Apple has released their first ever iPhone case with built in battery and is rumoured to be working on a future iPhone without the traditional 3.5 mm headphone jack. Has Apple gone too far and lost its way?
The new iPhone case release on December 8 is available for the iPhone 6s and costs US$99 available in either Charcoal Grey or White. Presumably, the iPhone 6s Plus with its bigger battery does not need the extra juice.
Has Apple finally admitted that their phone batteries are too small? Not only is this an odd move on Apple’s part it’s ugly, really ugly. Gone are the smooth lines and finishes Apple is known for and replaced by a case with a hump on the back to accommodate the battery with an ugly hump. Many other 3rd party accessories makers like Mophie Juice pack air or the Trianium Atomic S offer a similar product that actually look better than Apple’s offering while offering significantly more power. Beauty they say is in the eye of the beholder.
Under Steve Jobs leadership Apple went from the brink of bankruptcy to one of the most successful companies in the world. This was in large part due to his obsession with style and quality in their products. First by bringing us personal computers that were as nice to look at. This sense of style over function has been a driving force behind Apple’s products ever since. Using this design philosophy their flagship product, the iPhone leads global profits in smartphones by a large margin against Android in spite of selling fewer units. By placing style first, some argue features have suffered.
The first casualty of Apple’s obsession for style over function and with it the drive for thinner and thinner phones was the traditional 30 pin connector. This connector which became the de-facto standard showing up in clock radios and cars was replaced by a the Lightning connector. Expandability and many features like video out were sacrificed with this change not to mention incompatibility with an entire ecosystem of accessories.
Today it is rumoured that the headphone jack will also disappear in favour of a yet unknown new connector or dongle for the lightning port to achieve the same results.
Do we really want phones to be any thinner? The overwhelming customer satisfaction report for the iPhone or, in fact, any phone is for longer battery life. So it would seem we would rather a thicker phone if it meant longer battery life.
The other thing customers want is choice. It took far too long for Apple to offer the choice of a larger screen. With this latest stealth admission that their batteries are too small could a thicker phone with a bigger battery be much of a stretch?
With the Android, platform manufacturers are free to make any form factor they want. Want a phone with a bigger battery, no problem. How about expandable memory plenty of choice here. However with Apple’s lock on their hardware (which is not a bad thing) and their glacial 1 or 2 new phones released per year we are stuck with whatever the Apple orchard will bring us.
Perhaps it is time for Apple to offer more phones per year to satisfy more users. For example, one model let’s call it the Classic which could offer the usual style over function while marketing another model with a few millimetres thicker but with extra ports, and a bigger battery.
At the rate Apple is going we are going to end up with and anorexic phone looking like a super model in need of a sandwich, the resulting phone may become so thin that they become unpractical to use the way we want.