The shape and size of the Apple iPhone 4S is very close to that of its predecessor, but it’s not exactly the same. This means that many cases that were designed for last year’s model won’t fit the new one.
The differences between the two are tiny, and involve such things as the exact placement of the Volume Up and Down buttons, but these are enough to make virtually all cases that closely fit one device to not work with the other.
Otterbox is widely known for making very protective cases for a wide range of smartphones. These, by their nature, have to be form-fitting. A company spokesperson said:
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.
The same is true for a great many other cases made for Apple’s fourth-generation model, though looser cases should be fine. For example, accessory-maker Proporta has collected a list of its current offerings that will work with the 4S. Still, this is bad news for many of those who purchased an expensive form-fitting case for the iPhone 4 and were hoping to use it on an iPhone 4S.