Q&A with Otterbox CEO Brian Thomas on Acquisition of Lifeproof

Last month at the Wireless Association-CTIA tradeshow, iPhone Life Magazine hosted a major event at which Otterbox CEO Brian Thomas announced the rugged case maker had acquired Lifeproof case company. Although Thomas made the announcement at our event, we were nonetheless taken by surprise as Thomas revealed the merger of these two exceptional case companies. As someone who appreciates a good protective case for my iDevices, I am excited to see what comes out of this union. Both companies are already known for making some of the best cases on the market, especially in the rugged, military-standard case division.

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 This acquisition is significant, as it solidifies Otterbox’s dominance as one of the leading heavy-duty case manufacturers. Recently, Thomas took some time to chat with iPhone Life about this game changing acquisition.

iPhone Life: Thanks for taking the time to chat with iPhone Life. We were all taken aback by your announcement. First of all, congratulations on the big news! That said, what prompted you to buy Lifeproof rather than continue to independently develop your own line of waterproof case options?

Thomas: Much like OtterBox, LifeProof was a rapidly growing U.S.-based company with a strong global brand, product lineup, intellectual property, and thriving culture. Its vision for industry-leading products and business practices align perfectly with the OtterBox brand. The Armor Series remains at the top of the OtterBox lineup and having multiple rugged, waterproof products brings our customers the best variety of options for any adventure.

iPL: What do you see in store for the future of Lifeproof now that it’s been purchased by Otterbox?

Thomas: LifeProof has a strong, globally recognized brand and will continue to be an important offering in the OtterBox family of products. We're working to integrate the brand into the OtterBox lineup and our combined teams can now work together to bring the industry innovative new products.

iPL: Both Lifeproof and Otterbox have consistently raised the bar as to what excellent, rugged protection case can be. When might we expect to see products that reflect this new merger?

Thomas: We're already working to integrate the LifeProof brand into the OtterBox family. Later this summer, products for the iPad mini will be some of the first available from our combined teams and more exciting options won't be far behind. Combining the intellectual property of the two companies gives us a broader range of product options and a more diversified company that brings greater value to our partners.

Photo of the new iPad mini Lifeproof case, coming soon.

The merger of two of the best iDevice case developers is big news in the industry. It goes a long way to establish Otterbox as one of the premier case manufacturers on the planet, and with the creative genius, intellectual property, and new patents, I expect to see some amazing new iDevice cases coming down the pike very soon.

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As Senior Gear Editor at iPhone Life, Dig reports on the latest and greatest accessories built for the iOS ecosystem. From rugged gear and Bluetooth speakers, to headphones, unique iDevice cases, and iOS remote controlled vehicles, Dig's articles cover a wide range of great gear for the iPhone and iPad. A core gamer for over three decades, Dig also writes iPhone Life's Game Centered column, which focuses on the best iOS games and game related news. Additionally, Dig's company, iDoc Tech Support, offers web design and administration services as well as iPhone and iPad repairs. When not at his work desk, Dig loves spending time with family and enjoying the wonders of nature. You can follow him on Twitter @idoctech