Some Retailers Say iPhone 4 Cases Will Fit The 4S, Others Don’t

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Well, this is a bit curious.

We’re all well aware that a phone such as the iPhone 4S requires a case. It’s just too damn precious and costs way too much to go unprotected, but the best cases are often expensive. That said, I’m sure many iPhone 4 owners were hoping to keep their old case when upgrading to the iPhone 4S, but if OtterBox is your go-to case brand, think again.

OtterBox iPhone 4 cases won’t protect the iPhone 4S, with the exception of the Reflex Series. But the iPhone 4S cases from OtterBox will protect the iPhone 4.

According to Brighthand, there are tiny differences in the design of the 4 and 4S, including a slightly different placement of the volume buttons. Apparently OtterBox’s tight-fitting cases won’t translate over to the iPhone 4S, though some other case retailers like CaseMate don’t seem to be having the same issue.

What’s odd is that Apple has said repeatedly that they left the iPhone’s design alone, and merely upgraded the innards in the 4S. According to the iPhone 4S press release, “iPhone 4S has the same beautifully thin glass and stainless steel design that millions of customers around the world love,” referring to the iPhone 4.

Still, Hard Candy Cases seems to be selling different cases for the iPhone 4 and the 4S like OtterBox, suggesting that it’s really a retailer decision.

Here’s what an OtterBox spokesperson had to say:

Existing OtterBox case options designed for the original Apple iPhone 4, with the exception of the Reflex Series, will not accommodate the new iPhone 4S. OtterBox will offer iPhone 4S cases in Impact Series, Commuter Series, Reflex Series and Defender Series beginning Oct. 14, which will also accommodate all versions of the iPhone 4.

Well, there you have it OtterBox fans. Unless you are using the Reflex Series cases, you’ll need to upgrade.