As Brandon listed in an earlier post, one thing we definitely saw almost too much of at CES 2013 was the array of cases (be it cellphones, tablets, laptops, or more). I think if we wanted to round up every single case that we saw we would have never been able to check out anything else over the course of the week; there were seriously that many case makers at the show. We saw cases from thin almost n0t-there form factors all the way to cases that could supposedly fall 100,000 feet and leave the device in brand-new working condition.
This brings me to the main point of my article – the game is changing for cases and more. What once used to be, “oh when you’re picking up your new phone make sure to grab a case for it at the (Insert Verizon/At&t/T-Mobile/etc) store” is now a process that could leave you with thousands of cases to choose from (think of how you can find a silicone case for ANY phone on eBay nowadays). Today, the real question is not necessarily “do you want a case” but rather “what do you want your case to do for you”? With the growth of online media, social networking, and e-sales has come a tremendous level of growth and product innovation from tech companies. Now when you consider buying a case you have to ask yourself: “Do I want this case to charge my phone on the go, keep it dry, look stylish, give it additional hardware functionality, be thin, or what”? As we put out more articles on mobile device cases in the coming days, keep in mind that there is no “One case to rule them all”. Sure, the Lifeproof line of cases is good for keeping your phone dry and protected from some drops (for example), but is it as thin as you would like or styled the way you would want? Does it have the features you’re looking for in a phone case? If not, there are many other great alternatives either out now on the market or coming soon. Take Seidio’s OBEX or Incipio’s new offering (more to come on this) for example. In fact, Incipio has a deal with Stanley (the yellow and black tool company a lot of us know) to offer a case that will allow very accurate measurements to be taken with your iphone (think about the times you wanted to know how long the couch you want to buy really is, no need for a tape measure anymore). How about a screen that ads a touch-panel to the BACK of your phone? There are so many unique cases that you can throw onto your phone either now or in the coming months.
This theory not only applies to cases. This includes things like Smart-watches (more to come on these), headphones (although this market was already ultra-subjective), phone mounts, POV action cameras, and more. Cases are just a great place to show how quickly the industry is expanding and changing and it was most obvious at CES2013 where you could turn a corner and find a completely new design and use for something as simple as (in this case) a cellphone case. I think that yearly CES is a great place to see how the tech industry and accessories focused market is changing and what direction things are going to be heading in during the coming year. One very appreciated theme is that a lot of companies are trying to find that “Game is Always Changing” niche and introduce their concept. We have some very cool products that we got to see during the show as well as the large number of cases that I mentioned earlier. We’re not going to just talk about them but we’ll be putting them through their paces in real-world situations to try to help our readers find the best value – and more importantly fit – for their mobile lifestyles.