Battery pack phone cases aren’t the most popular kids in town, probably because there hasn’t been a successful way to make them a burdenless accessory. They can be difficult to take on and off, are hard and stiff (as they add a huge amount of excess thickness to the bottom of a smartphone), and are sometimes pretty hideous. Could that be the same story when describing Apple’s very own iPhone Smart Battery Case?
Right off the bat, we can tell it’s not the most beautiful product. Apple must have “designed it so intensely, they forgot to design it at all”, meaning there’s a couple stick out like a sore thumb situations going on here. According to The Verge, Apple’s take on the invention is not only bulky, but the bulk makes it hard to use headphones with it, and the battery has an awkward way of sticking out. Gizmodo even goes as far as saying “it looks like a tumor”. Pretty harsh criticisms coming from all directions.
When it comes to inspiration for designing a battery case from scratch, any company would have to seek ideas from Mophie, the biggest name in battery cases in the industry. Apple obviously didn’t stray away from Mophie’s ideas, deliberately taking some cues from the company’s very own design patents. Forgetting about what sources have been saying, let’s take one second to put aside our initial reaction and think about how this thing works. Meant to fit both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, Apple’s iPhone Smart Battery Case holds a 1,877mAh battery. Yes, this is less than Mophie’s highly popular Juice Pack Air, and no it’s not supposed to matter because it’s an Apple product (or so we’re supposed to believe).
Apple does throw in some features to make it unique, allowing its battery case to be charged with a Lightning cable (in exchange for the microUSB Mophie requires). It strays away from Mophie’s two-part design just enough to get away with it, opting for a single-piece case with simpler slide-in design. You are in charge of when the case is actually charging your device, but when it does, it can provide 25 hours of talk time, 20 hours of video playback, or 18 hours of web browsing (The Next Web).
Whether or not you find the battery pack “hideous”, Apple usually knows what it’s doing when it designs a product. Although it’s hard to remember the last time it did something wrong, the iPhone Smart Battery Case could very well plummet if it doesn’t get the tried and true test from consumers. It’s not enough for reviewers to say “It sure is ugly, but it works well”. It has to be functional, not too bulky (which it seems to suffer drastically from), and easy to use. When it comes down to options, it is far more attractive of a battery case than some of the other options out there.
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