It's a Wrap!

It’s a Wrap!

WiredLife

It’s a Wrap

The irony is that we want the gadget that everyone else has, yet after we get it, we want it to look entirely different.

As many savvy businessmen have found, the solution to that dilemma is customization.

So you have different ring tones, a variety of covers, stickers, and now UrbanWire unwraps the latest fad in town—customising protective films for your gadget.

People pay up to $118 for such wrapping services because they’re now able to wrap the entire gadget (save the columns where you insert your charger or hands-free kit) in a single design instead of plastering many individual stickers together.

But with parent companies like Creative and Apple developing their own brands of stick-ons for their products, how are such wraps, which are thin membranes with a sticky side, better?

Kuan Yin, 35, co-owner of Gad Wrap!, explained that the big gadget makers are at a disadvantage because their designs are limited to their range of products and aren’t customizable. It’s the same story for G Mask, the first company in Singapore to spark the trend. Clarence Lai, the manager, informed us that customizable wraps are the rage now that sales have been increasing 10% monthly, with each store having an average of 500 wraps monthly. In fact, it’s so popular that they already have 4 stores in the 3 months of operation.

For those undecided on the design, Kuan Yin told UrbanWire that the most popular designs now are the colorful ones with vertical stripes. These designs, which won’t stain even after removal, can range from animation to celebrities. You can even bring your photo and use it as a gadget design. But beyond the aesthetics, these wraps, which last 5 to 7 years and can take from ½ – 1 hour to stick on, also protect your gadget.

So how protective is it?

The furthest the wrap can protect your gadget is from minor scratches. Kuan Yin, whose Gad Wrap! the company started this month, explained that they “don’t want to mislead people into believing that the stickers can do any more than that since the service is more focussed on the aesthetic appeal of the stickers.” However, he clarified most of the time, customers use the wrap to cover the existing scratches from their gadgets.

Eve Tan, 19, a salesperson from G Mask, echoed that view, explaining that such wraps can’t prevent deep scratches.

Still, that doesn’t stop the customers, many of whom are males, from getting their personalized wraps. “Guys are more technology savvy, so maybe they’ll want to spend more beautifying their gadgets,” Eve rationalized.

What say the customers?

Clement Tan, 21, who plastered an Elvis Presley motif on his iPod mini, reasoned that although he wasn’t keen on the idea initially, the “cool” design bought him over, even before he got the mini. “It was so nice that I chose the silver mini as it will complement the design best,” he confessed with a sheepish smile.

Still, not all share his view.

Jean Ho, 35, won’t use the service. “Take the iPod, for example. It already looks good by itself. A sticker just doesn’t make it better looking. If I want protection [for my gadgets], I’ll get a pouch instead.”

So if you still don’t know if you’re a fan or a skeptic of the wrap, just stick around and find out.

Gmask

Bishan Place Junction 8 Shopping Centre

(Outside Thai Express)

Plaza Singapura Basement 1

(Outside DBS Bank)

Parkway Parade Level 1

(Inside Taxi Stand)

Jurong Point Basement 1

(Outside Prima Deli)

Suntec City Mall

(Entrance between Tower 1 & 2)

Far East Plaza Level 1

(Outside Guardian Pharmacy)

Orchard Cineleisure Level 1

(Near Lift Lobby)

IMM Level 1

(Outside World of Sports)

Tropics Atrium

(Entrance between Tower 1 & 2)

Price: $38 (small gadgets like MP3 players and hand phones) to $118 (laptops).

Gad Wrap

Mobile Square

Far East Plaza #02-98

Mobile Square

United Square #B1-69

Price: $15 (using a DIY sticker) to $35 (a double side wrap on Flip/Clamshell/Swivel/Slide phones)


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