Having tried a number of wood backs for iPhone in the past, we were interested in the custom-engraved option from Material6. Not an adhesive layer applied to the glass back of the phone, but actually a replacement back all together, the wood is mounted in a frame identical to Apple’s standard issue. Taking the personalization a step further we had the wood veneer laser etched with an illustration of CH mascots, Otis and Logan drawn by our very own, Leen Al-Bassam. The exotic hardwoods—South American Rosewood and Ebony Macassar—not only look handsome but pack a few benefits over the other types used by competitors.
Material6 uses wood veneers rather than solid wood, which tends to buckle under high moisture and extreme temperatures. Veneers are also more ecologically efficient, resulting in less wasted wood—not to mention the option for more exotic hardwood species. “We use a top grade phenolic-backed veneer for the backs,” says Material6 co-founder Randy Lively. “This has a fiberglass impregnated paper backing with solid wood laminated on top for more strength and water resistance than solid wood has to offer.”
The in-house laser etching service offered by Material6 is done well and costs just $5, including custom designs like ours. The company supplies a template to use for the creation of your designs, and their Flickr page contains past examples for inspiration.
The case is delivered promptly with a a simple five-point screwdriver, and the whole set-up takes less than a minute to install. Calibrated to fit precisely with the iPhone, the wood backs don’t affect the device’s slim profile (though the replacement of the phone back does technically void your warranty with Apple, but that’s part of the fun).
Material6 backs can be purchased at their online store for prices starting at $89.