Say what you will about the iPhone 4’s aesthetics, but whereas the previous iPhones had rounded, Fisher-Price-ian edges for comfort, the Cupertino’s latest iteration has four relatively sharp corners per edge. It’s always felt a bit more built for cyborgs than fleshy human hands.
Ag++ is an iPhone case by designer Andrea Ponti and Case Logic that blatantly challenges Apple’s approach. It’s rigid and durable, carved from a block of aluminum. But at the same time, it’s cognizant of your hands, with a two-part screw-lock design that accommodates the phone’s contact points with your meat mitts.
“I think Apple doesn’t need an ergonomic approach. They probably prefer ‘the perfection of symmetry,’” writes Ponti. “But when you design a case or any accessory, you cannot just follow Apple’s style. That’s why we wanted something different, asymmetric and ergonomic.”
We can probably argue the merits of each approach all day, but one thing’s for sure: Ponti’s different approach struck a chord with Apple loyalists. The Ag++ has been very successful for Case Logic. Yet oddly enough, it’s been this successful without solving the iPhone’s fundamental durability problem.
You see, Ag++ adds protection and ergonomics to the iPhone’s frame, but it does nothing to protect the (most?) commonly broken front or back glass, which can still land flat on cement or concrete. It makes you wonder about the consumer of such a product–did they not consider that durability scenario, or were they simply so enamored with a more grip-friendly iPhone that they didn’t really care?
Either way, it’s an interesting lesson. Ag++ didn’t need to solve every iPhone woe to become a successful product in the bloated case marketplace; they just needed to solve one that most other competitors hadn’t.