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In the 80’s and early 90’s mobile phones were a luxury item that were owned by rich important people and spoiled teenagers at Bayside High. The mobile phone scene changed forever in March of 1998 when Nokia introduced the 5110. This phone not only featured the beloved game Snake but it was the first time we saw interchangeable faceplates on a mobile phone. So if you were looking pretty in pink that meant your phone could too! Nokia ran commercials aimed at the young adult market featuring their new mobile phone that allowed the “freedom to express yourself” with their Xpress-On covers that snapped on in a second. Selling over 160 million units, the Nokia 5110 started a mobile phone explosion around the world. Mobile phone marketing now relied on the embodiment of youth along with modernism as well as futurism.
Nokia’s product placement in shows like Beverly Hills 90210 and Friends along with movies such as James Bond, The Matrix, and the Minority Report continued to tug on the purse strings of the young adult community while they continued to develop their devices. In 2000, the Nokia 3310 allowed for not only an interchangeable faceplate but a back plate as well. Keeping with the tradition of the mobile phone as a luxury item, in 2004 Nokia introduced the 7200 which was dubbed the Louis Vuitton phone. This mobile phone featured a fabric or leather case cover that made it stand out. Also in 2004, Motorola introduced their V600 with a limited number being studded in Swarvoski crystals. In China it became common to add gems to your mobile phone as gems represent esteem and good fortune. The mobile phone began to be seen as an extension of identity and consumers were more concerned with how cool it looked.
This is a trend that was seen around the world. As mobile phones evolved so did the cases and covers for them. With the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 we began to see durable cases made for protection instead of cases solely for looks and even cases that can multi task and hold credit cards. However, with companies like Gucci, Michael Kors, and Marc Jacobs producing mobile phone cases, it is evident they will always be seen as a luxurious fashion accessory. It has become common to see articles in fashion magazines instructing their readers what their choice in mobile phone case says about them. Customizable mobile phone cases allow the user to express themselves through their favorite sports team, movies, television shows, catchphrases, or simply a picture of a loved one. There has even been controversy of lately among lawmakers in Minnesota who are seeking to ban a mobile phone case that looks like a gun.
In 2014, mobile phone cases accounted for more than 20% of all mobile phone accessory sales worldwide. Consumers have come a long way from simply changing the color of the faceplate of the Nokia 5110 to match their attire. You may have noticed the phone case market has shifted as the mobile phone evolved with more and more mobile phones in recent years being produced to be more durable, rugged, and some models even water proof from the factory, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. Both of which carry an IP68 rating which means they can handle typical spills, splashes and dunks. They are tested to be water resistant up to 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. This shift has in turn changed the consumer’s eye to more designer, graphic, and custom phone cases which may be produced with your own picture or design resulting in a unique experience for each customer. The mobile phone cases of today have the power to celebrate fond memories, make political statements, and maybe even land you in jail one day so choose yours wisely.
Let us put your favorite picture on your phone! We can use an...