Otterbox buys LifeProof, two great cases that now case great together

Ottobox buys LifeProof, two great cases that now case great together

iPhone and iPad accessory maker Otterbox has announced that they're buying iPhone and iPad accessory maker LifeProof. "OtterProof" -- as I'm sure someone will be calling them since "LifeBox" is probably taken? -- CEO Brian Thomas had this to say:

The joining of OtterBox and LifeProof is a way to combine two great brands and provide customers with even more great products, services and choices for smartphone accessories. Both companies are successful because we foster an environment where everyone takes pride in being part of a culture that knows how to identify opportunities and grow them quickly. Our goal in this acquisition is to create more value for our customers than we ever could have generated while operating individually.

I love both companies' products, and we our accessory division sells both companies' products in the iMore store so here's hoping they become greater than the sum of their parts and put out even more spectacular products post-merger.

Anyone else looking forward to a sleeker, slimmer, even more rugged OtterProof Defender? Or are you already lamenting the deal?

Source: Otterbox

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Otterbox buys LifeProof, two great cases that now case great together


I am in mourning. A case that I love has been bought by a case that I hate. Yes, I've had three otterbox cases and none of them were as nice as my lifeproof case.

Lifeproof is a company that listens to their customers. When their cases didn't work, they listened and fixed their cases. Otterbox has told me that they don't care to fix a problem with one of their cases. I'm very sad.

That's funny because I had the exact opposite. Lifeproof is a company that would not replace my Iphone 5 cases that had many defects but Otterbox will replace a case without any questions. Just send them the form and pictures and soon your new case arrives. Also after Hurricane Sandy lifeproof refused to replace my son's case that was lost in the flood or offer a discount, they pretty much said to me 'life sucks'.

I've had LifeProof replace my cases of theirs more than once. Doesn't say much for the product, but they've replaced the broken part multiple times. Take a picture of the damage, email it to them with the serial number and they ship out a replacement. I find it hard to believe you're faulting them for not replacing a case you lost in a hurricane. If I was them I wouldn't replace that either (or maybe I would since customer goodwill is priceless). But I don't blame them for not shipping you a new one.

The initial iPhone 5 case was absolute junk, but I hear they fixed it. I went with another company after that fiasco. But the LifeProof case I had for my iPhone 4 was far and away the best case I ever owned. And the armband for running is the best armband solution on the market, period.

You must not have went about it the right way...Otterbox has replaced my cases FIVE times. Lifeproof is the bad company. They have an awesome case, but terrible customer service.

Took the words right out of my......keyboard?!

Yes, bought a LifeProof case back when I had a 4S and didn't make it out of the Best Buy parking lot before I took it right back in for a refund!

Then again, I also had 2 Otterbox Defender cases and they both fell apart!

So I wouldn't hold my breath regarding this merger......

I hope the item which you returned was the Note 2. You cannot say the Otterbox is too large, when you hold a phone whose surface measures just a hair under 19 sq in to your head to make a phone call.

As I posted in the forums, I hope Otterbox can help LifeProof have sturdier build quality and less problem cases and I hope LifeProof can help Otterbox make a slimmer and superior water protected Armor case. They need to lose the metal clamps. And I hope Otterbox mostly leaves the LifeProof case alone.

I am lamenting the deal. I hope this acquisition has integrity and that great products is the result...but I have my doubts.

To think any company is merging is a big red flag that one is not living up to all the hype.... I can say lifeproof was the worst case I ever purchased for my iphone 5. They had to send me 3 cases before I got one that I still was unhappy with. And for otter box.... Come on any case can be protective if it's as big as a old tv! Otter box to me sucks and lifeproof is a joke that was owned by treefrog. Just be responsible and don't drop you phone. And if you let your 2 year old play with you phone you should teach your kids to walk or something not sit on my ass and become a fat lazy person when they grow up. The 2 coming together was a sign not to buy from them again

well this is some awful news lifeproof managed to make a truely wonderfully designed case that achieves great durability when otterbox tried that the armor series is the size of a freaking brick! To me this will not aide in new designs or promote advancements it will only prevent innovation due to lack of competition because what other heavy duty case makers are there

to me the only possible benefit here is instead of otterbox making a good product they bought the technology to do so and hopefully bring lifeproof cases to other devices.

Hopefully otter box can make some thinner waterproof cases or thinner cases in general. Their cases are like bricks. Lifeproof cases sucked anyway, had nothing but issues with the case for my iPhone 5.

I would like to see a LifeProof case that doesn't need a screen protector. Much like they apparently do with the iPad cases. The air pocket between screen protector and screen makes it impossible to type using a LifeProof case. I would much rather use a stick on screen protector and let LifeProof protect the rest of the phone.

At any rate, these are two big players in the protective case market. it will be interesting to see what they do together.

Does anyone at iMore actually use any of these "great" cases? Maybe if you have a kid but otherwise I can't imagine actually using one of these.

I'm all for it. I still have my Otterbox Defender. I switched to a Ballistic because it blocks the Apple logo on the back (not trying to display my phone as a fashion accessory for thieves to attempt to steal). Will be interesting to see what they come up with for the iPhone 5S or whatever it's called when it arrives.

As much as I dislike my LifeProof case, it can't be beat in regards to overall dust/water protection and aesthetics. The Otterbox equivalent is horric. Hopefully, Otterbox doesn't do anything too drastic to the LifeProof case, like raising the price.
As for my choice between the Otterboxes, I prefer the Commuter.

Isn't anyone concerned about the loss of competition? These two are the power players in the waterproof case market; sure there are others but they've captured nowhere near the marketshare of these two. Expect prices to go up and stay there with no current competition or name recognition in the arena.

I don't mean to ignore the other players out there but while they may or may not have a good product they just don't have the market visibility of these two. Use the iMore store as an example- is there another extreme duty element proof case on there?