In this smartphone era, protective phone cases are more than just a fashion statement – it’s a crucial accessory for safeguarding one’s smartphone against bumps and drops.
Nevertheless, with a wide range of options available in the market, wholesaling the right phone case can be a huge task. That’s why we’ll take a look at the six most common phone case materials, highlighting their unique features, as well as pros and cons, and equipping wholesalers with the knowledge needed to make targeted sourcing decisions.
Why phone cases have business potential
In the past decade, the high demand for smartphone protection has revolutionized the phone case market into a lucrative force. According to Grand View Research, the global phone case market was estimated to be worth US $21.89 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3% from 2023 to 2030.
This surge is a result of increasing purchases and usage of smartphones globally, along with consumers’ growing need to protect their valuable smartphones.
In addition, consumers’ evolving preferences for stylish, durable, and robust phone cases are fueling different trends in the segment. As a result, businesses will want to source various materials to cater to the specific needs of their target market.
Different types of phone case materials to choose from
Below we’ll look at the six different phone case materials that are preferred by consumers:
Hard plastic phone cases are typically crafted from polycarbonate or polypropylene and are preferred for their robust nature.
Hard plastic ensures consistent protection against scratches during daily smartphone use, thus, sustaining the device’s condition in the long term.
In addition, hard plastic cases prevent the accumulation of dust and debris in the phone, protecting its buttons and ports, etc.
- Highly durable
- Customizable as they come in a wide range of colors and designs
- Very affordable
- A smooth surface often leads to slippage and less grip
- Only one layer of protection, so may not be able to withstand high-impact damage
Leather phone cases, unlike plastic, typically give an air of elegance and luxury. Thus, it is preferred among customers seeking a more smart, professional appearance.
Since most of these cases are crafted from genuine or synthetic leather, they provide a supple, comfortable texture alongside an elegant visual appearance.
In a nutshell, leather phone cases are sought by consumers for their fashionable aesthetic, fitting both casual and formal occasions.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Feels good to touch
- Not always a reliable protective case against high-impact damage
- Requires regular maintenance and care
- Not as durable as other phone case materials
- Not vegan-friendly when it comes to genuine leather
- Expensive compared to other materials
Silicone phone cases are recognized for their flexible nature, rigid grip, and shock-absorbing capabilities. They are therefore a great choice for consumers who are looking for consistent protection against accidental drops and impacts.
Silicone is also known for its soft and malleable properties, making it easy to install and remove without causing damage to the device.
- Effective grip
- Lightweight and slim in nature
- Provides reliable protection via shock-absorbing capabilities
- Not always the most durable and can wear down
- Can accumulate dust and debris
- More rigid cases may catch on uneven surfaces, causing scratches and abrasions
Rubber phone cases are widely known for their resilient and impact-resistant nature. Hence, most consumers with an active lifestyle or working in extreme conditions prefer this option. In addition, its grippy texture ensures convenience for daily smartphone users.
Rubber has tremendous shock-absorption capabilities, providing a reliable layer of protection against accidental drops, impacts, dust, and debris.
- Highly robust
- Provides protection against extreme conditions and damage
- Easy to maintain and clean
- Not easily customizable for consumers who prefer aesthetics and design
- Can be expensive
- Can make smartphones feel bulky and heavy
Wooden phone cases are valued for their environmentally friendly and heightened aesthetic appeal, adding a touch of warmth and sophistication to a smartphone.
Since they are crafted from various types of wood, including bamboo, walnut, and maple, wood cases provide unique patterns and textures, making them attractive to a range of consumer tastes.
In addition, wood feels nice to the touch, adding a smooth tactile feel.
- A great choice for environmentally conscious consumers
- Lightweight, and minor scratch and impact-resistant
- Aesthetically appealing
- Not as robust as other materials
- Can break easily
- Not ideal in moist environments
- Can be expensive
The final type of case on this, metal phone cases, are known for their sleek and premium look, giving smartphones a more modern appeal.
Metal phone cases are usually crafted from materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, or titanium. Hence, one can expect these cases to provide exceptional durability and robustness, protecting devices from various forms of damage.
- Provides superior strength for reliable protection
- Sleek appearance adds a touch of elegance to smartphones
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Can make smartphones feel bulky and heavy
- Can still be prone to scratches and dents
- Heat conducting property means they easily absorb heat and cold
- Relatively low supply in the market
Other factors to consider when sourcing phone cases
Phone case materials play a crucial role when it comes to a consumer’s phone case buying decision. Apart from the material, it is important to acknowledge other factors that play into buying decisions, such as:
When sourcing phone cases, it is important to consider the credibility and reputation of the manufacturer. Opt for well-established and trusted brands to ensure high-quality assurance and customer support.
Phone case design
The design of the phone case also plays a significant role in a consumer’s choice, with people wanting everything from sleek to minimalistic to vibrant, etc.
Essentially, you should look to source a phone case that aligns with your target audience’s style and requirements. Learning about their recent purchases or interviewing them can be a great way to narrow down the ideal phone material case to stock.
It also pays to stay informed about recent market trends, helping businesses to make strategic decisions when sourcing particular types of phone cases.
Analyze commonly preferred materials, color schemes, and designs so as to stand more chances in meeting your target audience’s requirements and maximizing profitability.
It may seem obvious, but you should prioritize the protective factor of the phone cases you stock. Smartphones are increasingly becoming our world, storing our pictures, work, and memories, so it’s integral that consumers feel they can trust their phone case.
Looking for capabilities such as shock absorption, strengthened corners, and raised edges for additional screen and camera protection.
When sourcing phone cases, it is essential to settle your budget beforehand and establish a firm buying strategy. Since there is a wide range of options available in the market, it’s important to determine a price range that aligns with your business spending capacity. The best strategy is to opt for materials that are affordable and also provide the best capabilities to your specific target market.
Choosing the right phone case material can be a make-or-break factor for a phone case business. From the robust nature of hard plastic to the sustainable elegance of wood, each type of phone case material has its unique facets, along with its pros and cons.
First, you must establish your specific target market’s requirements and source phone case materials and accessories accordingly. To get an idea of the options available, browse the thousands of quality phone case products Alibaba.com.