Just about one-quarter of consumers are not using a case for their smartphones, either because they're not concerned about dropping their devices (Android users) or because they don't want to interfere with the design (iPhone users).
According to The NPD Group, of the nearly 25% of consumers who aren't using a case, nearly 70% of them are Android users, while 20% are iPhone users.
About one-third of these case-free Android users said they were not concerned about dropping their phone. A similar percentage of case-free iPhone users said they felt the case added too much bulk to their phone's design.
Yet the majority of smartphone users (75%) do have a case on their phones, although iPhone users are much more likely to do so than Android users. Nearly 90% of iPhone users have a case for the phones, while only 66% of Android owners use a protective case.
Higher case usage among iPhone users can partly be attributed to the wide range of cases made for Apple's devices, although another factor may be to protect their device. According to the research, 27% of iPhone owners classified themselves as “quality protectors” compared with 13% of Android owners who considered themselves the same.
iPhone owners are also more likely to own multiple cases over their phone's lifespan. According to the research, nearly half (49%) of iPhone owners have used more than one case for their phone. (About a quarter of them own more than one case simply to change their phone's appearance.)
Regardless of the reasons, having a quarter of the market not using cases could provide openings for more accessory makers. According to NPD's Retail Tracking Service, unit sales of mobile phone cases have grown 17% while smartphone device sales have increased 24%.
“The mobile phone protection market now includes a variety of brands, features, and price points that appeal to nearly any type of smartphone owner,” said Ben Arnold, executive director, industry analysis at NPD, in a release. “However, there is still a good portion of the consumer market not using them and in an effort to appeal to that segments we could begin to see a focus in the market on ultra-slim case form factors and materials that both protect and maintain the phone's design integrity.”