If you are like public relations director Merliza Lim, you probably need a case for your smartphone.
"I'm a very clumsy person and I drop my phone all the time," said Miss Lim, 27.
Not only do her cases - she has 10 - protect her iPhone 5, they are also accessories. She changes them according to her mood.
Cases are no longer just for protecting your smartphones and tablets from scratches and accidents, said Ms Jency Ngo, merchandising manager of accessory and gadget retailer Gadget World.
"It is about a fashion statement, lifestyle and an extension of your personality," she said.
Women tend to choose cases for their design and colour, while men opt for stylish but rugged cases.
With more people using tablets and smartphones, demand for cases has surged.
You can hardly walk a few hundred metres around your neighbourhood without spotting at least a shop or two selling cases for smartphones and tablets. Even provision stores sell such cases.
According to local Apple premium reseller Nubox, these cases make up 45 per cent of the accessories it sells.
"It is definitely a sector that has seen very good growth and has the potential to grow even further," said Ms Evelyn Chua, chief marketing officer of Newstead Technologies, the parent company of Nubox.
Newstead identified that potential a while ago. Last July, it launched tech@vogue, a specialty store that focuses on accessories for smartphones and tablets.
Since then, it has added three more tech@vogue stores. Another will open at Suntec City Mall this month and there are plans to open a sixth store in Bedok Mall by the fourth quarter of this year.
Digital Life gives you a guide on how to choose your cases and takes a look at the latest covers for your mobile gadgets.
This story was first published in The Sunday Times on July 24, 2013
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