Curious case of Apple Battery Case - Patents might have led Apple to design an ugly battery case

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Apple Battery Case vs Mophie

If Apple is known for one thing, it is design. It was Steve Jobs insistence on design, that formed the culture at Apple.

Apple has never compromised on design, that is until now.

Recently Apple launched a battery case for iPhone 6, which is not the most attractive product the company has ever released. The battery bulges out like a hunchback. It also adds an extra inch of thickness to the bottom of the phone, making it hard to use headphones including Apple’s own Beats line.

It seems Apple had to compromise because of some patents.

Mophie is the most innovative company when it comes to battery cases. Mophie has protected its innovations with lots of patents. So Apple basically designed around Mophie’s patents to come up with this goofy design.

For example, Mophie’s patent #9,172,070 claims a battery case with features:
1. 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.
2. A removable upper case.

How do you design around? By designing in the other direction: making a single-piece case with a floppy top and a bulging battery that has nothing in common with various patented Mophie designs

Apple isn’t the only company to have opted for the “bulge” approach – HTC did something similar and arguably made a worse job of it with the camera lens and flash within the bulge.

No matter what the reason, Apple is not expected to compromise on design. Not surprisingly, their customer base is up in arms.