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article imageApple releases an official iPhone case with a built-in battery

By James Walker     Dec 8, 2015 in Technology
Apple has surprised iPhone users by announcing the immediate availability of an official accessory that adds an extra battery to their phone's case. The Apple Smart Battery Case rivals the third-party solutions that have been available for years.
The case was launched today and can be purchased online from the U.S. and UK Apple Stores for $99.99 and £79.99 respectively. It is available in two colours, white and charcoal gray, and fits the iPhone 6 and 6s.
The size of its built-in battery hasn't been disclosed. Instead, Apple claims it will give an iPhone up to 25 hours of total talk time or 18 hours of Internet browsing over a 4G connection. The case is connected to the iPhone using a Lightning cable and can work with the iPhone Lightning Dock.
It is finished with soft-touch silicone so it won't slip away when being held. The inside surface is lined with soft microfiber to protect the iPhone's chassis. A hinge built from soft elastomer is supposed to make putting the case on easier.
The Apple Smart Battery Case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S
The Apple Smart Battery Case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S
The Smart Battery Case adds a noticeable protrusion to the back of the phone when fitted. In an attempt to keep the iPhone looking as thin as possible, Apple has concealed the battery beneath a hump in the case but it doesn't help to hide the fact that it will considerably increase your phone's size and make it harder to pocket. It's not as aesthetically pleasing as Apple's usual designs, something several early reviews have been keen to point out.
The case has been met with a decidedly mixed reception. Criticism has been particularly directed at its "smart" branding and $100 price-point. Third-party iPhone battery cases by companies such as Mophie feature larger batteries for as little as half the price.
iPhone owners who want a longer battery life without having to cover their phone with third-party branding may be pleased by the availability of an official case. For everyone else, the consensus is generally that better products are available for less cost, with Apple's promise of an "intelligent battery status" lock screen notification for the phone and case doing little to justify its pricing.
There's currently no indication of Apple releasing similar battery-boosting cases for its other models. Notably, there isn't a version of the Smart Battery Case to fit the iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus, perhaps due to the handset's larger internal battery. It's still an interesting decision though as Apple usually creates accessories that fit all its flagship products. The company hasn't said whether it will release a battery case for the 6 Plus series in the future.
More about Apple, iPhone, iphone 6, iphone 6 plus, Case
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