Here we go again: with this September's release of the iPhone 5, third parties have yet another excuse to revisit the iPhone case. We've passed on a lot of the usual suspects, but a pair of independently-developed Kickstarter cases are noteworthy for their ultraminimal approach. Alex Karp's "Bummpies" and mod-3's "Radius" case kicked off their campaigns within 24 hours of one another last week, and although they're different enough that they're not outright competitors, both cases abide by the less-is-more approach to design.
First of all, I should clarify that Bummpies will work with the three most current models of iPhone: seeing as Karp's been working on the adhesive bumpers for 16 months, he must have started designing them for the 4/4S and simply tweaked them for the new model. This gives him a significant edge in terms of potential customers.
The mod-3, on the other hand, has the ambiguous advantage of a Harvard-educated designer and CAD-geeky backstory: Hendra Bong holds a graduate degree in Architecture the Ivy League school. (A bit of digging reveals that Karp actually studied mechanical engineering but has since shifted his professional focus at HP.)
Bummpies are made of polyurethane rubber and are attached with a semi-permanent (but removable) adhesive from the materials experts at 3M. The corners for the Radius are made of 6061 aluminum with a non-slip lining; they're held in place by an X-shaped brace, which is secured with a tiny screw (as is the case with many of Apple's offerings).
Videos after the jump...
Check out their respective Kickstarter pages for more details (linked above and below), but here's a quick rundown of the differences between the two campaigns... besides, of course, the discrepancies between the products themselves:
- Bummpies will work with iPhone 4 & 4S; the Radius is iPhone 5 only
- Bummpies purportedly cover only 4% of the phone (Karp doesn't specify if this is based on the iPhone 4/4S or 5); the Radius weighs only 0.155 oz (4.4g).
- Bummpies are $25, half the price of the $59 Radius, which has an early bird price of $49 and projected retail of $69. (Karp is offering 'beta' products with earlier delivery dates for $40 and $60.)
- mod-3 has more time to raise less money: they're seeking $25,000, ten grand less than Karp's $35,000 goal, and their January 19 deadline gives them about two weeks longer to do so.
- Both have expected delivery dates of March 2013 (though beta Bummpies will be available as early as January)
- ....and, for what it's worth, Karp's video is slightly better (more product shots would have been nice), but Radius has better photos