Maybe Apple doesn't appreciate the fact it's spent millions of dollars developing increasingly thin, sleek, aesthetically-pleasing iPhones, only to see all their hard work obscured by plastic cases. Maybe Apple wants to counter the popular perception that an unprotected iPhone is a sneaky form of planned obsolescence. 

Or maybe Apple's Ceramic Shield glass really is tougher than any other smartphone glass, and really does provide four times as much drop protection as previous iPhones. 

Whatever the reason, here's a new ad Apple released last week. (It's a little slow, so feel free to skip to the 0:23 mark.)

Clearly Apple feels uncased table falls are no big deal. And maybe, just maybe, that phone cases are unnecessary.

But both things don't have to be true.

While phone durability is a concern for most of us, some see an uncased phone as a status symbol of sorts. Phone "carelessness" signals detachment and it means this: "Broken phone? No big deal. I'm not attached to the thing. Besides, I'll just buy a new one."

Not me. Over the years I've cracked three different screens, and walked around for about six months with a cracked screen. (Good thing I'm married; one study shows that nearly 9 out of 10 women negatively judge a date whose phone screen is cracked.) At this point, just seeing an uncased phone makes me feel uncomfortable.

But that doesn't mean Apple's new ad is ineffective. I'll still use a case, but I like the idea that new phones are more durable. The fact that I worry about damaging my phone makes me the perfect audience for Apple's new ad.

The screen won't crack if an uncased iPhone falls off a table? Great, because that means that mine, since it's always in a case, should be even less likely to break. 

That's the real point of the ad.

Apple isn't saying, "Phone cases are a waste of money." Apple knows that no matter how bold the claim or clever the ad, the vast majority of people won't ditch their phone cases.

But the company also knows the vast majority of people worry about damaging their phones, and will therefore appreciate the idea of a more durable device.

Which, since the natural innovation curve has resulted in phone product development that is incremental rather than revolutionary, may make it easier for some to decide to pony up the money to buy the latest phone.

Once in a while, consider marketing your product at the extreme end of quality or safety. Like the Blendtec series of "Will It Blend?" videos showing a blender pulverizing things like marbles, golf clubs, and yes, an iPhone

Even if no one will ever use it that way, the fact that they could can provide even greater reassurance for normal use cases.