Don’t obsess over answers
Smartphone covers are mostly used by middle-age consumers.
According to IT accessories company Zenus, 73 percent of smartphone users in their 40s and 50s use a case. A friend in her late 50s said, “What if I drop the phone and it breaks?” That generation was raised to be frugal. They buy screen protectors and covers at the mobile phone stores.
But young consumers are different. Mobile phone cases are fashion and culture to them. They choose cases as carefully as the phones. The Zenus survey also showed that consumers in their 20s consider the latest design and seasonal color when buying a case. They also like to use the case as a wallet.
But those who are tech-savvy think differently. They like the phones themselves and don’t want them covered up. In fact, the grip on a phone is more solid without the case. If you don’t use a protective film, the screen responds much better. I thought the mobile phone companies would not welcome the use of the case, as their designs are optimized for use without one.
However, they didn’t miss the market opportunity for cases. The latest models are designed with cases in mind. The screen has been modified to show the time and text messages in a slot that can be seen through the window in some covers. They have extraordinary business minds.
At first, I wanted to propose getting rid of covers, thinking we may be missing out on the essence because of the supplements. When the smartphone is the core, we cover it up and fail to enjoy it fully. So I wanted to give a model answer. However, as I researched for this article, my thoughts changed. There is no solution. People use or bypass the cover to suit their needs. And companies transform their models to accommodate changes. Some may use the cover and others do not. Some use their phones until they are outdated, while others change to the latest model frequently.
There are, of course, more important things than choosing a phone cover. We all find our own way. We may deviate or get lost, but the system and boundary that we have built are solid enough not to feel nervous. What we should lose is not the phone case but the obsession to provide a correct answer. Parents who demand their children find a regular job at a prestigious company and civil servants who are pressured to come up with a correct answer should examine their phones and covers.
The author is a deputy business news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.
JoongAng Ilbo, March 21, Page 34
BY KIM YOUNG-HOON
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