I came to the smartphone game pretty late - only investing in one in November 2012. One big reason was that I was only weeks away from the 2012 ASPO-USA Conference, and I figured that smartphone features would come in real handy while constantly running around that week for the conference - and I was right, my phone saved the day more than a few times during the trip.
When smartphone usage crossed the 50% mark in 2012, I knew my days of holding out with my dumbphone were numbered. But one of the things that always frightened me about the devices - the price! Not the price of purchase - the price of replacement - the thought that I was carrying around a tiny gold bar that could be rendered useless by a small drop, dip in the pool, or thief in the night. Before the smartphone, I never really thought about it. If something happened to my dumbphone - oh well, it was really old anyway and I had my contacts elsewhere. My MP3 player? That cost maybe $35 - no big loss there.
But now it was different, I had joined the smartphone masses and had to stand guard against its very expensive destruction. Thoughts that were well established since my greeting upon meeting some of my friends is "What the heck happened to your phone?" as I notice the sratches or screens shattered in one of five places. "Oh such-and-such happened" they'd casually answer before going back to swiping the screen as if the cracks weren't there.
My Lookout account guards a little against the fear of the phone walking away. But what about the smashing against the concrete part? Before I purchased the smartphone, a lot of research sent me to Otterbox. And while it was pricey, I figured it's a lot LESS expensive than replacing a broken phone. The products arrived, I snapped the Otterbox onto the phone - and didn't think about it again.
Sure enough, almost five months into the phone, my time finally arrived for the phone to slip out of my coat pocket after a bartender asked me to move it. That slow motion effect where you see the phone falling, but your arm - stuck in real time - is too slow to actually do anything about it. It bounces twice, landed on its face, while the back of the Otterbox flew off, showing me actual back of the smartphone, something I hadn't seen in months. Picked it back up, dusted it off, reattached the back cover - and everything was fine - no screen scratches, cracks. or chips and everything worked fine.
Even when I had a dumbphone - dropping my electronic devices is something I rarely do, even on my worst nights. But eventually it caught up to me, and on a couple bounces on the stony floor of a Maryland Irish pub, the Otterbox easily paid for itself.