Why doens't Apple make a ruggedized iPhone?

Bacillus

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Almost every iPhone I see has one of those God-Awful Otterbox wrappers around them? The marketplace seems to be demanding it in their choice of cases. Seems like it would make for a much sleeker phone if it was made purpose built to be rugged.

I know it will never happen, just an observation.
 

UnknownSouljer

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I'm not sure who you hang out with, but I would say I see bumper cases more often than anything. The Otterbox is still a bit of a techy thing as most consumers that buy cases probably still do it at a brick and mortar rather than a specific company website. Otterbox doesn't have huge distribution yet.

I also see a lot of people use their iPhone 4S' bare. I was just in LA at a Gastro pub, and seriously I could see at least 1 iPhone per group of 4 college kids and they were all case-less.

Apple is looking into other materials to make their iPhone more sturdy however. Rumor is the next iPhone will have an aluminum back to get rid of the shattering problem and to generally make the phone much more durable.
 

Absentee

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because they are not in the market to make a super durable phone. the people that want and need a phone like that aren't looking for an iPhone, and Apple isn't trying to be what they are looking for.

If they decided "we need to build this thing like a tank so nothing can ever break it" then they would have made an ugly phone, and it wouldn't sell in the first place.

They are always trying to find better materials to make the phone out of however, but they would not sacrifice the image the majority are looking for to satisfy the small minority with a certain functionality.


I've seen a few people with the otterbox, and when I say a few, I can maybe think of one person I've seen with one. Compared to hundreds of people I see daily using an iPhone. So why would apple redesign their product to satisfy the small majority, when it would alienate the majority of their customer base?

The phone is the functional item. The case gives it the versatility to be that rugged-ized product you are looking for, and gives Jane the option to make it the pink hello kitty product she was looking for.
 

AQ_OC

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MrGuvernment

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if they wanted a rugged phone , they wouldnt of made such a easily scratch like phone, ipad, ipod generations before...

the new iphone using gorilla glass got it better but really any phone that you want to abuse.. dont get a touch screen
 

Dew

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Almost every iPhone I see has one of those God-Awful Otterbox wrappers around them? The marketplace seems to be demanding it in their choice of cases. Seems like it would make for a much sleeker phone if it was made purpose built to be rugged.

I know it will never happen, just an observation.

Having spent the past week in Bangkok and based on previous experience. The only people that put the iPhone in an Otterbox are people that actually do shit that is likely to break their phone. I have seen literally hundreds of iPhone 4/4s' here in Bangkok over the last week and very few of them have more than a bumper or skin. I have my 4s in an IvySkin Wrangler because it provides the level of protection I need (not a lot) and makes the phone about the perfect size for my hand and pocket. In fact, the most protective case I have seen here besides my own, is a few of the leather cases with the flip-over screen protector.

So tell me, why would Apple create more SKUs? The market for cases is huge, no doubt, but it is also quite a bit about customization. Also, take into consideration that apple makes one of the most case friendly set of devices on the market.
 

Verge

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Having spent the past week in Bangkok and based on previous experience. The only people that put the iPhone in an Otterbox are people that actually do shit that is likely to break their phone. I have seen literally hundreds of iPhone 4/4s' here in Bangkok over the last week and very few of them have more than a bumper or skin. I have my 4s in an IvySkin Wrangler because it provides the level of protection I need (not a lot) and makes the phone about the perfect size for my hand and pocket. In fact, the most protective case I have seen here besides my own, is a few of the leather cases with the flip-over screen protector.

So tell me, why would Apple create more SKUs? The market for cases is huge, no doubt, but it is also quite a bit about customization. Also, take into consideration that apple makes one of the most case friendly set of devices on the market.

Really, i'm the only person i know that carries my 4s naked. EVERYBODY has a case on it. If you wife watches TMZ, even the celebrities carry their iphones in gaudy cases, and they can easily afford to buy a new on if it breaks.


If apple wanted the phone to look like an otterbox, they would have built it as such.


Naked is the way to go!
 

lamboman

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Rugged phone - designed to be tough and take a beating.

Rugged case over phone - designed to protect the phone and take a beating instead of the phone.

Nobody wants their phone to be scratched or damaged.
 

SDyar

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The Otterbox Commuter is a much better alternative to the Defender (the friggin huge one). I've dropped mine several times and there's not a scratch on it. Two of my friends don't have any sort of case on it. I would break mine in less than a week like that, but they haven't had any problems since they got it. I have a feeling that first time they drop it they will wish they had one, though...
 

slh28

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I think it's much better to build a sleek phone and let users choose if they want to carry it naked or put a huge case on it.
 

Dew

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The Otterbox Commuter is a much better alternative to the Defender (the friggin huge one). I've dropped mine several times and there's not a scratch on it. Two of my friends don't have any sort of case on it. I would break mine in less than a week like that, but they haven't had any problems since they got it. I have a feeling that first time they drop it they will wish they had one, though...

