Somewhat quietly, and rather unexpectedly, Apple yesterday released a new battery case for the iPhone 6s.
Priced at $99 and dubbed the Smart Battery Case, Apple's latest accessory promises users 25 hours of talk time and 18 hours of Internet browsing via LTE.
While some people have been quick to criticize the design of the case itself, I think that such criticisms are unfounded. After all, the purpose of the battery add-on is more about function over form. If your top priority is squeezing as much battery life out of your iPhone 6s as you can, design shouldn't really enter the equation, especially when the design of Apple's Smart Battery Case is more than respectable.
Besides, Apple made a number of interesting design choices that should help the Smart Battery Case stand out, ever so slightly, from an already crowded field of similar cases. For instance, when the case is attached, Apple notes that a battery status indicator is displayed on the iPhone lock screen, thus informing users how much charge they have left.
It's also nice that the case comes in one easy to pull on sleeve, rather than being comprised of two separate attachable pieces, as is often the case. What's more, Apple's battery case comes with an integrated antenna to help keep reception in top form.
As for any negatives, many outlets have noted that cheaper iPhone battery cases provide more juice for just half the price of Apple's own offering.
Pros and cons aside, the more interesting takeaway from this new accessory, I think, is that it arguably demonstrates that Apple is well aware that many consumers may not necessarily be happy with the iPhone's battery life. Quizzically, Apple remains obsessed with making the iPhone thinner and thinner, as opposed to implementing more robust battery life, a feature that most iPhone users have at the top of their wish list, according to any number of surveys.
In fact, rumor has it that Apple with the iPhone 7 is planning to completely do away with the 3.5 mm headphone jack, all in an effort to shave just one more millimeter off of the iPhone's super slim profile.
Alas, the rollout of Apple's new battery case suggests that we may have to wait a while longer before a beefed up battery-friendly iPhone sees the light of day.