Logitech introduced its first iPhone case Thursday, and it costs $200 — the same price most people pay for their smartphone with a new contract.
Styled “Case [+],” it’s a fairly standard protective case with four different modules that connect to the back of the case through magnets. Logitech hopes it can become a platform of sorts for case accessories.
The introductory pack comes with an external battery, a dashboard mount, a Smart Cover-like stand, and a wallet. Fortunately, all four modules are included with the $200 upfront cost, although more compatible modules will be sold separately in the future, according to Logitech.
Logitech has been making smartly designed accessories lately, especially after it installed CEO Bracken Darrell, who has worked for Braun in the past. Products like the UE Boom Bluetooth speaker have been both well-received and well-reviewed.
The battery module, +energy, is intriguing; it gives the user the ability to add a battery pack to an iPhone without semi-permanently attaching a case like Mophie makes. Slap the 2300 mAh battery onto the back of the case, and it should stick magnetically. However, you need a small Lightning to MicroUSB adaptor in order to power your phone because the case does not cover the bottom port.
The wallet , +wallet, looks nice, but something about putting credit cards next to a magnet doesn’t sound like the wisest move. Logitech said its Magnashield technology will protect your cards, though.
The +drive module also looks useful, and the magnetic mount should be significantly more convenient than the clamp-based dashboard mounts currently dominating the accessory market, whereas the +tilt, a Smart Cover-like flap, is a bit superfluous. It seems like the kind of product that was thrown in to round out a spec sheet.
At $200, Case+ is a bit of a mess. First of all, the product name consists of a generic term and a symbol, which will make discussing, recommending, and searching for the product online significantly harder. On top of that, how many consumers really want all four of the included modules? Lots of people like to combine their wallet and their phone, and there’s a big fanbase for battery cases, but how many people want to switch between them on a regular basis? Like the bloatware that comes with PCs, I predict most users will simply throw half the modules into a junk drawer as soon as they get them.
A modular system doesn’t work for accessories. At $200, you would hope the case would last more than a few years, but the newest iPhone will come out later this year, most likely with a new physical design. If you upgrade, your case platform becomes useless, in addition to most of the modules you may or may not have purchased separately. The one module I’d love to see is a gaming controller, like the PowerShell that came out late last year.
The Logitech Case+ is currently available for preorder on Logitech’s website and is compatible with the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S.