What Is an iPhone OtterBox?

by David Weinberg

An iPhone 4 costs between $200 and $300 as of February 2011, making it a hefty investment. OtterBox manufactures rugged cases for iPhones to help you protect your investment. It has a number of different types of cases, depending on the level of protection you need for your iPhone and the amount of money that you are willing to spend to protect it.


OtterBox's Impact case is its simplest iPhone case. The case is a one-piece silicone skin. The skin fits over your iPhone to protect all of the outer edges from drops or scratches. It covers the entire phone, with openings for the iPhone's screen, camera, speaker, microphone, distance sensor and USB port. There is also an opening on the back for the iPhone's Apple logo. The skin has two raised buttons for pressing the volume buttons on the side of the phone and a recessed button for pressing the home button. The case is available in yellow, white, black, red, blue, pink and purple. It includes a self-adhering screen protector. As of February 2011, it sells for $19.95.


The Commuter case is made of a hard plastic shell that snaps into place around the iPhone and a silicone skin that sits over the plastic shell. It provides a higher degree of protection than the Impact while remaining slimmer than OtterBox's sturdier models. The case provides full access to the entire front of the iPhone. It has openings on the back for the camera and the Apple logo and an opening on the side for a USB connection. Raised buttons on the side activate the iPhone's volume buttons. The Commuter also includes a clear screen protector. It is available in several color patterns, including all black, black and white, pink and white, purple and white, black and red, green and white, and blue and white. It sells for $34.95 as of February 2011.


The reflex is a single-layer iPhone case that uses air cushions to protect your phone. The case is made of a combination of polycarbonate and TPE rubber. It has small air cushions at each of the corners to absorb the impact of a drop. The case snaps in half at the middle for easy assembly and disassembly for docking. It has the same accessibility features as the Commuter, allowing complete access to the front of the phone with ports for the USB connection, camera and logo, along with raised buttons for volume adjustments. It is available in two color combinations: pink and black, and gray and black. It also includes a screen protector. As of February 2011, the Reflex is scheduled to launch with a price of $44.95.


The Defender is OtterBox's most rugged case. Like the Reflex, the Defender consists of a hard plastic shell that snaps around your iPhone and a silicone exterior that sits on the shell for added shock protection. The Defender also includes a screen protector. Unlike the Reflex, the Defender covers every surface of your iPhone instead of giving complete access to the front panel. It allows access to the screen, camera, logo, microphone, speaker and distance detector. Buttons are built directly into the case for accessing the iPhone's home button and volume buttons. The Defender also includes a holster that protects the iPhone's screen when you are not using it. It is available in a number of color combinations, including all black, all red, all blue, all white, black and white, white and purple, white and pink, and pink and black. As of February 2011, it sells for $49.95.

About the Author

David Weinberg began writing in 2005 at New College of Florida, composing articles on history and political science for publication within the school and for online circulation. Weinberg has been a professional outdoor educator for more than five years with experience throughout the United States.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera black woman on cell phone image by Susan Rae Tannenbaum from Fotolia.com