When purchasing a iPhone case or the case for your iPod Touch, or case for any kind of device for that matter, we are bombarded with many choices here at Campad Electronics. This is specially true when you are looking to buy a case online like in say Amazon. For iPhone at least, there are literally hundreds of quality cases from more than a dozen manufacturers. When I tried to walkthrough some of the criteria you should use when purchasing a case, I mentioned material used for making the case as one of these criteria. I have tried to put together some information regarding many of these case/cover materials in a series of upcoming posts. Here I will specifically list down advantages and disadvantages of leather cases or covers made of leather.
Leather cases are just one of many options available to a case buyer today but we know not too far long ago, leather ruled the case market and leather was default choice for a quality case for phones, PDAs, laptops, music players etc. Now we have an array of case materials like Silicone, TPU, Polycarbonate, Acrylic, Fabric, Leather etc. competing with each other to make themselves part of your favorite iPhone case or iPod Touch case.
When going for a leather case, be aware of below facts about leather cases and covers.
Advantages of Leather cases and covers -
- Leather has a soft, smooth feel to it which makes people go for it. The texture of the leather cases is easily appealing to many.
- Many think leather imparts a luxury look and feel to the case/cover which cannot be surpassed by any other material.
- Easy to clean, does not catch dust or linen easily unlike certain other case types like the Silicone Cases. It is easy to just wipe off the dust.
- With minimal maintenance, quality leather cases can retain their soft, smooth, shiny new look for many years. Plastic cases tend to scratch, loose their gloss/shine easily while Silicone cases are prone to catch dust and linen and can tear on the surface. I have some leather cases that I bought for my Palm PDAs in the 1990s which still look pretty good.
- Leather is quite flexible like fabric yet have longer durability. Leather cases are probably easiest to install among all case types; it is so easy to put your iPhone or iPod Touch into a leather case and take out of it. And this can be done many times a day without hurting the case or device itself.
- Hipsters or Holster cases offer significant advantages to its buyer and often have a leather exterior/interior. Again, the property of leather that allows the iPhone or iPod to be easily placed into and out of the case multiple times daily makes them ideal candidates for holsters and hipsters.
- Wallets and bags are made of leather. This makes it easy for manufacturers to come up with leather cases which can be a wallet to hold cash/credit cards while acting as a protective case for your iPhone or iPod. This advantage does not exist with plastic or silicone cases.
Leather cases carry some serious disadvantages -
- Leather cases tend to increase the bulk significantly for a device. The nature of these cases makes them cover the device on all sides including the front. You either take out the device from the case to use your device for say, answering a call (for example, see hipster case and signature leather case from Case-mate). Other types of leather cases come with a front flap which needs to be pulled out to start using the device (e.g., DLO leather case). Additionally, to fasten the front flap covering the front, the leather case needs an additional Velcro strap or a magnetic or button strap. All these add to the volume of the device itself, making your iPhone or iPod take the shape of a mini day planner or diary.
- Leather cases make the device awkward and inconvenient to use. As I say above, you need to either remove the device from the case or at least pull out the front flap to start using your device. Further, leather cases are often loose fitting and hence can cover parts of the screen making it difficult to read or type on the edges of the iPhone or iPod Touch screen. The iPod Touch or iPhone controls may not be exposed with required openings missing. For example, the loose-fit nature can make finding the volume controls or on/off controls difficult. Since installing and remove the iPhone or iPod Touch into and out of the case is easy, case manufacturers expect you to remove the device from the case to perform certain functions like placing the device on the docking station. In summary, unlike many of their Silicone or TPU counterparts, leather cases cannot support seamless operation of device with the case on.
- Leather, if left unused, can attract fungus/moulds leading to degradation. When attacked by moulds, leather can acquire white spots or grain marks. Water, humid weather and moisture hurt leather, stain it and can attract moulds. Once stained or infected with moulds, it is hard to get the leather cleaned and cure them of moulds.
- Leather cases are prone to cuts and scrapes when they come in contact with sharp objects.
- Leather cases, if thin, may not offer good protection for the devices during falls or drops. Also, since they fit the iPhone or iPod Touch loosely, chances of device popping out of case is much higher with leather cases as compared with cases made of Silicone which are typically snug-fit cases. Kids playing with the case can make the device to come out of the leather case easily by holding the case in the wrong angle/direction.
- Quality leather cases can be expensive. If you are already carrying a leather wallet or bag of sufficient size with you most of the time, probably you can skip buying a case for your iPod Touch or iPhone and instead carry the device inside the wallet or bag.
- Leather is not eco-friendly. Leather production results in significant wastes and pollution during tanning and transformation process.
- Little or no choice of colors unlike the Silicone or Plastic cases.
To summarize, leather cases have significant pluses and minuses when it comes to iPhone or iPod Touch Case. One thing to note is that leather, being flexible, lends itself to variety of case designs. There are umpteen number of ways to come up with a great leather case, limited only by the imagination of the case designers and manufacturers. The aim is to maximize value for the customers while minimizing deficiencies. In addition to the above listed advantages and disadvantages, specific leather cases carry their own set of strengths and issues. Do make sure you consider them carefully before purchasing a leather case for your iPhone or iPod Touch.