How I Crafted My Own iPhone 6 Case Solution Just in time for CES

Unlike the early days of Apple iOS hardware, finding cases for newly released Apple hardware has become relatively easy, especially when you compare it to the availability of the devices themselves. Within a few days of receiving my iPhone 6, a couple of manufacturers sent me samples. With CES coming up, I’m sure I will see and experience a wide variety of cases within the next few weeks, some variations on existing themes in larger sizes, and others, inspired by Apple’s venture into largess, that are new innovations.

So far I have spent time creating my own innovative solutions, as I mixed and matched cases from multiple sources.

What has driven me to modify the cases I’ve received? Some of it is experience and some of it is hardware. On the experience side, I spent a good hour removing goo from an iPhone 5s as I handed it off to my wife. That goo came from a “removable” backing I had attached to the iPhone. I want to avoid that on my beautiful new gold iPhone 6.

The hardware piece comes into play when using cases that don’t work well with other accessories and charging solutions, including those from Apple. There are two main forms of charging: wide connectors and short connectors. I have both. The Apple 25-pin converter from Apple works fine without a case, for instance, or with any case that is completely open on the bottom. Wrap around the base even a tiny bit, and the connector doesn’t insert correctly. As for cables, many from third-parties feature bigger strain reliefs than standard Apple cables. That means if you want to use a cable other than Apple’s, you need to make some choices about your case.

Here is what I did:

The first items to arrive were from Cellairis (note these were preview cases and therefore don’t have directly equivalent products on the website). Because I purchased a gold iPhone 6, I wanted to leave the gleam at least a little visible, so I opted for the gold-toned clear case with a separate bumper. I like the cover, and even though the bumper was a bit stiff on the button pushing, it worked. Unfortunately, it didn’t work with the Apple 25-pin-to-Lightning converter. But given my limited choices, I went with it, and for awhile, I charged with a standard Apple Lightning cable.

I also received a Cellairis Diary (similar to the Cellairis bespoke trilogy diary for Apple iphone 6 plus - smooth black), but given the goo issue I didn’t want to paste my new phone directly to the Diary’s adhesive, and I didn’t want to paste the case down directly either, so I got creative. I go to many conferences and have a number of non-slip, super sticky, but removable, rubber pads. I use them on my desk to secure my Tardis USB hub and Apple TV. I cut one of those sticky mats down to fit the interior of the diary and then pasted it to the adhesive, which made the interior of the diary sticky enough to secure a phone, but with no fear that the case or the phone would ever be permanently gooed up.

I then received an Active Series case from Tech Armor ($19.95), which was one piece, but it also wrapped around the bottom of the iPhone 6. So I went into the garage and grabbed a pair of wire cutters and took out the bottom of the case. Yes, it left the iPhone a bit more exposed on the bottom, but it also allowed it to charge in the Swissvoice ePure Bluetooth Mobile Bluetooth Station. The ePure is made for the old 25-pin Apple connector, so I have it outfitted with the short Apple Lightning adaptor. After removing the bottom of the case, the iPhone 6 fit snuggly on the charging station. The Active Series case wasn’t as smooth as the Cellairis case, but it adhered well enough to the rubber matt in the Cellairis Diary, especially when it was closed. And because it wasn’t too locked in, the phone could be easily removed for taking flash pictures (with the extra thickness of the rubber matt, the camera worked fine in the daylight, but the opening on the diary case interfered with the flash, making images look hazy).

Most recently, I received a Moshi iGlaze XT ($29.95) case that was completely clear and already open at the bottom. It adhered well to the diary, but removed easily. And that is the combination I’m taking to the Consumer Electronics Show.  

As I walk the show floor, I’ll be keeping a keen eye out for the ideal case, and I’ll test all comers. Stay tuned for my evaluations and for my recommendations on cases for different lifestyles and situations. By the end of the show, I’ll probably be looking for a new case for my feet.

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Daniel Rasmus's picture

Author Details

Daniel Rasmus

Daniel W. Rasmus is the Founder and Principal Analyst at Serious Insights. He is the author of Listening to the Future, Management by Design and Sketches of Spain and Other Poems. Rasmus teaches at Bellevue College where he teaches Social Media and Personal Branding.