Back in the early 2000s the concept of a phone case was very basic and certainly didn’t really take into account the needs of the phone owner or really allow for anyone’s individual style. The concept was cheap and cheerful and the leather cases available simply covered the phone back and sides and had a clear plastic cover allowing you access to the buttons on the front and to allow the screen to be seen. Oh yes and they were all black and very boring.This was just as mobile phones were becoming popular and also the must have gadget for most people. As demand for cases grew, so did the number of manufacturers looking to fill the market and a whole industry was born looking to satisfy ever diversifying requirements.Now, there are a number of things to consider when choosing a phone case and in understanding this, you can understand how the cases available changed as the manufacturers and the big brands you know today quickly changed designs and materials to suit each of these considerations.Which of the following is most important to you?1) Protecting your phone2) Showing off your phone and looking goodMost people would expect to want a happy medium between both concepts, however at the polar ends of each idea come the concepts of pure protection and fashion. Now phone cases were beginning to be at the forefront of both of these ideas and super tough cases made from high impact polycarbonate shells were being made. This would enable those with jobs where the phone would potentially be subject to sever pressures, to be protected. At the other end of the scale where fashion was the only consideration, bling style cases were arriving using diamante’s stuck to plastic covers just for the purposes of looking good.Moving on, another serious issue to consider is how much do you want to spend?In the early days, anything from £3-£5 would have gotten you one of the incredibly basic leather cases, however today’s prices still start that low but in the main markets can go up to £80, yes eighty pounds and in certain specialist markets (which are beyond us mere mortals) the prices can go significantly higher (think actual diamonds and cases made from gold). The price you are expected to pay will vary due to a number of factors1) The materials used to construct the case2) How niche the market is i.e. are only small numbers required3) Brand identity4) How difficult it is to produce the case style.What I would like to make clear is that cheaper is not better but equally more expensive might also not necessarily be better either. The best thing you can possibly do before buying is to ask yourself, how you will use your phone on a day to day basis and how long you expect the case to last.The cheapest cases really aren’t built to last and you may get a few months out of them before they lose shape develop serious cracks or marks, you are also unlikely to get a sound manufacturers warranty if anything does go wrong.A very basic guide to price (bear in mind that these really are ball park figures and can vary quite a bit) is shown below.Cheap £3-£15 – expect this to do the job initially, however the quality of the finish won’t be outstanding and it most likely won’t last the lifetime of your phone.Middle of the road £15-£25 – expect this case to look good and have a good quality of finish but the materials will not be top notch.Middle to high end £25-£35 – expect this case to do pretty much all you need, looking good with a high quality finish and be built to last. It should last the length of your phone contract.High end £35+ – expect this case to be truly exquisite, using only the best materials with an outstanding finish. These cases will be backed by a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty.Personally I currently use cases usually from the middle to high end section as I believe they have the perfect balance of quality and price.