On paper, Id:Ip’s Mango is the ultimate iPhone case for moms. It’s ergonomic, designed specifically for use with one or fewer hands. An angled back molds to your shoulder when talking on the phone. When placed on a table, it’s perfectly tilted for browsing the web. And huge finger holes mean grabbing it securely from any position is relatively simple.
“Mango was only designed for women. Especially those who carry big bags all the time such as mom,” id:ip’s Min Kim explains. “We did some research and found that they needed protection for their cellphones from babies and an-easy-to-find phone from their bags.”
But despite this gender-specific sales pitch, I would actually disagree. I would argue that the Mango isn’t designed for any certain sex, but rather, it’s designed for the expanding use cases of the typical mobile phone. Stowed in a purse, a mobile phone needs to be distinguishable by feel. Grabbed by a baby, a mobile phone needs to be durable enough to be dropped five feet. Holding a baby, a mobile phone needs to mold to a shoulder.
All of this accommodation is for extremely specific situations, and so Mango brings up an interesting tacit point: Our phones were designed for portability, but more and more, we’re using our phones in scenarios where portability isn’t the chief necessity. Why do you think we’ve seen smartphone screens grow from 3 to 4 to 5 inches in size? However absurd Samsung’s giant phones felt at first, they clearly scratched a market itch, one looking for the quality of experience in multiple situations rather than the portability of the experience to travel to those situations.
Mango asks, should the shape of one’s phone change based upon setting? Almost unequivocally, the answer is yes. That is, if we can figure out a convenient enough way to pack up all those cases, especially if we aren’t carrying a purse.
The Mango is available now for $25.