Case Companies Tout Samsung GS2 Cases Alongside iPhone, iPad Cases
The worldwide popularity of the Samsung Galaxy S 2 and its impending release in the U.S. has prompted case manufacturers to focus on producing GS2 cases to fill the void caused by the iPhone 5‘s late release.
When it comes to the gadget case market, Apple’s gadgets dominate the conversation. Most of the top consumer electronics accessories companies like Belkin and Griffin have long focused on the iPhone as their bread and butter for generating revenues. Even the entire throng of Android smartphones fail to garner the attention of consumers looking to clothe their favorite Droid in new duds.
Just to give you an idea of the disparity, let’s look at Google Search’s data for case-related keywords: the keyword phrase “iPhone case” garners 2.74 million monthly searches worldwide, while the keyword “Android case” — which is much more broad of a search term — receives only 22,200 searches monthly. Even an Adnroid-specific keyword like “htc incredible case” gets just over 27,000 searches. This data alone explains why iPhone and iPad cases are a big business, and why case manufacturers have so much to gain or lose by being “first to market” with iPhone cases that fit the newest iPhone.
It is also why Apple seems keen on penetrating this market themselves with bumpers and Smart Covers.
But in the wake of this drawn-out wait for the iPhone 5, the world’s top case manufacturers have begun to focus a greater level of attention on one of the iPhone 5′s assumed competitors, the Samsung Galaxy S 2.
In spite of the fact that Android users at present do not seem to be quite as passionate about their smartphone cases as iPhone users, the impressive sales of the GS2 throughout the world has led case companies to take notice, and begin to craft unique cases for Samsung’s flagship smartphone model. And the worldwide sales of the Galaxy S 2 serves as a harbinger of how sales will be in the U.S., once the GS2 launches there in full swing.
The interesting thing about the GS2 in comparison to the iPhone 5 is that, because the device has already been on the market in Europe, Asia, and beyond, case companies don’t have to speculate on its specs and form factor — they have the real deal to work with.
The GS2 Cases: An Overview
So, fellow iPhone 5′ers, shall we prospect a little into the GS2 cases?
While case companies like Case-Mate try to leverage the iPhone 5 buzz with best guesses, they have managed to put up a healthy crop of GS2 cases in some of their trop designs, such as the “Barely There” and “Signature Flip” cases.
On balance, I’m not particularly excited about Case-Mate’s GS2 cases, but that’s probably because I’m not very jazzed about the GS2 in general. But what I do find interesting is that they have prominently featured them on their website and are preparing to offer cases that will fit both versions once they hit the U.S. in the Fall.
Otterbox, who makes some of the sturdiest iPhone cases out there, have been a little less enthusiastic about their GS2 case production, but they are offering a model that it very much in keeping with their design ethics and aesthetics. For my money, I prefer the lines of this case to what I saw from all of Case-Mate’s designs, since it adds some interesting bevels (not bezels) to the pedestrian lines of the GS2. That being said, I wouldn’t this design adapted for the iPhone 5 — whether it turns out to be an overhauled form factor or a borrowing of the iPhone 4.
UNIEA has gone in a completely different direction with their new crop of GS2 cases by featuring a whole line of youth-focused designs that are priced way lower to fit teenagers’ part-time job budgets. Opting out of the decidedly geeky case designs that often dominate the case market, they seem to be going for simpler PC plastic cases for the GS2 that reach out to users under 30 (or maybe even under 25).
It remains to be seen if the Samsung Galaxy S 2 can come to rival Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod in the youth demographic, but if it is truly going to compete with the iPhone 5, it would necessarily have to find its way into the hands of youth users as much as more mature customers. Because Apple’s brand is considered to be decidedly cool (believed by all except HTC America’s CEO), Samsung has a long way to go to become a part of pop culture like Apple has. Thus, UNIEA’s gambit on their GS2 cases may or may not pan out.
It should also be noted that, for as much as some of these companies are ratcheting up their case R&D for the Samsung Galaxy S 2, there are still plenty of holdouts — and they happen to be some of the biggest case companies in the world. Belkin, for example, shows no signs of accommodating the GS2. Neither does Griffin — all they offer is a universal-fit holster for Samsung smartphones. This isn’t a coincidence, either: no two case manufacturers garner as much distribution in the U.S. as these two companies — they are closely aligned with Apple, and are even sold at apple.com (along with Speck and Incase, who also have not ramped up GS2 case production ahead of the iPhone 5′s release. Do you think that’s a coincidence?)
When you get your iPhone 5, will you be putting a case around it right away?