So, I believe in the general resilience of the special glass used on iPods and iPhones. I dropped my iPod many, many times (not on purpose, no) before it finally cracked, and even cracked, it still works. I never had a protective carrying case for it.
I'm on my third iPhone now and for the first time, I bought a protective case. I even bought an Otter Box. But I am highly doubtful that it will help me.
The reason I bought it is that sometime around December, the camera on my previous iPhone got so scratched that pictures taken with it became quite fuzzy. Only the camera on the back. The camera on the front was still sharp - so I did become somewhat skilled in taking pictures over my shoulder or without being able to see exactly what I was taking...
But getting a "fresh" start, I decided I would try and protect this camera better. Now that I know that the glass surrounding the camera is NOT the special relatively scratch resistant glass that is on the rest of the iPhone.
I carry my phone in my pocket. I'm not a purse gal, not that I think a purse would necessarily prevent the rattle with the keys and coins that happens in my pocket, anyway. I still don't know how the camera got so scratched - I have done research into my pictures and time-stamped the demise around Christmas last year. I can't remember anything in particular that I did. I have just assumed, generally, that it got scratched up over time, and that might be the case.
So.. I went to look at cases to protect the camera. And ALL of them are open in the back to allow the camera to look out without any kind of protective film or skin to protect the camera. So, if something had POKED at the camera lens from within my pocket, for example, I'm not really sure any of them will protect the camera. But, at least, in theory, it provides a ridge so the camera is not flat against whatever it rubbed against.
I decided to go for the Otter Box. My best friend bought an Otter Box when she first got her iPhone about three years ago, and was in love with her Otter Box, even though getting the phone in and out was a bit like trying to get into Fort Knox. Those things are fricking expensive. So I bought the "Commuter" case which offers less protection up front, but since I didn't have any problem with it up front, I'm less worried.
And, I still have insurance...
But, already, I think my iPhone feels about its Otter Box the way my feet feel about sox at night, now in bed. It can't wait to squirm out of it... It doesn't QUITE fit right, and it just feels confining, and all it wants to do is push it off.
You can see, for example, the pieces of the otter box sitting on my desk at work now.
I don't know if this will work, long term, but... I'll take a lot of pictures in the meantime!! :)