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Tim Cook on iPhone battery case: Don't call it a 'hump'

Apple's CEO would prefer to discuss other aspects of the company's battery-boosting iPhone case.

That's no hump, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple's new battery case has taken a ribbing for the way it bulks up the slim lines of the iPhone. CEO Tim Cook is now defending its honor.

Launched Tuesday, the Smart Battery Case is Apple's first gadget wrap designed to supplement your iPhone's battery. Along with an energy boost, however, it also adds a sizable bulge to the backside of the smartphone, which many observers have derided as an unsightly hump.

Not so Cook.

"I probably wouldn't call it 'the hump,'" Cook told blog site Mashable at the Hour of Code event Wednesday.

He didn't offer an alternative description, but smartphone rival LG used the opportunity to tweet a photo of its LG V10 with the tagline "A moment of silence for those experiencing a bumpy ride." and the hashtag #TheHump.

Smartphone owners routinely cloak their sleek, high-tech rectangles with cases that both protect the body and glass screen and allow an additional measure of styling and self-expression.

Poor battery life, meanwhile, is one of the biggest complaints about smartphones generally, and iPhones especially. No one likes running out of power before the day is over, so consumers often turn to external battery packs that fit into an oversize case or hang from a short cable as an accessory.

Apple said the battery boost from its $99 case (£79 in the UK, AU$165 in Australia) is enough to boost talk time to 25 hours, video playback to 20 hours and Internet use on 4G LTE networks to 18 hours.

Cook intimated that Apple's case isn't necessarily a sign the iPhone's battery life is a problem. People who charge their phones every day probably won't need it, he said. But "if you're out hiking and you go on overnight trips ... it's kind of nice to have."

He also contended that, unlike Apple's new design, battery cases such as those from Mophie are so stiff and firm that people often struggle to put them and take them off. If Apple's battery case was solid all the way around, people would face that same sort of struggle.

"Have you ever used other cases and tried to get them on?" Cook asked the Mashable writer. Apple saw a better way to approach the matter, Cook said: "The guys had this great insight to put the bend in along with making it a smart case."

It's all about flexibility.