There’s no doubt in OtterBox’s presence within the Apple product line up. A company that was first to market with a true “rugged” case for the iPhone has had no problems growing it’s product lineup over the last 5 years.
We first heard of OtterBox is 2009 shortly after the release of the iPhone 3G. The company released the OtterBox Defender series promising a “damage proof” case that will last a lifetime. At first glance the case left much to be desired. Increasing the size and weight of the iPhone dramatically we weren’t sure how the company would fare against other cases on the market.
As iPhone damage rose so did OtterBox’s market share. Evolving the design at each iPhone release, the company produced lines to include the Commuter series which was 50% smaller than it’s “bullet proof” Defender Series.
At the height of 2012 we began to see similar designs throughout our industry. Griffin’s Survivor case and The LifeProof case were stand out products of the year. The Griffin Survivor case faired much better with their “damage proof” claims and as time went on OtterBox slowly removed their “damage proof” slogans.
With LifeProof case offering full blown protection including water damage, OtterBox released it’s waterproof version of the Otterbox shortly after in late 2012. This was the first time the company was behind in the rugged case market.
Now that all seems to be changing. The company is releasing a new product they are calling it the Otterbox Defender Series with iON Intelligence Technology..
I know what you’re thinking, what the hell is iON Intelligence Technology? Well in laymen’s terms its an OtterBox Defender case with an external battery built within the first protection layer of plastic.
External battery cases aren’t anything new with the Mophie Juice Pack line taking the spot of first place in sales. I personally thought that OtterBox would have already released a powered version by now.
Well now they have and it goes a step further. The company also produced “The Intelligence” app that promises seamless operation and monitoring of your new power case. The app clearly displays power status for the case and device separately. It also allows automatic charging when your iPhone’s battery reaches a predetermined level.
The product is pricey at $129 but there is nothing like it on the market and until competition arrives we expect this price to hold for some time. I will be writing a complete product review for the iPhone 5 version. We will keep you posted via social when this writeup is complete. I am very intrigued by the App control but it may just be the inner geek in me, most will probably find it useless.
Of course Mobile Genius is an OtterBox retailer so you’ll be sure to find this battery yielding Defender at our Cellphone Repair location in the Lehigh Valley (Allentown). The new Defender is set to ship on April 29th.
Photo Credit: OtterBox