In an apparent move to address the need for longer battery life on its iPhone 6 models, Apple has rolled out a new smart battery case. The company hasn’t issued a statement or made a lot of noise about the innovation, but you can buy one at Apple.com in charcoal gray or white for $99.
On the product page, Apple said that the Smart Battery Case (pictured) is engineered specifically for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 to give you even longer battery life and protection.
“The soft microfiber lining on the inside helps protect your iPhone, while the soft elastomer hinge design makes it easy to put the case on and take it off again,” Apple said. “On the outside, the silky, soft-touch finish of the silicone exterior feels great in your hand.”
By the Numbers
Despite the lack of marketing hype that typically accompanies Apple products, it’s clear that the company is hoping to sell a slew of these. First, it stems complaints about battery life. Second, it lines Apple’s pockets with more cash.
Practically speaking, Apple promises the Smart Battery Case will let you use the Internet on LTE networks for up to 18 hours and increase your talk time to up to 25 hours when you charge your iPhone and case at the same time. Apple is reporting even longer audio and video playback with the Smart Battery Case, but the company didn’t get specific.
Apple did not make any direct comparisons as to how long the Apple battery lasts without the case, noting only in its releases that the Apple-designed A9 chip offers “great battery life.” According to Trusted Reviews, though, the iPhone 6 battery lasts two hours and 35 minutes of non-stop action on 3D gaming.
For the rest of us, that translates to about two days of life with normal use but the reviewer said most days you’ll get home with 30 percent to 60 percent of your battery left, depending on how long you actually use the device.
Better from Apple
We caught up with Roger Entner, principal analyst at Recon Analytics, to get his take on the new case. He told us this move by Apple is an admission that the batteries in today's devices just don't last long enough for many people.
Most smartphone users have sleek and thin devices with limited power, but power users will bulk up with accessories such as the Smart Battery Case, he said, adding that Apple is not the only company rolling out these gadgets.
“Other handset manufacturers make battery extensions for phones and you can buy these types of products from third-party companies,” Entner said. “There are quite a lot of people who will pay for the more expensive Apple case because it’s from Apple and therefore it must be better.”
When the Smart Battery Case is on, the intelligent battery status is displayed on the iPhone Lock screen and in the Notification Center, according to Apple. If you're concerned about your Lightning accessories, including the Lightning to USB Cable that’s included with your iPhone and works with the separately sold iPhone Lightning Dock, don’t be. The Smart Battery Case is compatible.
Image credit: Apple; iStock/Artist's concept.
Posted: 2015-12-09 @ 8:33pm PT
Can you add it on the fly, if your battery is almost empty and you need some juice?
To be perfectly honest, for $99, you can get far better (and far better looking!) battery cases. My iPhone 6s WiCase wireless charging case half the price.