Apple’s Pricey New iPhone Battery Case Gets Very Little Love

Apple on Tuesday unveiled its own battery case for the iPhone 6s.

Offered in white and charcoal gray, it has a silicone exterior and a microfiber lining. In addition to offering protection, it increases iPhone usage times.

The intelligent battery status is displayed on the iPhone Lock screen and in Notification Center.

Priced at US$99, the case supports Lightning accessories, so users can transfer data while the iPhone is in it.

The Price Is Not Right

“It is expensive,” observed Susan Schreiner, an analyst at C4 trends.

“From a purely technical standpoint, the Smart Battery Case doesn’t offer as much extra battery life as competitors do,” remarked Lauren Goode in her review for The Verge. “So in order to justify its $99 price point, it has to be ‘smart’ in other ways. It has to build upon existing Apple designs, and it has to utilize the iPhone’s software. It does all of this — but I’m not convinced this is the best case.”

Get Mophie’s $60 Juice Pack Reserve for the iPhone 6 and 6s “if you’re looking for something pocketable and cheap,” suggested Chris Velazco, writing for Engadget.

There are many third-party iPhone 6s battery cases available, some selling for as little as $25.

Some third-party cases have batteries in the 3,000 mAh range, while Apple’s case has a 1,900 mAh battery, which means it provides less battery life than some competitors.

“Apple’s a high-margin company, so you could argue everything they sell is overpriced,” noted Rob Enderle, principal at the Enderle Group. “That’s part of their allure; they appeal to folks who like to think they don’t care about price.”

Design Issues

The Apple case’s bump — it conceals an antenna — has raised some hackles.

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