OtterBox set to release waterproof Armor Series as it debuts Defender iOn battery case

/ Updated: January 8, 2013 11:30 AM PST

The Armor Series case for the iPhone 4/4S will ship on February 22, with iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 versions to follow later in the year. OtterBox

LAS VEGAS-- OtterBox has been teasing its new Armor Series waterproof cases for over six months, but ran into some production issues and it never released the Armor in 2012. Now here at CES the company says it will begin shipping its ultimate tough case for the iPhone 4/4S on February 22, with iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3 versions to follow later in the year.

At the same time, OtterBox introduced the Defender Series with iOn Intelligence, a tough case that features a built-in 1,450mAh lithium ion rechargeable battery. The company says the case will be available soon for the iPhone 4/4S and will charge up to three times faster than other products available on the market, display battery life with LED indicators, and have an iOS app that can "intelligently charge the phone without the need to monitor power levels and turn it on or off."

The upcoming Defender Series with iOn Intelligence features a built-in rechargeable battery. OtterBox

No word on exactly how much that iOn case will cost or when it'll be available for the iPhone 5, but a lot of CNET readers have been asking me about extended-battery cases for the iPhone 5, which are few and far between at this point.

I'll let you know when I have exact pricing for the Armor Series for iPhone 4/4S, but I expect it will be around $80, which is what LifeProof charges for its popular waterproof cases.

OtterBox has been one of the big smartphone accessory success stories, but it has faced increased competition from upstarts like LifeProof that have put out more durable, slimmer cases that are also waterproof.

The Armor Series has a waterproof "thermal plastic shell" and a "medical-grade" stainless-steel latch. OtterBox says the specs it's been tested to are surviving 6.6 feet underwater for 30 minutes, a 10-foot drop onto concrete, or 2 tons of crushing force, and it allows no entry of dust and debris.

As soon as I try one out on my phone, I'll let you know how the new Armor Series case stacks up.

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