Why do we even need smartphone cases?

It’s rare to go anywhere these days and not see a smartphone. You’ll see them in one of two states; either with scratches, shatters and dings, or carefully wrapped up in a case. A case that’s cost the best part of thirty bucks or more. Why do we put up with it?
Alex handed The Wumpus a few Galaxy S4 cases to test out the other week; specifically the Cygnett Form High Gloss Slim Case and Cygnett FitGrip Hybrid Active Case.
They’re cases. They go over your Galaxy S4. Can I go now, please?
OK, the High Gloss case is solid and predictably glossy, with the slight downside of being even more slippery. The FitGrip case hugs around the S4 in a very solid fashion, although it does make the S4 absolutely massive. Both cases come with screen protectors. The FitGrip will cost you $34.95, while the Gloss is a little cheaper at $24.95.
Cygnett does this stuff, and Cygnett does it pretty well, but in testing them, The Wumpus got thinking.
The Wumpus gets why if you’re a worker in a high-risk environment one of the chunkier heavy duty cases makes sense. But leaving that aside, doesn’t the existence of a case industry imply that manufacturers just aren’t making their phones strong enough?
Why, exactly, should consumers have to make the existing designs thicker with a chunk of plastic in order to protect them? Why shouldn’t actual phone designers build that kind of rugged thinking into the phones themselves?
You can’t protect from every kind of accident with a mobile device, but isn’t telling consumers that you’re going to have to put thirty bucks worth of plastic around a phone that costs north of six hundred bucks just a little bit ludicrous?

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