Apple CEO Tim Cook Defends the iPhone Smart Battery Case’s Controversial Design
Earlier this week, Apple released the iPhone Smart Battery Case. A handy accessory for those who use their iPhones all the time and are fed up of their handset running out of juice, the Smart Battery Case is a savior, adding up to 25 hours of extra call time and 18 hours of Internet browsing. It costs $99 and encompasses the entire iPhone, and while that price isn’t awfully expensive in comparison to other battery cases on the market, there is one serious problem: the iPhone Smart Battery Case is incredibly ugly.
In the three short days that the iPhone Smart Battery Case has been on sale, people on the Internet have ripped it to shreds calling the turtle-like hump on the back of the case ‘ugly as sin’, an ‘eyesore’ and more. They say that given how stylish iPhones usually look, the battery case is a complete 180 from that and it’s not in line with the great Apple design that they’d expect. The criticism has been so scathing, in fact, that Apple CEO Tim Cook has now been forced to respond.
Speaking to Mashable‘s Lance Ulanoff, Cook said that he “probably wouldn’t call it ‘the hump”. “One of the real insights here is, have you ever used other cases and tried to get them on?” he asked Ulanoff, and pointing to the place where the ‘hump’ stopped and the soft bit of the case begins, Cook told the reporter that “if you make this solid all the way across, in order to get it on, you’d find it very difficult to get it on and off. So the guys had this great insight to put the bend in along with making it a smart case”. Moreover, Cook explained that “if you’re charging your phone every day, you probably don’t need this at all. But if you’re out hiking and you go on overnight trips… it’s kind of nice to have.”
However, while Cook would argue that the iPhone Smart Battery Case design was created with iPhone users in mind, a report from The Verge suggests that patents were the real reason why Apple went down the ‘battery hump’ route. Apple’s biggest rival in the mobile case space is Mophie, a company which has a huge library of patents relating to the design of these cases.
One prime example is Mophie patent #9,172,070 which was granted in October. This patent states that any cases that have a removable upper case, or a ‘ lower case that contains a battery and sides that extend along a mobile device, with internal and external power connectors, and an on / off switch’ would infringe upon their patent. Given that Apple only just got out of a messy patent battle with Samsung, it’s no wonder why the company would rather make an ugly battery case that upsets a few in order to avoid getting into yet another legal scuffle.
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