Samsonite Scoops Up iPhone Case Maker Speck Products

storeImg_20131120Making iPhone cases is big business. How big? Samsonite just announced its acquisition of Speck Products for $85 million in cash.

The mobile phone accessory maker’s products are ubiquitous in the space. They’re found in almost every big box retailer, gadget vending machine and mall outlet. One glance around a playground will likely reveal several parents rocking the colorful plastic shells on their devices. A NPD report pegs the maker among the top four accessory makers which also includes Otter, Incipio, and Belkin.

The acquisition offers Samsonite the opportunity to participate in the large and growing smartphone case market, which in the U.S. alone is estimated to be worth US$2.3 billion, as well as in the tablet case market, where Speck is also a leader. With Samsonite’s resources, depth of experience and well-established distribution capability, we can further strengthen Speck’s business in the U.S., which contributed approximately 80% of Speck’s sales in 2013, and significantly expand the brand’s presence across Asia, Europe and Latin America. We also see many possibilities for extending the brand into adjacent categories, leveraging the appeal that Speck’s creative designs have with younger consumers and our own expertise in bags.”

Besides Apple, Speck makes accessories for all the top mobile phone and tablet makers. The company recently started making cases for Apple laptops as well. Over the last few years, the company built broad consumer brand awareness as well as a robust distribution network in the U.S. Now, combined with Samsonite’s international prowess, Speck should be able to expand its reach overseas.