We exclusively revealed the existence of the iPhone XS Smart Battery Case earlier this month, with assets present in iOS builds. The website Appleosophy has spotted another occurrence in Apple’s fall merchandising guidelines for resellers. 9to5Mac has confirmed the findings as legitimate.
The photos are part of a document that tells resellers how to present Apple silicone and leather cases for the fall 2018 season. Undeniable images of a XS Smart Battery Case are present in the cells for ‘black leather XS Max’ and ‘black leather XS’.
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The photo of the case is low resolution but it definitely depicts a case that Apple does not currently sell; the ridge of the hump is clearly visible and the vertical camera system confirms this is a new design. Apple last offered a first-party battery case for the iPhone 7 (and not the Plus model).
The photo being present in documentation labelled ‘fall 2018’ is another indicator that Apple planned to launch this case before the end of the year. Fall technically ends on Friday, 21st December so there’s still time for the company to meet that schedule. However, it is possible that timelines slipped and the new Apple battery case was pushed back to 2019.
We aren’t really sure why the case is included in the matrix in the ‘leather’ row. It sits alongside the normal range of leather seasonal case colors. The battery case is only visible in the black column, there is no white version depicted in these documents. All previous Smart Battery Cases had silicone exteriors and came in multiple colors.
I interpret the disagreement in labelling as a mistake, the black leather case image was probably meant to go in this cell, rather than some comment about the product range of the forthcoming Battery Case. What it confirms unequivocally is that a iPhone X series Smart Battery Case was nearing completion internally, in time for marketing images to find their way into pamphlets for resellers.
The image in the documentation is small so it doesn’t look great when small. Here’s the higher quality asset from our story from earlier this month:
The new image matches the code leak, except that the camera module is included rather than an open hole. The code findings suggested the existence of three models, presumably for XS, XS Max and XR. The Apple reseller document does not reference any cases for the iPhone XR, so we aren’t sure about the fate of the XR battery case based on this latest discovery.
Thanks to Appleosophy for sharing its source with us to verify the validity of their report.