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Why do people put cases on their phones?

Why do people put cases on their phones?

People put cases on their phones for a variety of reasons. Cases can protect phones from damage, allow for personalization, improve grip, and more. With expensive smartphones that are used constantly every day, many phone owners opt to use a case to protect their investment. There are endless options when it comes to phone cases, allowing users to weigh factors like protection and style.

Protection from Damage

One of the main reasons people use phone cases is to protect their device from damage. Phones are costly to repair or replace, so a case provides a layer of protection. According to a survey by gadget insurance company Protectyourgadget, around 74% of respondents cited protection as their main reason for using a phone case.

Phones are delicate devices made of glass and fragile components. Without a case, they are susceptible to cracks, dents, and scratches from drops and bumps during everyday use. Cases absorb shock from impacts to help protect the phone inside. They also prevent scratches to the phone body that occur when phones slide around in pockets and bags. A smartphone is a major investment for many consumers, so extending its lifespan through protection is important.

Enhanced Grip

Another reason for using phone cases is to improve grip on the device. Phones made of smooth materials like glass or metal can easily slip out of hands. A case provides extra friction and grip to reduce the chance of drops. Cases come in a variety of materials like silicone, plastic, and rubber that have more grip than a bare smartphone.

Phone dimensions are increasing, with larger phones more prone to slipping. A survey by SquareTrade found 29% of respondents cited improved ergonomics as a reason they use phone cases. Larger cases can also help users grip bigger phones. This is especially important for preventing drops that lead to costly screen repairs.

Customization and Self-Expression

Many people want their smartphones to reflect their personal style and preferences. Cases allow for customization and self-expression through a variety of colors, patterns, and designs. With the range of case styles available, users can choose a look that suits their tastes.

According to research by Mintel, around 14% of US smartphone users have customized their phone case, showing the appeal of personalization. Cases allow customers to accessorize their phones and make them stand out. Some people match their case to their outfit for a cohesive look. Limited edition and customized cases also let users showcase their personality.


Some consumers use phone cases for branding purposes. Companies make custom branded cases featuring logos, slogans, and imagery. Users can show affinity for brands they love by displaying associated cases. Branded cases serve as marketing for companies trying to build brand awareness and increase visibility.

People also use cases to represent professional brands. Businesses provide customized cases bearing company names, numbers, and logics to employees. These act as a business card that is constantly visible. Branded cases are useful for establishing a professional image.

Special Features

Certain phone cases provide extra features beyond protection and aesthetics. Features like storage, charging, lenses, handles, and more differentiate these functional cases. Here are some of the special features found in some phone cases:

– Adding external storage with wallet cases and cases with compartments

– Battery cases provide extra charging power

– Special lenses like fisheye, macro, and wide angle

– Handles for grip and stand function

– Built in mounts to connect phones to tripods and magnetic surfaces

These features enhance the capabilities and convenience of smartphones for different situations. The utility of cases with extra functionality appeals to many users.

Financial Incentives

Some mobile providers and smartphone brands encourage case use through promotions and incentives. Many carriers offer discounts on premium phone cases and screen protectors. Brands like Otterbox and Lifeproof have agreements with carriers to cross-promote their case brands.

Phone insurance plans also often require using a case to qualify for coverage. Phone insurance provider Worth Ave Group offers up to 13% discounts for customers who use cases. Cracking a smartphone screen is one of the most common phone repairs, so insurers promote case use to lower claims. Through promotions and insurance discounts, many providers create financial incentives for case adoption.

Popularity by Age Groups

Phone case usage varies across different age groups. A survey by Statista in 2022 gathered data on case usage broken down by age:

Age Group Percent who Use Phone Case
18-29 69%
30-44 74%
45-60 78%
60+ 82%

The data shows case usage is lowest among 18-29 year olds and increases steadily in the older age groups. 82% of seniors over 60 use a case, while only 69% of young adults 18-29 use one. As consumers get older, they may be more concerned about protecting their investment and avoiding the hassle of repairs. Older consumers may also have less steady hands and grip strength, driving more case usage for ergonomic reasons.

Popularity by Gender

Several surveys have looked at the difference in case usage between genders. According to surveys by Mintel, Protectyourgadget, and SquareTrade, key findings include:

  • Women are more likely to use phone cases than men across all age groups.
  • Over 80% of female smartphone users surveyed use cases, compared to around 60% of males.
  • Differences increase with age – 82% of women 45-60 use cases versus 61% of men the same age.
  • Women prioritize protection, personalization, and aesthetics more in cases.
  • Men are more likely to buy heavier duty rugged and sport cases.

This data indicates women drive phone case sales and manufacturers should focus on protective and stylish designs appealing to female consumers.

Popularity by Region

The portion of smartphone users who employ cases also varies by region. A study by Statista in 2022 showed the following breakdown:

Region Percent who Use Phone Case
Asia Pacific 69%
Middle East & Africa 73%
Central & Eastern Europe 76%
Western Europe 79%
North America 81%
Latin America 83%

Case usage is lowest in Asia Pacific where smartphone models vary widely inprice. It increases through other regions and is highest in North America and Latin America. The popularity in these regions may be influenced by higher disposable incomes and widespread carrier case promotions.

Environmental Impacts

While phone cases provide benefits, they also have negative environmental impacts due to resource use and waste. The volume of smartphone users globally means cases contribute substantial electronic waste. Most cases are made of plastics and synthetics that do not biodegrade. Global phone case production is estimated to generate over 50,000 tons of plastic waste per year.

Factors like case variety and changing phone dimensions frequently render cases obsolete. The average person may go through 2-4 cases per phone, generating plastic waste. Some case manufacturers use recycled and plant-based materials to improve sustainability. But overall, the sheer volume of cases produced and disposed of annually make them an environmental issue.


Phone cases are popular accessories used by the majority of smartphone owners, especially for protection and customization. Demographics like age and gender influence case usage and buying preferences. While providing benefits to users, cases also contribute to e-waste due to disposability and frequent redesigns. Manufacturers can improve case sustainability through recycled materials and biodegradable designs. Overall, cases meet consumer needs for protection, personalization, improved grip, and special features. The global market for smartphone cases will continue expanding as increasing numbers of consumers view cases as a necessity for their pricey phones.