by Bill French on 04/03/11 at 5:50 am
Imagine a leather wallet that wraps around your iPhone and has a few slots for credit cards and business cards. This product is simply perfect – it proves that people [sometimes] want less and they'll pay for less. If you need to take just a few credit cards, ID, and business cards with you, the iFlip Wallet will quickly become your new best friend. And the backstory of how this was created is also interesting. According to Vincent Ko, a student at Georgetown University , he had just gotten an iPhone for his 21st birthday.
“Realizing that I only needed to carry around some cards and cash on a regular basis, I thought there had to be a way to combine my wallet and iPhone. During a late night study session a light bulb went off – create an iPhone wallet case. The first prototype was created by cutting up an old leather wallet and sewing it together with an iPhone case. It took several trials to refine the ideal design but it was eventually picked up by a leather wallet manufacturer. In the first year we have sold close to 1,000 iFlipWallet cases through our company’s website. The concept has been replicated by major case manufacturers such as Sena. As a small boot-strapped student start-up we have never done traditional advertising and never actively reached out to media outlets. We have relied on a quality product and customer referrals to help promote the iFlip. With the introduction of the iPhone to the Verizon network we thought it would be an ideal time to reach out to the media. Our product allows iPhone users to combine their phone and wallet into one convenient and stylish package. Given the all-inclusive nature of the iPhone, we have seen a huge increase in people only carrying around a couple of cards and bills with them on a daily basis. The iFlip is an innovative yet simple solution that satisfies the needs of many iPhone users.”
While on vacation recently, I started to experiment with the new Starbucks in-app payment system which
gives me one less reason to carry a large wallet and one more reason I'm totaly thrilled with this iPhone case. The Starbucks payment app works pretty good and it demonstrates where mobile commerce is heading. Order a latte, tap the app, and scan – you're ready to kick back and relax. Thank you Starbucks; iFlip Wallet's four card slots needn't be consumed by my old Starbucks card. iFlip Wallet is just one of those delightful products that emerges at just the right time.
But wait… it's not perfect, but no product is. There are four things that I should mention – none of which risk calling this the most perfect case.
The clasp used to keep the flip part closed is a magnet. Is it possible this could corrupt the mag-strip on a credit card? So far, so good – no issues but I'm not ruling this out as a potential problem so I recommend you use caution when pulling cards from your wallet. UPDATE: The designer says the size of the magnet was specifically chosen to avoid any mag strip problems.
The second issue involves the corners on the case. I drop my phone a lot and the upper left corner (on the iPhone 4) version seems to be excessively exposed by virtue of the design of the case which must expose the volume switch and buttons. I fear some nicks and dings are in my iThingie's future. UPDATE: So far, no dings and it's been almost a full month of dropping it from time-to-time.
Tapping at the edge of the iPhone screen can be difficult at times because the rich leather rises up above and directly at the edge of the touch screen. I've become accustomed to tapping the edges with precision with my previous InCase number-style case. I noticed a few difficult moments today as I was trying to reposition the text cursor. UPDATE: This continues to bug me.
Lastly is the fit; it's very tight for credit cards and very snug for the device. I understand why – leather stretches over time and the last thing you want is a wallet that's as loose as your crazy uncle's underwear. The manufacturer provides clear instructions concerning this issue and even recommends a little pre-stretching before use. Tugging at your cards, potentially breaking a nail, appears to be a slight inconvenience that will dissipate with use.
Some day I plan to take a trip to Hawaii with this case and only this case. Wouldn't that be cool?
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