The Commuter for the 3GS was great. My favorite case (Minus the damn hole in the back). The Commuter for the 4S was garbage. The fit was all wrong, QC was lacking, still had rubber chads, and the damn case broke the first time I dropped the phone.
 

NewBlackDak

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Apple isn't going to ruin the lines of any product they sell for something a "silly" as ruggedness.

I've had a Magpul case on every iPhone I have owned(and my wife has a pink one), and they have all held up very well.
 

CEpeep

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Why not just put on the OtterBox when you need it? I don't need it at work where it just sits on my desk, but when I take my iPod Touch out for a run or on vacation I put it in an OtterBox. It's not like it's difficult to install.
 
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I think it's much better to build a sleek phone and let users choose if they want to carry it naked or put a huge case on it.

This, oh so very this.

I have a 3 cases, because I have different levels of "protection" required at different times.

90% of the time, my phone is in a transparent Incipio Featherweight case, because I like having a case, but I don't really need one. It's more of a "better safe then sorry thing".

But I also have a Otterbox and a Speck Candyshell for when I need more protection, like I do regularly as a geologist who goes in the field.

The ability to have a "thin and light" phone one day, and a ruggedized as hell phone the next is pretty nice to have when you go bouldering, backpacking, or disappear into the woods for a week (btw, solar chargers are handy!)
 

Verge

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Not sure what woods you are disappearing in, but mine don't have cell service lol. I guess you can mp3 it, but that is a lot of weight, i would get a shuffle.
 

AQ_OC

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Why not just put on the OtterBox when you need it? I don't need it at work where it just sits on my desk, but when I take my iPod Touch out for a run or on vacation I put it in an OtterBox. It's not like it's difficult to install.


+1. I have a hard candy case for just this reason. I use it when I need it.
 
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Not sure what woods you are disappearing in, but mine don't have cell service lol. I guess you can mp3 it, but that is a lot of weight, i would get a shuffle.

Hehe, I've gotten cell service in a surprisingly large number of places. I've gotten service in places where I was honestly not expecting to be within 100 miles of a cell tower (had the phone in airplane mode, just switched it over for curiosity's sake, and viola 1 bar!). Better or worse, Verizon (and the other CDMA networks) have pretty good coverage even in wacky places.

But even barring that, it's got movies and music and an alarm clock, which I occasionally need ;)

And more importantly, it has a notepad, and my to-do list, which I can add things to when I'm out working, allowing me to take notes that will auto-update to my laptop once I'm back closer to civilization.
 

Bacillus

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I'm not sure who you hang out with, but I would say I see bumper cases more often than anything. The Otterbox is still a bit of a techy thing as most consumers that buy cases probably still do it at a brick and mortar rather than a specific company website. Otterbox doesn't have huge distribution yet.

I also see a lot of people use their iPhone 4S' bare. I was just in LA at a Gastro pub, and seriously I could see at least 1 iPhone per group of 4 college kids and they were all case-less.

Apple is looking into other materials to make their iPhone more sturdy however. Rumor is the next iPhone will have an aluminum back to get rid of the shattering problem and to generally make the phone much more durable.

From the classroom. I teach at a University and see anywhere from 30 - 100 students per class. I have not done any statistics, but a majority of the phones I'm seeing have a thick protective case around them.
 

AQ_OC

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From the classroom. I teach at a University and see anywhere from 30 - 100 students per class. I have not done any statistics, but a majority of the phones I'm seeing have a thick protective case around them.

That means that students are choosing to protect their sleek Apple devices. It does not mean that students would buy a clunky "ruggedized" iPhone. I know it does sound strange but there is something to having a choice in the matter. I might go naked once I get near the end of my phones service to me..but then again, I might be able to sell it to get a new one...so why not keep it nice so that I have options later.
 

Verge

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From the classroom. I teach at a University and see anywhere from 30 - 100 students per class. I have not done any statistics, but a majority of the phones I'm seeing have a thick protective case around them.

Yup, it's like 90% of people with gaudy cases.


When the otterboxes first came out, it was like "hey look at me, i bought a 60 dollar case for my phone!!!"


Iphone4s fits perfectly in my pocket, so did my 3gs, no need for a case. Luckily i'm tech saavy i guess, so if i drop it i can replace the screen for 50 bucks.
 

AVT

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Almost every iPhone I see has one of those God-Awful Otterbox wrappers around them? The marketplace seems to be demanding it in their choice of cases. Seems like it would make for a much sleeker phone if it was made purpose built to be rugged.

I know it will never happen, just an observation.

Because I'd rather deal with scratches than have a giant brick that is painful to carry stuck in my pocket all the time.
 

Ashton

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Personally, I dont like rugged cases/phones for a very simple reason - it usually cuts reception DRASTICALLY (this comming from somone who had their Axim PDA in a steel Rhinoskin case) I've not had the bad luck of dropping my iPhone4 yet, but my iPad took a dive off a table ~4 feet onto cement and all that happened was the corner got dented, of course the iPad has a metal back, but this makes me think that a thin case is adequate protection for most people.

