instead of the MacBook Air getting scratched, the case got it.
However, the yellowing started to bother me and decided to take the case off one day. I was blown away by how beautiful the silver aluminum casing was; I hadn’t seen the outside of the MacBooks casing without the clear case since I got the laptop five months earlier.
After that day, I never put the case back on. I also took off the case from my then Galaxy S2 as well and realized how my phone felt good in hand without a case too.
iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and even AirPods all have had cases, but we’re removed shortly afterword’s because of my desire to have a pure experience with the device as it came. The disadvantage of using an iPhone without a case may be the risk of wear and tear or destruction of a costly device if you are not careful.
For instance, I have had my
iPhone 11 Pro Max
since around September of last year, and it’s quite worn out from my constant use and exposure to different surfaces. I have not put a case around it since I got it and have enjoyed feeling the industrial design of the device every time I pick it up.
The stainless steel and glass materials that make up the
provides a dense and solid experience as if you are holding something substantial. Covering that with a thick plastic just seems wrong, which is why I have not wrapped it up in anything.
The result of using an iPhone without a case, in some instances, is an iPhone that looks quite worn out and abused. I promise that I try and be careful with my iPhone, but it is also a tool, and I use it as such. If I place it on a table, I can place it face down to avoid distractions during a meeting or dinner.
Using an iPhone without a screen protector may appear horrifying, but my aversion to a screen protector on my iPhone outweighs the risk of possible scratches. Recently, my iPhone’s got a small but deep scratch on the screen when it slipped out of my pocket and rubbed against a staple between the base of my sofa and the cushion.
I also accidentally cracked my poor iPhone 11 Pro Max back glass after hitting asphalt from me getting out of my car and forgot that the phone was resting on my lap. The crack is small and has not affected the performance or caused any internal damage to the device. Instead, it gives a glimpse of my hardcore usage of my iPhone, which I’m proud of.
iPhones and other computing devices are expensive. When I buy something at a high cost, it should provide enough use to reflect that cost. My iPhone offers a lot of value for what I paid for it, and I use it to meet that value. This usage can cause some wear and tear, which makes sense to me.
I do understand some people are not as lucky as I am in keeping my phone from a broken screen and do understand younger people need cases because they are more likely to drop things. I’m also aware of the resale value argument if you plan on selling your iPhone each year and want to get as much money as possible to pay for the upgrade.
However, one of the advantages of Using an iPhone without a case is the beauty of actual small and compact design. Wrapping an iPhone in thick plastic or screen protectors takes away the value I feel the size and weight of the iPhone offers. As a compromise, I have to handle the scratches, dings, and cracks that may come in using a device in this way.
But truth be told, I enjoy the appearance of my weathered iPhone. It sends the message that I am getting the value I paid for it and reminds me that it is a tool over anything else. So, that’s why I use my iPhone without a case!