iPhone cases: the ultimate catch-22?

I was talking with my roommate yesterday about iPhone accessories, and he pointed out that it’s kind of a shame that we buy such a good looking device just to cover it up with cases and skins. And, when you think about it, he’s right. Apple engineers and designers spent countless hours designing every millimeter of the iPhone, and we barely get to see the fruits of their labor. Sure, you can use a bumper case, but let’s be honest – if you want to protect your phone, the bumper isn’t the way to go.

And that brings me to my question – what’s more important, looks or protection? I’ve struggled with this for a while, switching between carrying my iPhone around with a screen protector and full-body case, and letting it go au naturel. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. Some iPhone cases do look really good (I’m currently rockin’ a pretty cool one from Belkin), but they’re no comparison to the sleek glass and aluminum body of my iPhone.

To be honest, I think part of the reason we struggle with this issue is because Apple also struggles with it. The materials the company chose to use when constructing the latest iPhone look great, and are fairly durable, but they’re certainly not indestructible.

The glass in particular seems to be a weak spot. And, do what you will to glass, but at the end of the day, if you drop a piece of glass, there’s a pretty good chance it’ll break. And it certainly doesn’t help that Apple doubled the chance of breaking the glass on your iPhone with the design of the 4 and 4S, which is a shame, because the awesome glass front and back of the iPhone 4 and 4S are the best looking parts of the device!

So, it seems iPhone users are doomed to face the ultimate catch 22 – revel in the awesome design of the iPhone, even if that means a risk breaking it, or protect the phone, effectively hiding it’s good looks from view.

Where do you stand on this issue? Do you take your chances with no case so you can fully appreciate the design of your device, or do you choose to carry it in a case to preserve it for as long as possible? Let me know in the comments section below or on twitter!

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