I did use a 3S for a while that had the giant otterbox case and really I hated it. The phone was huge and the rubber turned my pocket inside-out every time I pulled out the phone. the only reason I'm looking at cases is to have an extended battery (and if Apple would make the batteries swappable I wouldn't be looking for that) I either keep mine in an otherwise empty pocket or use a thick leather belt case that holds just about any smartphone.

You have to realize Apple is, at least in part, about style, and a ruggadized phone rarely has style to it (not knocking apple, love their products except for the closed-development ecosystem and the price)
 

Mister E

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It would increase the overall cost of the phone, which is already pretty expensive. An iPhone 4s is about $600 bucks worth of hardware/software. Adding a rugged phone shell would only make that price go higher.

If I didn't have an Otterbox, black with my white 4s which looks damn sexy if you ask me, I would have broken my new phone already. $50 was well worth it.
 

86 5.0L

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Naked is the way to go!

I've had my iPhone 4 for almost 2 years now, with about 50/50 between naked/slider case, what I learned was, yeah it feels good naked but the consequences are worse then the pros. naked my camera lens got so scratched from just being placed upon tables that it made taking pictures pointless, not to mention the insane amount of hairline scratches, also its a very slippery phone... :eek:
 

Archer1212

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rugged iPhone. ick. I will stick with my bumper case and keep the sexy it is.
 

MattyC

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if they wanted a rugged phone , they wouldnt of made such a easily scratch like phone, ipad, ipod generations before...

the new iphone using gorilla glass got it better but really any phone that you want to abuse.. dont get a touch screen


They seem pretty rough to me and I owned a StarTak (scew you Nokia memes, my StarTak had you in a fight ;) )
 

Absentee

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rugged iPhone. ick. I will stick with my bumper case and keep the sexy it is.

Same here. I have a bumper case and front and back invisible shield. I've dropped my phone more times than I can count, on every kind of surface, and it has held up great using just the bumper case. The invisible shield (not the brand name one, just a cheap knockoff) is scratched to shit though and needs replacing soon :p
 

Mr. Miyagi

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I used to have an Otterbox Defender on my iPhone 4, but it was no where near the quality of the Defender for the iPhone 3G/3GS. The silicon would stretch and not fit well around the phone after a few weeks. After being replaced three times, I switched to only a bumper and rear skin. Couldn't be happier and I haven't had a problem yet. The way I see it, there are a few good warranty options out there that will replace your phone if there is an accident.
 

NeoDiNardo

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I would pay for a more secure phone with a long lasting battery, no matter how thick it is. As it is, I carry a secondary portable battery and put my iPhone in an Otterbox Defender. Same diff.
 

Verge

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I've had my iPhone 4 for almost 2 years now, with about 50/50 between naked/slider case, what I learned was, yeah it feels good naked but the consequences are worse then the pros. naked my camera lens got so scratched from just being placed upon tables that it made taking pictures pointless, not to mention the insane amount of hairline scratches, also its a very slippery phone... :eek:

Replace the glass, replace the lens. It's a price you pay i agree, i don't have any scratches on my glass yet. But, i be very careful where i put my phone down. The aluminum band around it has some scratches for sure. Luckily parts are pretty cheap.
 

zaxour

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http://store.griffintechnology.com/motif-iphone4

I've been using the Motif since Antennagate, and this is frankly the best case I've ever had. It doesn't have that texture that clings to pocket lint, and has absorbed so many drops in parking lots it's not even funny. My phone is still in top notch condition. Adds maybe 1-2 mm of bulk, isn't gaudy. I'll definitely be buying the variant they make for the next iphone when it comes.
 

Dan

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i use a 10 dollar fodder box (fake otter box)
 

orijin

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iPhones are not meant to be ruggedized at all they will stay sleek I will not buy an iphone if it was ruggedized, which the general public would not buy IMO
 

blackhand1001

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Personally, I dont like rugged cases/phones for a very simple reason - it usually cuts reception DRASTICALLY (this comming from somone who had their Axim PDA in a steel Rhinoskin case) I've not had the bad luck of dropping my iPhone4 yet, but my iPad took a dive off a table ~4 feet onto cement and all that happened was the corner got dented, of course the iPad has a metal back, but this makes me think that a thin case is adequate protection for most people.

I did use a 3S for a while that had the giant otterbox case and really I hated it. The phone was huge and the rubber turned my pocket inside-out every time I pulled out the phone. the only reason I'm looking at cases is to have an extended battery (and if Apple would make the batteries swappable I wouldn't be looking for that) I either keep mine in an otherwise empty pocket or use a thick leather belt case that holds just about any smartphone.

You have to realize Apple is, at least in part, about style, and a ruggadized phone rarely has style to it (not knocking apple, love their products except for the closed-development ecosystem and the price)

The motorola phones are pretty stylish and I would definitely consider them more rugged than Apple phones. They have a nice industrial appeal to them.
 

Melon

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A lot of people use Otterboxes for the same reasons as they use iPhones:

It's a status symbol. (Why else do you think there's a hole cut out of the back to display the Apple logo?)
 
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