OtterBox logo (full size)

This is pretty interesting. It appears that OtterBox, a well-known maker of heavy-duty smartphone and tablet cases, has announced this afternoon that it will be acquiring LifeProof. The San Diego-based startup makes durable cases for Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

OtterBox, the brand, has become synonymous with device protection in recent years, thanks to hit cases like Armor and Defender. The company claims that it is the #1 selling smartphone case in the US, and that it controls over 20% of the global case market…

MacRumors passes along the news, reporting that during an event today at the CTIA conference, executives from both OtterBox and LifeProof revealed the deal. They say it’s been in the works for over 100 days, but no other details—including money—were given.

Unlike OtterBox, LifeProof only currently makes cases for Apple products, specifically the iPhone, iPad, iPad mini and iPod touch. It’s perhaps best-known for its waterproof technology, which it claims will protect your device in up to 6.6 feet of water for 1 hour.

Given how aligned their interests are, and the sheer size of OtterBox—it has 600+ employees and does nearly $1B in yearly sales—today’s bulletin comes as no surprise. Working together, the duo should have no problem grabbing 35-40% of the case market.

It’ll be interesting to see if OtterBox rolls LifeProof up into its own brand, or lets it continue to operate independently.

What are your thoughts on the acquisition? Smart move?

  • I’ve owned both lifeproof and Otterboxes. Both companies are great but lifeproof has the best customer service. You can actually talk to the owner of lifeproof. I like otterbox because of their no hassle warranty. you send them three pictures and they send you a brand new case. If nothing big happens then i support it

  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Lifeproof is the best. Why oh why? What a world, what a world, what a world…

    • Dylfo

      Calm down its a case….

    • KikaidaO1

      Is your iPhone melting? I thought the Lifeproof case should have protected it from water…

  • Dylfo

    I don’t like these heavy duty cases. What’s the point in apple spending so much time and money on making the phone small and thin if you’re just going to wrap it in this big piece of overpriced rubber and plastic

    • sjah07

      Maybe because you spent a lot of money on it and you want to protect it because you can’t afford to fix it or buy a new one? I don’t know, that’s just a thought.

      In all seriousness, in the case of LifeProof, maybe you use your phone near or in water on a regular basis and need that extra protection?

    • it’s not meant to be a permanent case – you put it on if you’re going skiing, hiking, swimming, etc. and then it comes off again.
      it simply allows you to do more with your phone.

      • Dylfo

        I feel like fifty + dollars is just too much if you’re only using it like that… I could understand if you have a job like at a construction site but not for normal people

      • Byron C Mayes

        It’s not too much for someone who needs it. If you don’t, don’t buy it. It’s not a mandatory purchase.

  • Pedro Gonsalez

    The acquisition only makes sense because Griffin collaborated with Catalyst to make a waterproof Survivor case. I am hopeful that Lifeproof cases will be more affordable because my iPhone 4 still has plenty mileage (used only for phone and text functions).

  • Rick

    Anybody having a problem with ending a call with a lifeproof case on iPhone 5?

    • Joel

      yep, have to hit the power button to hang up sometimes

      • Rick

        Love the case but it sucks on that!! Do you now if the amour is having the same prob?

      • Joel

        No clue

  • Clselfridge

    i think it will be great if they let lifeproof exist as it is but with the capitol to start lifeproofing more than just ios devices. would love to have one for my htc one.

  • Craig Keller

    Otterbox is amazing, and now they acquired LifeProof!?! Wow, LifeProof is also incredible, so this should be very interesting indeed. I cant wait to see what comes out of this.
    Basically, Otterbox just acquired their only legitimate competition in the durable case market. Since Otterbox is awesome and the two companies cultures seem to align well, im all for this!

  • Ranger

    I just hope lifeproof keeps the slim profile of their cases as OB add so much bulk to your phone.