OtterBox CEO discusses LifeProof acquisition, product portfolio diversity, and roadmap for growth [Interview]

OtterBox President and CEO Brian Thomas

OtterBox President and CEO Brian Thomas

We’ve seen OtterBox frequent the headlines lately, most recently for announcing at CTIA that it acquired its competitor LifeProof, and we’ve served up several hands-on reviews of their products.

I recently had the opportunity to discuss OtterBox and its vision for the future with President and CEO Brian Thomas, who is a former high school teacher turned company leader.

OtterBox, for me, is the defacto hyper-protective case maker and king of their market, but Apple and Jony Ive have increasingly thrilled us with beautiful hardware design of iPhone after iPhone. I wondered if there is room for an OtterBox product in every user’s life, especially those who most admire Apple’s design aesthetic. Read more

Review: Otterbox Defender iON powered iPhone case

As I mentioned in my review of a couple of wood cases, I’m not normally a case kind of guy. I’ve never quite seen the point of paying a premium for something beautifully designed and then hiding it away inside a case.

However, a cycling holiday from the Netherlands to Denmark in which my iPhone would be used for both photos and video suggested that at least a temporary change of policy might be in order. Videoing while cycling always carries the risk of an unintended phone-road interface, and using it with the screen on a lot during some long days might also be pushing the battery-life … Read more

OtterBox releases iPhone Defender Series battery backup case w/ intelligent power management app

otterbox_iPhone_defender_case
From 9to5Toys.com:

Otterbox has just released the iPhone 4/4S Defender Series case with iON Intelligence.  In addition to the rugged protection you’ve come to expect from OtterBox, this case also features a backup battery and intelligent power management app.  According to Otterbox, “The iON intelligence software is an app that estimates battery power and predicts battery time remaining by monitoring device usage habits.”

This hardware and software combo enables iPhone users to continually use their devices without worrying about battery life.  The case eliminates the typically frustrations of battery case owners by “clearly displaying the power status for both the case and device and intelligently predicts when the phone battery will run out.”  The Defender Series with iON Intelligence iPhone 4/4S case is available now with a retail price of $130, but for a limited time you can save 15%  with coupon code “AM2012″ bringing the price down to $110.50.

And yes, we’re told an iPhone 5 version is in the works. More images and full press release follows:

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Holiday Shopping Guide: The best docks, stands, cases, & cables for your iPad mini

With iPad mini introducing a brand new set of dimensions for case manufacturers, most have not been as quick as with previous iPad launches to get products on the market. In the first couple of weeks of the product’s launch, only a handful of well-known accessory makers were taking orders, and we unfortunately saw many cheap 7-inch Android cases repurposed and sold as iPad mini compatible.

Apple’s new Lightning connector standard was of course another hurdle, and means there are not nearly as many available third-party docks, keyboards, adapters, etc., as iOS device owners have come to expect.

Below, we have put together a guide to the best of the best iPad mini accessories we could find that are currently available to order and shipping before the holidays:

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Supposed iPad 3 case compared to iPad 2, suggests bigger battery and different screen and camera

(Updated with higher res image. Click to enlarge)

Repair Labs (via MacRumors) said it got ahold of an iPad 3 case that has numerous differences from an iPad 2—listed below:

A. You can see here that the mounts for the logic board are very different, which means the logic board shape will be different allowing for . . . .

B. More battery. The width of where the logic board sits on the iPad 2 appears much larger than that of the iPad 3. We have long heard that the iPad 3 was going to provide longer battery life, and this back housing seems to support that. [Ed: Actually, this could be to compensate for the additional power draw of the screen and possibly a faster processor]

C. The camera is different. It is hard to make a judgment just by looking at the casing, but what we can expect is a different camera on the iPad 3 than what we had on the 2.

D. LCD will be different than what we have had before. Whether or not it will be the super screen we have seen reported will have to wait. But the different mounting does mean that the LCD has been redesigned at the very least.

The report said the iPad 3 case was not noticeably thicker than the iPad 2, countering previous rumors that the new iPad would be thicker.

It is hard to vouch for the authenticity of the case above, but the changes mentioned do seem to mesh with what’s floated around.

 

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