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iPhone Redesign Total Pain for Cellphone Case Makers

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So the Verizon iPhone (cue: angels, trumpets, harp, burst of sunshine, confetti, marching band, 4 Navy F-18s flyover….incredible!!!!) is structurally a little different than the AT&T model. The mute button, for example, has been shifted over a few millimeters.

For consumers, no big deal.

But for the cellphone case industry, it’s nothing short of a total pain in the ass.

The WSJ reports:

The plastic and silicone sheaths which protect devices from scratches often fit so precisely that they'll need to be redesigned. Case makers say product cycles are relentless and the marketplace is brutally competitive.

Although the costs for manufacturing cases aren't that different from other injection-molded products, which include everything from industrial parts to toy cars, the relentless pace at which new phones are released drives up prices, makers say.

Because new phones are introduced so frequently, case makers have a limited time to recoup their development costs and turn a profit.

New versions of the iPhone have cropped up about every year since its debut, which gives case makers scant time to sell their inventory before the next upgrade.

Android’s are even more difficult to accommodate, given the sheer variety of the devices. Plus, they often have shorter product cycles than the iPhone, the Journal reports.

Most cases retail around $30. For consumers, not the end of the world. That is unless of course you dabble in so-called luxury cellphone cases.

You might be a little miffed if you had, for example, dropped $149.99 on the Swarovski Wildcat, or worse, $100,000 “Golden Delicious” case.

In any event, while the rest of the world celebrates joyously the release of the Verizon iPhone, it’s always good to remember that there are some people out there for whom the shifting of a button just a few millimeters is total nightmare.

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