The Cost of a Cool iPhone

This article is from the archive of our partner .

In our individuality obsessed culture, the only way to make one's iPhone hipper than the rest is to spend lots of money customizing the device. Though Apple only gives buyers two color choices, eager-to-stand-out iPhone owners have taken their gadget's look into their own hands. Going beyond the $30, or so, not-so-permanent iPhone cases available at the Apple store, our individuals have shelled out many more bucks to modify the shells of their phones, per a New York Times article by Jenna Wortham. "I want everything to be eccentric," musician Kelly Dwyer told Wortham. Dwyer still has the same phone as the rest of us, but for $150 Dwyer bought eccentricity, commissioning a candy apple red front and honeybee yellow back for her iPhone. You too can attain this level of originality with the following over-the-top -- yet unique -- custom iPhone casings.

Heck Yes America

For $1,100 ColorWare design studio allows iPhone owners to customize every inch of the phone, including the back, front frame, front button and even the SIM card tray. There's also a matte option for an extra $10. With 46 color options, including solid, metallic and pearl veneers, one could choose various palettes. If we had $1,100 kicking around, we'd go for this patriotic red, white and blue theme, because where else but in American, can this type of pure consumerism flourish?

Recommended Reading

The Natural Gadget

For those who find the iPhone too electronic, Material 6's $89 to $99 handmade custom designed wooden backs should take care of that problem. "The company was built out of a desire to enhance what they felt was an astounding and functional design that nonetheless lacked a certain warmth and durability that only organic materials can provide," explains the company's About page. Designers get nine wood-types to choose from, or for the more adventurous, the company offers an art series. Either way, the phone now looks a bit more au natural.

The Naked Phone

iFixit provides the cheapest way to look cool, with its transparent rear glass panel replacement for the back casing of the phone. It only costs $29.95 to expose the innards "like a window into the soul of the iPhone." But, as this caters to the tech-nerd crowd, the price doesn't include installation. iFixit has an easy explanation vid, though. 

Cool kid secret, though: following the rule of cool, the coolest iPhone is the iPhone that doesn't try to look cool. If you really want to have the hippest looking phone around, stick with no case at all. You'll give off the whole, "whatever, I don't care what my phone looks like, it's just a phone," vibe. Nobody likes a try-hard phone.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.