The buy-crack-replace model of iPhone ownership is frustrating, but it makes sense. Tech becomes obsolete. Not so bottle openers. Not so canoe paddles. Not so knives. Lest we forget: “good design” means not just stellar looks, but sturdy bones. A hard good should live for years as a trusted partner, bearing the marks of repeated use, and wearing in the shape of its owner.
Given the choice, we'd never touch anything but leather, glass, steel and beautifully-finished wood (well, maybe skin), but that's not realistic. Still, we err on the side of indestructible, which is why we're such big fans of these products.