Griffin, others chase increasingly popular OtterBox cases | iLounge News


Griffin, others chase increasingly popular OtterBox cases


Thanks to continued concerns over the durability of Apple’s glass-based devices, the last several months have seen an unexpected but noteworthy increase in the number of ruggedized iPhone and iPod cases, as well as growing visibility of such cases at mainstream retailers. The rugged case market, which has long been dominated by a single company—OtterBox—has recently seen an influx of new players, including Ballistic and Griffin Technology, which are now targeting OtterBox’s popular multi-layer Defender and Commuter series cases with new designs. Ballistic specifically went after OtterBox’s products with an aggressive marketing campaign, at one time claiming in its press materials that it was selling a model “better” than OtterBox’s flagship case Defender. By contrast, Griffin has taken an almost coy position for its family of new “Armored” series of cases for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch. Asked about the similarities between the company’s just-released Survivor and OtterBox’s Defender, Griffin called the correlation between its new offerings and OtterBox’s lineup “not direct,” and has sought to present the positives of its product rather than making competitive comparisons.

Survivor touts military-grade testing in labeling that claims the hard plastic and rubber case “meets or exceeds US/UK military standards,” including shock/drop, wind/rain, sand/dust, and vibration tests that portray Survivor as everything but completely waterproof. Griffin’s packaging for Survivor reveals that the case is actually the first in a series of three—Explorer and Tracker are the others, as yet formally unannounced—which will see Griffin offering “more protection than any case we’ve ever made,” a considerably different angle relative to the ever-thinner plastic shells that have been flooding the market in recent years. Ballistic and other companies, such as Incipio, have similarly announced multiple models with varying levels of anti-shock and elemental protection, making it clear that more and bigger companies are attempting to compete in this segment of the market, which will clearly benefit consumers by increasing the variety of durable cases on the market.

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I have always used the stronger model cases for my iPhones. I hate to admit it but sometimes I manage to drop my precious iPhone so it has been money well spent. My suggestion to those people in the market for these cases…read as much information as possible before making the big investment. If you can actually hold it in your hand that will aslo help. I have found that not all cases are equal when it comes to belt clip functionality and comfort.

Posted by Tom Teigue on February 22, 2011 at 12:19 PM (CST)


I don’t think the rise of this type of case has much to do with the construction of the iPhone in particular. Rather, rugged devices of all sorts are on the rise, including other consumer devices such as cameras. As these devices move from technophile to “regular user,” people increasingly want to both own these devices but also not adjust their lifestyles to accommodate their fragility.

Smartphone penetration is relatively low right now, but we’re right in the middle of a transition to a majority of people owning one. I think these cases reflect the differing concerns of this new demographic.

Posted by David on February 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM (CST)


I had an OtterBox for my iPod Touch, and I sent it back. The case totally destroyed the touch sensitivity of the screen.

Posted by Scott on February 23, 2011 at 10:13 AM (CST)

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