Bump. Bulge. Boost. Whatever word you pick, you may have had Apple's new iPhone case in mind.
Unveiled Tuesday, the iPhone 6S Smart Battery Case is the company's answer to the enduring problem of smartphones that run out of juice far too soon for frustrated smartphone users.
It also adds some heft to product known for its sleek design, along with the extra energy oomph. As the case wraps around the back of the iPhone, its battery unit protrudes far enough that it may spoil the clean line of your jeans as you slip it into your pocket.
The case costs $99 in the US, £79 in the UK and AU$165 in Australia. Apple said the battery boost is enough to increase talk time to 25 hours, video playback to 20 hours and Internet use on modern high-speed 4G LTE networks to 18 hours.
Third-party case manufacturers such as Mophie have long produced battery packs for the iPhone, but this is the first time Apple has gotten into the game.
Smartphone engineers work hard to create the thin, sculpted designs prized by consumers. Those same consumers, though, wary of cracked screens and other damage, often wrap their high-tech investments in rubbery or boxy cases, even if it means spoiling a phone's stylish looks. Then there are the external chargers that dangle from a cord and take up that much more space in a pocket or a backpack.
With breakthroughs in battery technology sadly lacking, using battery packs -- either those built into cases or separate power banks -- has become the only option for people who need to extend the life of their smartphones but who can't plug in halfway through the day. Quick-charging tech has helped phone makers improve the day-to-day life of their devices, but Apple building battery capability into a phone case does serve as acknowledgement of the iPhone's limitations.
Apple fans could be surprised to see such a bulbous accessory from the Cupertino, California-based company. When thewas released in 2014, some commentators were aghast to see the camera lens protruding slightly from the device instead of sitting flush with its body. The battery case creates a whole plateau that seems to bulk up the quarter-inch thickness of the phone by roughly 50 percent.
The battery case offers some niceties. It charges at the same time as the phone itself over Apple's standard Lightning connector, and the iPhone lock screen and notification center display the battery case's charge status.
For those who keep track of these things, the capacity of the Smart Battery Case is 1,877 mAh, according to CNET's review.
Cases may hide much of the hard work that Chief Design Officer Jony Ive and the rest of Apple's design team put into making the iPhone itself svelte and streamlined. Now they've got an alternative of their own to offer.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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