At $125 an ounce, the 8GB iPhone is not quite worth it’s price in gold with gold coming in at $665 / oz, but it is definitely more valuable than silver at $13 / oz.
Most valuable things require insurance, although there is no official insurance plan for the iPhone at the current time: Applecare will soley be a warranty extension. Fortunately, reports have shown that the iPhone is more durable than expected, thanks to the glass screen, but we think that this precious metal deserves a little extra protection.
Protection comes in a few flavors. You have iPhone cases that help you carry the iPhone and also prevent any scrapes from any bumping and grinding during your everyday affairs. You have screen protection, which has evolved from the acetate films and scotch tape used on the early PDAs to high tech, extremely durable materials. And finally you have body protection, in the form of protective films that protect the entire iPhone. Today we compare offerings from all over to find the products that can stand up to the demands of properly protecting your iPhone.
Body and Screen Protection:
Over the past few years, the demand for protection of an entire electronic device has evolved. We’ve all seen the videos of someone going at a protected iPod with a set of keys or trying to push a pen through the protective membrane. All these products began in other applications. The initial applications include films to protect helicopter blades, nose cones on jet air craft, lights on aircraft landing gear, and NASCAR race cars. These materials have improved to be used as general paint protection films, you may have seen them used most recently as clear bra material for cars.
3M was the first manufacturer of this material in the form of their 3M Scotchgard paint protection film. It is a urethane plastic 8mil film with 2mil of that being the adhesive. I spoke to a fellow at a company that makes pain protection films and he explained that over time, the demand for these products has increased significantly, but also the expectations. In the early days, people just wanted protection from the elements, over time that changed to people who wanted the best aesthetic performance as well.
One of the initial criticisms was that these films were not truly invisible. They were not completely clear, would yellow over time, and had horrible orange peel effects. If your car is already plagued with orange peel paint like most new cars using water-based paint, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, etc, then a little more orange peel wouldn’t hurt, but if you got a wet sanded paint finish by hand, then you couldn’t live with the orange peel. So there are many new companies on the market making films with greater clarity and less optical distortion than the original 3M stuff. Here is an example of the Venture brand screen protection at work. Image courtesy of MachIII.net
Back to the iPhone now. I asked all these companies if they would disclose what their material source was, and not surprisingly all declined to reveal their source. Most were very forthcoming in that this product was used in other applications, such as paint protection. One of the manufacturers of these next generation paint protection films did say that they were involved in making “iPod” protection products.
The ideal screen protection would be completely invisible, have no optical distortions, while also retaining an as close to stock feel, with scratch protection and scratch resistance. In the early days, PDA screen protection would dull your display and scratch very easily, the argument was that it was better to sacrifice the screen protector than your screen. The protective film that the iPhone arrives on at first glance looks like it would serve as a good screen protector, but after only 1 week of use it starts to show a large amount of microscratches and swirl marks, overall dulling your iPhone experience.
No, I did not let me car dealer prep my iPhone
This is what it is supposed to look like