The Week in iPhone Cases: New beginnings

Welcome to a new year! With the holidays behind us and the 2012 Consumers Electronic Show about to begin, case manufacturers are ramping up their production schedule. Which, of course, means that it's time for another one of Macworld's world-famous iPhone-case roundups.

Camalen's Novel
Camalen's Novel

Camalen: The Novel (iPhone 4 and 4S; $49) is a leather case with a front flap that features a handy pocket where you can conveniently store your credit or identity cards, or even some cash. The Novel is made by hand and comes in textured black, tea, tan, red, or black.

The Casellet
The Casellet

Casellet: This company's eponymous Casellet case (iPhone 4 and 4S; $35) doubles as a wallet, with the back plate opening up to reveal a compartment large enough for several plastic cards and cash. The snap-on case, which leaves the front of the phone exposed and features all the appropriate camera, button, and port cutouts, is available in black, white, or pink.

Ego & Company's Ego USB Case
Ego & Company's Ego USB Case

Ego & Company: The Ego USB Case (iPhone 4 and 4S; price unavailable) is an upcoming snap-on case that incorporates a USB memory stick—handy for when you're out and about and need ready access to some storage space you can share with someone else. The case itself comes in blue, pink, red, yellow, or black, and the USB stick is available in sizes ranging from 2GB to 32GB.

Green Onions Supply's Crystal Screen Protector
Green Onions Supply's Crystal Screen Protector

Green Onions Supply: If you feel that your iPhone's oleophobic coating is not quite afraid enough of your skin oils, you may want to give Green Onions Supply's Crystal Screen Protector (iPhone 4 and 4S; $15) a try. It's designed to keep your screen clear while protecting it from dust and scratches—all, of course, without interfering with the operation of your phone or the visibility of its screen.

The Iconic.am
The Iconic.am

Iconic.am: The Iconic.am (iPhone 4 and 4S; $69) is a case designed for the active user who wants to film his or her exploits. Made of tough, clear polycarbonate and featuring a completely waterproof construction, it comes with a handy wrist strap for secure carrying and its own app that uses motion control to automatically start and stop video recording—so you can focus on not wiping out for the eighth time in a row.

iSkin's Happy Friends
iSkin's Happy Friends

iCorkz: This company's line of port covers (iPhone 4 and 4S; $10) may not look fancy or glamorous, but one could make a big difference if your phone (or tablet) ever comes into contact with its mortal enemy—water. Designed to fit snugly inside your iPhone's headphone jack and dock-connector port, the plugs help keep moisture, dust, and debris where they belong: away from the interior of your mobile device.

iSkin: The Happy Friends (iPhone 4 and 4S; $40) is a snap-on polycarbonate case that brings a family of fun characters, designed by artist Cako Martin, to the back of your iPhone. The collection also includes an iPad case and various bags with prices ranging from $40 to $100.

The Ribbz
The Ribbz

Ribbz: The Ribbz (iPhone 4 and 4S; $20) is a snap-on case made of a specially-shaped, lightweight rubber that offers excellent protection and good tactile feel. The case's ribbed design is made to absorb shocks, while the soft texture ensures a comfortable grip, even when playing action-packed games. The Ribbz is available in black, burgundy, green, white, purple, pink, or yellow.

Smallworks's BrickCase
Smallworks's BrickCase

Smallworks: The BrickCase (iPhone 4 and 4S; $25) brings together two of mankind's most brilliant inventions: the iPhone and LEGO bricks. The back of this snap-on case features the familiar dimples that make it compatible with everyone's favourite construction blocks. It comes in clear, white, grey, pink, blue, red, green, yellow, black, or purple. (Hat tip, Daring Fireball).

One of UnYousual's replacement back plates
One of UnYousual's replacement back plates

UnYousual: This company's specialty is a build-your-own-case service (iPhone 4 and 4S; $25 and up) that allows you upload your very own designs and have them imprinted on a variety of products that include snap-on cases and replacement glass back plates, both available in either white or black.

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