smart battery case Stories December 10, 2015

After Mophie and several other companies created the “iPhone battery case” category, Apple’s Made for iPhone accessory team quietly began to limit what the cases could do. For instance, developers were told that they couldn’t charge both the iPhone and the case at the same time; instead they had to charge the iPhone first, then the case. And although some early battery cases used Apple connectors to recharge, that convenience was nixed by Apple, too. I covered the inception and growth of the battery case market, and heard numerous stories of last-minute scrambles to meet Apple demands, none of which appeared to be making the cases better for end users. Today, the best iPhone 6/6s battery cases are incredibly similar to one another, distinguished more by pricing and capacity than differences in features.

Years later, some of the advantages Apple denied to third-party developers have appeared in the iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case ($99), Apple’s first battery case for iPhones. Roundly mocked for its rear “hump” and unfavorably compared to best-selling $40 alternatives on raw battery power, Apple’s latest design clearly isn’t for everyone. But despite the criticism, Apple isn’t stupid, and even if it isn’t winning beauty or capacity awards, the Smart Battery Case’s few special features give it a leg up on certain competitors…

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It’s not too surprising that Apple’s new iPhone 6s Smart Case isn’t made to be easily opened for repairs. To get inside for its usual teardown routine, iFixit had to peel off the soft lining of the case by heating up the adhesive. It then had to remove three proprietary Apple screws to remove a metal reinforcement plate and get at the battery itself. So while you likely won’t be able to repair your new Smart Case without destroying it, we do get a look inside of the new product thanks to iFixit’s willingness to do so… expand full story

ASUS and LG mock Apple’s ‘bumpy’ iPhone battery case

Earlier this week, Apple launched its very first official battery case for the iPhone 6/6s. It’d be an understatement to say that it got some attention on social media, mostly from people who couldn’t believe the design-focused company released something so hideous. In fact, you’ll be hard pushed to find someone who has something good to say about the way the case looks.

Not to miss a good marketing opportunity, ASUS and LG were among those mocking the battery case and using it to sell the benefits of its own products. ASUS was keen to point out that, even with the battery case attached, the iPhone 6 is still no match for the ZenFone Max. ASUS claims its 5000mAh battery-powered smartphone can handle 2 hours more video playback, 2 hour more internet use and 12 hours more talk time than a case-equipped iPhone.

Meanwhile, LG took a slightly different line with the V10, ribbing the Apple case’s ‘bumpy’ design. Incidentally, LG’s V10 has a 3,000mAh battery which you can fast-charge up to 50% in just 40mins. :

It’s no surprise to see the companies exploiting a weakness in Apple’s armor to fuel their own marketing efforts, and the Cupertino-based company could certainly have tried to make it a little harder. Right now, the humped battery case is an easy target.

One thing no company has mocked is perhaps the one thing that has impressed all of us: iOS integration. When an iPhone has a Smart Battery Case attached, it displays both the phone and case’s battery levels in the notification drawer’s ‘Today’ view. What’s more, it charges the iPhone automatically and charges via Lightning cable. Those are some convenient features, for sure. Whether or not you’d want a ‘bumpy’ case in your hand to gain those features is another matter entirely.

smart battery case Stories December 9, 2015

A lot of us have been wondering how it was that Apple’s design team went off the rails when designing the new iPhone Smart Battery Case. Nilay Patel at The Verge, has now put forward one possible explanation: Apple had to find a way to avoid infringing the patents of the market leader in battery cases, Mophie …

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smart battery case Stories December 8, 2015

Earlier today Apple surprised us with the release of its first ever Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. The case, which runs $99, in line with popular third-party competitors, adds an extra 1,877mAh of battery power to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. Popular YouTuber DetroitBorg has gone hands-on with the accessory and explained all of what we need to know about Apple’s first battery case…

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Like many this morning, my first reaction to Apple’s Smart Battery Case was … what the heck? Albeit not expressed in those exact words. Seth tweeted that it seemed to be evidence that Jony Ive has left the building.

My colleague Jeremy has addressed the battery case specifically, but I think there’s a broader issue here. Apple claims to sweat the details when it comes to the design of its devices, and – a few grumbles aside – I think that’s a legitimate claim on the aesthetic front. It does go to obsessive lengths when it comes to making its devices as visually pleasing as possible. One part of that obsession is making iPhones as thin as it can.

But, to my mind, the company has an almost schizophrenic attitude here. It goes to all that trouble to make the phones as slim and sleek as humanly possible, yet it knows full well that the first thing the vast majority of owners do when they take delivery is to slip the phone into a case. Those cases substantially increase the thickness, and hide the design.

Which brings us to problem two …  expand full story

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