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Mobile news: battery cases do not solve the problem

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Latest Mobile News:  Battery Cases do not Solve Battery Life Problems

The latest smartphone news is not that battery life is a problem, it’s that today’s battery cases are not solving the problem.

If you have a Samsung Galaxy S6, iPhone 6, or other phone model, its old news that battery life is a problem.  Samsung and Apple have even admitted it by bringing out their own battery cases for the  Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6. There are a long line of battery cases from Mophie, Incipio, Energizer to Otterbox that have tried to address this problem. But all fall far short in solving the problem.


There are a lot of battery cases on the market today

No one buys a slim expensive smartphone just to have a permanent battery pack attached! The uproar surrounding Apple’s battery case is a good example of how far away all these battery cases are in providing a desirable solution. But smart technology combined with case design can now offer consumers a real solution to problems of battery life.


Beautiful Phones,  Limited Battery Life

The battery life problem is not a permanent issue, it’s a temporary one.  Get enough power then carry on – even better if you can do this without stopping what you are doing. Samsung’s old ad summed up the problem of the “Wall hugger” – you gotta  be near a power point in those times of need, and oh what I wouldn’t give for a  removable battery.

To solve the real problem one needs to understand that sleek, slimline design is one of the biggest consideration of today’s smartphone buyers.   Consumers want the slimmest phones with the most features. So, smartphone’s have slimmed down dramatically over the last few years. Can you believe the original iPhone was 68% thicker than the iphone 6 ? Gizmag does a great comparison of the original iPhone to the iPhone 6.


iPhone thickness since launch of original iPhone

But the price of looking good means battery life has failed to keep up with user behaviour.

The Problem with Battery Cases

Battery cases offer a very basic solution to this complex problem.  But they only approach it from one direction – more battery. For Mophie, Incipio, and Energiser the current solution is to attach an extra battery to a phone case, allowing you to extend your Samsung S6 battery life or letting your iPhone 6 last a day.

But these solutions are far off the mark for consumers of high-end flagship smartphones. Case (no pun intended) in point–the recent backlash against Apple’s new battery case.


Apple’s Battery Case

Review from The Verge: Apple’s new $99 iPhone battery case doesn’t measure up

Review from Arstechnica: Apple’s lumpy new iPhone battery case: Mini-review

Review from Know Your Mobile: Apple Smart Battery Case Review: Ugly But Useful In Equal Parts

People expected Apple to solve the whole problem – not just give them extra battery life.


Battery cases do not solve three major problems:

1) Most consumers care how their phones look. Battery cases ignore this basic consumer need by including the battery as a permanent feature of the case. This dramatically changes the shape of anyone’s phone.

2) Battery life is a temporary issue.  People only need power when they run out.   Battery cases do not offer this; they are designed such that most users keep them permanently on.

3)      More functionality may be needed in the future.  Today consumers recognise they need more battery life. But tomorrow they may want to add more functionality – e.g. memory, IOT solutions. With a battery case you only get….well, more battery life.


In essence, having a battery case is much like carrying around a permanent battery pack.  Which is crazy when you think about it since the first purchase consideration for most consumers is “how can I buy something that looks cool.”


Battery Cases Are Just Permanent Power Packs

Battery cases are no more than just permanent battery power packs.  Think about it.  It may be inconvenient to carry a portable power pack charger around with you because of cables and their size.  So you buy a battery case. But you have just moved the problem to your phone shape.  A battery case when it runs out of charge just sits on your phone.


Phone Cases Need to get Smart

Battery cases are a very basic hammer to a subtle problem that goes beyond battery life.  You might want more power for your smartphone now.  But in a minute you will not.  You do not want to stop doing what you are doing – making a call, taking photos, checking your map. But you also want your phone to look great.

If we look at the problem in more depth, its not just battery life that people will want to improve.  Its other parts of the smartphone experience or performance too.  It could be memory, for example, for those who take a lot of pictures or video. It could be sound quality for others.  It might even be that I need mobile solutions around wellness, health and security that require additional sensors (that my smartphone does not have).  The reality is as smartphones become even more central to our lives we will demand even more of them.  But latest news – they will not get much smarter faster – see our blog mobile news on smartphone innovation.

This is where phone cases and battery cases need to get smart and solve real consumer problems.  The best innovations not only solve the immediate problem but also have an ongoing value as needs change.  This is what the i-BLADES Smartcase  offers with its modular  and intuitive user design.  Just snap on power when you need it, snap it off when you do not. Snap on memory, then snap it off.   It makes your phone modular without you having to take it apart. Many more functions coming soon.

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  • Antony Leather says:

    ‘No one buys a slim expensive smartphone just to have a permanent battery pack attached’

    I have one attached to my iPhone 6 right now. It’s made by xLife and you can detatch the battery section which means you don’t need to lug it around if your phone has plenty of battery left – when is your iPhone model coming out as I’d be interested 🙂 I’d personally much rather my iPhone 6 was thicker and had more battery life, but I’m more than prepared to use a battery case – I bought the phone for the features – more battery life would be nice, but if a battery pack allows me to use it for longer then that’s fine with me. Apple’s effort was useless, but there are plenty of more attractive and thinner solutions out there. I’ve used a permanent battery case – yes they’re awkward to use but the extra battery life they give is well worth it if you’re a heavy user or often forget to charge your phone or spend a lot of time away from mains power.

    ‘to attach an extra battery to a phone case, allowing you to extend your Samsung S6 battery life or letting your iPhone 6 last a day.’

    Should that ready last an additional day? I’m a heavy user and my iPhone 6 lasts a day without a battery case. My battery case extends the life by at least another day, sometimes totalling 2.5 days. If I’m away for a weekend that’s hugely benefitial and again – well worth dealing with a slightly thicker/heavier phone. After all, what’s the point of having a thin phone if it’s dead in your pocket?

    • Dominic Neil-Dwyer says:

      Antony. Thanks for your comments. I have seen the xLife its a nice battery case. But from what I have seen its still a battery case. So clearly its right for you. But it does not appear to be designed as case first and there are compromises. I think like you many people might want to trade off thickness of their iPhones for more battery life but as you know, its Apple who will make the decision on that. But surely in the age of smart technology you should not have to make such significant trade-offs. You should be able to get what you need when you need it. That applies as much to battery power as to new technologies that could be available for your smartphone but are not, due to size limitations, planning cycles and processes in smartphone manufacturers. See our blog about innovation in smartphones

      But coming back to battery life. Even if you are a heavy user you do not need battery life permanently there is no reason to have a permanent case. You need enough power to see you through (however, long) and to not stop what you are doing. The i-BLADES Smartcase can offer you performance, convenience and flexibility.

      We will have non-android models coming out in the Summer.

      To your last comment. Completely agree that it is no use having a slim phone that dies in your pocket. But battery life remains one of the biggest issues with consumers. Battery accessories, charging cables as a result are phone accessory categories that are growing – just look at the wide range of battery cases and battery packs that are available. Its phenomenal. Despite all this, it would be a bold smartphone manufacturer that brought out a bulkier phone due to battery life!

      Let us know if you want us to keep you updated on progress – or you can subscribe to the blog.

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