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PopSockets: What are they, and why are they going to be 'the next fidget spinner'?

You'll never drop your phone again, unless you're really clumsy

Max Benwell
Saturday 26 August 2017 23:51 BST

PopSockets are set to be the next biggest trend. As such, you probably want to know what they are.

What are PopSockets?

PopSockets are small plastic contraptions that “pop” onto the back of your phone.

They are made of three parts: a decorative disc, a flexible, accordion-like stem, and a circular base that sticks on your phone.

It’s still unclear what the “socket” part of the name means exactly. A more accurate one would be GripSuckers, although admittedly it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

Why do you need one? What do they do?

A PopSocket gives you more to hold onto while you use your phone, reducing the risk of everyone's biggest fear – the dreaded screen smash.

A good time to use a PopSocket could be when you’re working your way through a busy crowd while texting, taking a selfie in a non-carpeted room, or filming an angry protest where Kendall Jenner isn't there to calm things down.

You can also use them to prop your phone up while watching a video, or stick on two and wrap your headphones around them (well played, PopSocket sales department).

PopSockets can also look great, and come in a variety of shapes and colours that you can match with your nails or clothes.

Popsockets have many uses

Who uses them?

People who don’t want to drop their phones, obviously! But most notably A-listers such as Gigi Hadid and Serena Williams, as well as Ryan Seacrest, Kendall Jenner, Jared Leto and Michael Phelps.

Where can I buy one? And how much do they cost?

You can go straight to the PopSocket website, which has a huge range of designs. Or you can find them on Amazon and Ebay.

On average they cost between $10-15, or £10-15 (they haven't adjusted the prices for the US and UK).

Why are people saying they’re the new fidget spinner?

PopSockets are nothing like fidget spinners, but people think they’re about to be the next big trend as they're starting to appear everywhere.

It’s the same reason why fidget spinners were likened to a whole range of completely unrelated trends when they first became popular, such as bottle flipping or Pokémon Go. The only thing they have in common is widespread popularity.

All the signs are there for PopSockets to have similar success – they’re cheap, popular among celebs, have a funny name, and come in a wide range of colours and shapes.

Like fidget spinners, they also tap into our desire for things that are fun and can repeated in different variations ad nauseam. This makes them very similar to memes, which helped drive the popularity of spinners earlier this year. Will the same happen again? We'll have to see.

What trends have they actually grown out of?

You may have already noticed phone cases getting bigger and more extravagant, with more and more people opting for big rubbery Totoro faces, silicon french fries and giant Stella McCartney lips.

A Totoro phone case, which taps into a long-running trend for giant, novelty cases

The most obvious predecessor to PopSockets however is the smartphone hand grip, which the author has spotted in the hands of New York’s trendiest and clumsiest citizens.

However, the grip doesn't really count as a big trend. In this sense, the fur bag charm is its true trend progenitor.

Often made out of rabbit fur, the small and bushy tailed accessories have found themselves all over fashionistas' bags in the last couple of years.

However, they may look cute and feel great due to their softness, but these charms have no practical value. PopSockets on the other hand have style and practicality on their side, giving them a certain edge in the race to become the biggest new trend.

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