Think Different™ was Apple’s trademark comeback slogan in 1997, an ad campaign which helped to steady Apple’s once flagging fortunes. Few technology companies with a few hundred million customers think as differently as Apple.
That was then and this is now and it’s time for Apple to stop with the Think Different methodology and become more pragmatic about making the great unwashed masses of Mac, iPhone, and iPad users happy. Not just satisfied. Happy. Really happy. Why? Because Think Different™ isn’t always the best way to think.
Bolted On Means Cover Up
Remember the mantra ‘You’re holding it wrong?‘ That was allegedly Steve Jobs’ response to an email from an iPhone customer who complained that merely holding his iPhone a certain way caused the signal bars to change. That obvious design flaw was covered up by Apple selling– and giving away– tens of millions of iPhone cases which helped keep sweaty hands, palms, and fingers from mucking with the iPhone’s built-in antennas.
Old habits die hard and Apple’s latest bolted on cover up is the new and much criticized Smart Battery Case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, both of which suffer from rapid battery drain when used for their intended purpose throughout the day.
Apple’s response is to charge users another $99 to take advantage of the cottage industry that grew up in recent years to address the batter life issue that Apple ignored by making the iPhone thinner thinner thinner instead of adding more battery. Now you can add more battery by really adding more battery to your iPhone.
Smart Battery Case or Camel Hump Case? You be the judge.
The new battery add on case will just about double the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s battery life, which is a good thing, but the hump on the back might make you subject to mocking, laughter, derision, and head scratching from friends, family, co-workers as if you were aesthetically challenged.
It’s a hump. A bump. An add on battery that is designed to be easy to remove, even though most of us who have used a battery case just put it on and leave it on. Someone at Apple seems to think add on battery cases need to be removed to recharge the phone so the little light that tells you how the charge is going is inside the case where you can’t see it if the case is on the phone.
To its credit, Apple stuck with the Lightning connector instead of going USB-C, but the extra thickness at the bottom of the case also means headphone users may need to pony up and get a separate 3.5mm headphone adapter.
How smart is Smart Battery Case? The iPhone’s lock screen displays two batteries while charging; one for the iPhone and one for the battery. That’s pretty cool. And it seems to be what Apple is calling smart these days.
For much of the 21st century so far, Apple’s executives have claimed they don’t want to get into a product category or segment unless they can be one of the best. Smart Battery Case is different, so Think Different™ applies here, but it’s a stretch to think of anemic add-on battery life and an unsightly hump as improving on the status quo.
It’s quite possible that Apple had to design the Smart Battery Case in such a way as to avoid patents obtained by other add-on battery case makers. If so, Think Different™ didn’t help anyone; not Apple, not iPhone customers, not competitors who designed and manufactured better battery cases.
For the same money I added a Mophie Juice Pack to my iPhone 6s Plus and it doubles battery life that is already superior to the iPhone 6 and 6s. And it comes in 50-percent more colors.