Dr. Bott LLC (Dr. Bott), a long-time, U.S. Apple-focused distributor of devices, cases, accessories, and other gear, recently declared bankruptcy. According to Macworld magazine, the company filed for Chapter 11 protection.
Chapter 11 is usually used to restructure debt so that it can be repaid, and many companies use the process to get their finances together in order to continue operations. It's unclear if that is what Dr. Bott is planning, but I've reached out to sources to learn more.
Dr. Bott has been an important part of the Apple ecosystem for many years. The company was founded in 1999 as a maker of Apple accessories such as KVM switches and other devices. It soon began distributing products from other companies, and that became what Dr. Bott was known for.
Dr. Bott at CES 2012
Credit: Bryan Chaffin
As a specialist in Apple accessories, Dr. Bott has allowed many small companies to enter the market and focus just on making their products. Dr. Bott handled not only distribution to online and brick and mortar retailers, the company also arranged enormous space at trade shows such as Macworld Expo and CES, as shown in the image above—Dr. Bott pulled out of Macworld/iWorld a few years ago.
Over the years, I spoke with numerous companies that worked with Dr. Bott, and they all sang its praises. The importance of distribution can't be overstated, and I personally hope this bankruptcy turns out to be a bump in the road.
Dr. Bott's vendors include companies like Blue Microphones (for Blue's consumer products), Speck, iLuv, Twelve South, Romotive, Skeech, Belkin, Incase, Marware/MarBlue, Eton Corporation, Scosche, Griffin Technology, and more than one hundred others. Many of those companies have become household names for Apple customers, and many have gotten frequent coverage at The Mac Observer over the years.
Dr. Bott also has operations in Europe that are not affected by or involved with Dr Bott LLC's bankruptcy.
[Update: this article was updated to specify the bankruptcy is specific to Dr. Bott LLC)