The iPhone 4 Product No One is Talking About: Bumpers

At the big iPhone 4 announcement on Monday, a few other things slipped through the cracks that don’t seem to be getting a lot of press. These colored iPhone bands are called Bumpers, and they act as a case for the stainless steel wrap around the phone. I don’t know if they’re made of silicone, plastic, or carbon fiber, but I do know that they come in colors: white, black, blue, green, orange, or pink. So why is this a big deal?

Apple has a strong accessory base, and many different manufacturers make cases for every Apple product under the sun. One of my favorites, incase, has a really cool slider case that I plan on getting for my new iPhone 4 when I get it later this month. So why the band? What’s the point?

My first thought was that Apple wanted to get into the case business, like they did with the iPad. But this isn’t really a case as much as it is a splash of color. It doesn’t protect any of the surfaces, really, so why even buy one? I figure that Apple has received a ton of requests for colored iPhones, and just doesn’t want 30 SKUs for all of the various versions. Imagine six different color iPhones with two different storage models each, then imagine working out distribution of those products between their retail stores and AT&T.

I’m going to stick with my incase setup, but I can see some people buying a bumper. Will you?

Comments

  1. Dennis Hill says:

    If Bumpers extend above and below the front and back planes of the iPhone, then laying it down flat will not scratch the glass, right? If this is so, then I will definitely go for Bumpers. Anybody know about this?

  2. I think that these will actually protect the surfaces. I Googled them and came across this image (http://www.iphoneuserguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Screen-shot-2010-06-08-at-2.06.18-PM1.png). The case extends beyond the front and back surface and will protect the front and back from things like falls just as well as a full wrap around case will.

  3. spudgeek says:

    Although you make a good point that the bumpers offer color personalization and should appease those who want multiple color offerings for the iPhone, I disagree that the bumpers are just for a splash of color. I hate to put a case on my iphone. I love the sleek design of the iPhone and hate to add heft to it by enveloping it in a case. I’ve often wished a case company would produce a band for the circumference of the phone to protect it in a fall yet not bulk it out. In theory the bumper should protect the device as much as a case. If you think about it the bumper should protect all areas of the device in a fall as long as the bumper extends beyond the thickness of the device.

  4. robert1014 says:

    I think it spoils the beauty of the brushed metal, but I’ll wait and see how fragile I think the new iPhone will be, as well as how utilitarian Bumpers will be before making a decision. We also have to see what cases other manufacturers will be offering.

  5. I like the idea of the Bumper but I don’t think I like the Bumper. I think the price is a little ridiculous for what they give you too. I wish more companies would start giving these minimalistic cases a shot.

    @robert Agreed, the Bumper will cover up the nice siding of the iPhone but then again what case won’t?

  6. fotostuf says:

    iLuv has something that looks like a Bumper for $24.99
    http://i-luv.com/product_detail.asp?idx=1517&keyword
    Not sure if it is the same thing though…

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