Apple Inc. surprised the tech world on Tuesday as it revealed its first battery-stretching peripheral. The $99 Smart Battery pack is an admission on the part of the company that the lasting power of the iPhone 6S isn’t up to scratch, but it means more than that. Apple isn’t likely to simply be making up for its current device, and the release can be used to read into the firm’s iPhone 7 specs.
Apple has been called on for years to stop making phones thinner and start making them last longer. It’s not clear that that’s the best strategy for the firm to follow, after all sales keep growing with each millimeter the firm shaves off of the smart phone. It is, however, consistently one of the most talked about weaknesses of the device. Apple now has a solution, but it wants yet another $99 for the privilege.
Apple Inc. gets iPhone battery up to scratch
The $99 Smart Battery Case is different in design from most of the power add-ons available on the market right now. It holds flush to the case of the actual phone for the most part, only bulging to show off where the battery actually is. It comes in Charcoal Gray or White and works with the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6.
Apple Inc. says that the case will help users to secure “increased talk time up to 25 hours, Internet use up to 18 hours on LTE, and even longer audio and video playback.” A microfiber lining in the case serves to keep it safe from impact, while a “soft elastomer hinge design” allows the case to be put on and taken off with ease. In terms of pure specs the Smart Battery Case offers 1,877mAh of extra power on top of the 1810 mAh power pack inside the iPhone 6S.
The case has a port that will allow users to use lightning accessories along with it, and it seems to be a decent case for those who want a long battery life. The $99 price tag is a lot higher than some of the other cases on the market, but, as with all peripherals made by Apple itself, it promises higher build quality and assurance that it will work exactly as designed.
The Verge, which managed to post an early review of the Smart Battery Case, says that the device doesn’t hold up next to its competitors. It doesn’t offer quite as much power, and the bump was, at least for Lauren Goode who reviewed the device, a little bit off-putting. Goode’s review ends simply “from a pure performance and even a design perspective, Apple’s effort is not the best you can get.”
Apple keeps the iPhone 7 specs hidden
Apple Inc. is working on the iPhone 7 specs right now, but the firm has managed to keep tight control on most of the info about the next big smart phone. Most of what we’ve already seen, with the best info, as always, coming from Ming Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, makes it seem as if the iPhone 7 specs won’t surpass the current device on battery life.
Mr. Kuo says that Apple will endeavor to make its next smart phone the thinnest it has ever released. In his view the device will come in at something like 6-6.5mm. That likely means shrinking the power cell size in the iPhone 7 specs in order to reduce the thickness. Once again, many users will need to splash out on an extra case in order to lengthen the battery life on offer.
We don’t know a lot about the iPhone 7 specs just yet, and most of the rumors we’ve been furnished with so far have been far from verifiable, or even likely. Today’s release is, however, a sign of the way things are going and it looks like Ming Chi Kuo is, once again, right about the design of the iPhone 7.
Apple looks for $99 more
This time around, however, Apple will be ready. On November 10 Ewan Spence, a contributor over on the Forbes network, wrote his predictions for the 4-inch iPhone 7. In his view the device will serve as a minor frustration in order to funnel buyers to more expensive devices. In order to support that view he pointed to the 16GB iPhone, a device which, in his view, does nothing but forces buyers to part with an additional $100 to upgrade.
If that really is Apple’s strategy, and there’s lots of reasons to have doubt, then the firm’s new battery play fits right in. The iPhone 7 is going to be incredibly thin, and it’s going to have enough battery for a full day, or something close to that. For those who can’t charge during the day and sometimes end up using their phone heavily, however, the added battery pack may be a $99 purchase too tempting to avoid at the counter.
Apple’s iPhone is by far the most important product it has right now in terms of sales and slowing growth rates, and perhaps an end to growth altogether, have made Wall Street nervous. Apple has arrested some of those would-be sellers by driving up the average sales price for the iPhone and ballooning its margins.
The iPhone Smart Battery Case may serve to further that goal, at least in some small way, and leave people spending more in order to get the features they want from their smart phone. It’s likely, as Mr. Horwitz at 9to5Mac says, that this strategy will extend to the iPhone 7 specs, and Apple has shown its hand on some of the details of its next release.