Home Your Tech Mobility Studio Proper debuts locally made, natural leather iPad and iPhone sleeves

A new range of sleeves for the iPad and iPhone is handmade in Australia.

Everyone and his dog seems to carry an iPhone or iPad. Perhaps that is an exaggeration, but the majority of mobile devices I see being used in public places such as trains and airports are Apple products.

Given the way people want to be the same, only different (consider the 'tribal dress' of various subsets of the teenage population), it's not surprising that a fair chunk of iPhone/iPad owners like to dress up their devices. And there's always the protective aspect - a decent case reduces the risk of accidental damage, and the more pristine the appearance, the higher the resale value.

(If you don't believe that iPhones and iPads are still hugely popular in the face of the Android/Windows Phone/Surface assault, go into your local Reject Shop or '$2' outlet and see which cases they have on the shelf. Indeed, there's something to be said for the theory that the popularity of iPhone/iPad is the reason why Apple's products are no longer considered 'cool' in some circles.)

So if you're looking for something a bit different, Melbourne-based Studio Proper (designer of the Wallee range of mobile device mounts) has you covered (groan!) with a new range of handmade sleeves.

The Proper Leather sleeves are made in Melbourne from vegetable-dyed leather.

Studio Proper founder and lead designer Alon Tamir said "the innovation that we've applied to this new range of cases and sleeves is that we've removed all the ugly process and mass produced nastiness that's become common place. And finally come to a product that's truly luxurious in the way that leather is meant to be."

The idea is that the sleeves will last a long time and take on a patina as it ages.

That makes sense, providing you expect to keep your current device for years, or you expect Apple to maintain the current form factors for some time to come.

The prices are substantial but not excessive: around $66 for the iPad mini, $77 for the iPad (excluding the first generation), and $55 for the iPhone (4/4S/5). To put that into perspective, Apple's own leather Smart Cover for the iPad costs $79, while generic leather cases for the iPad can be found for as little as $20.

And some people will be attracted by the idea of something that's locally made.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.

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