OtterBox announces acquisition of waterproof case-maker LifeProof

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?