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Teardown of Apple's Smart Battery Case exposes 1,877mAh battery, simple design

Apple's new Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6 and 6s uses a relatively simple construction, centered around a 1,877 milliamp-hour battery sitting behind an aluminum plate, according to a teardown published on Thursday.




The battery more than doubles the 1,715 milliamp-hour capacity of an iPhone 6s, iFixit remarked. Despite the case's name, however, most of the "smart" aspects are believed to be supported through paired iPhones, since the only two integrated circuit modules inside are a NXP NX20P3 load switch —also used in Lighting-to-USB cables —and the same NXP 1608A1 charging IC found in Apple's latest Magic peripherals for the Mac.

The case uses a soft but reinforced elastomer hinge to let users slide their iPhone in and out with ease. The aluminum plate serves not just as a door to the battery compartment but as further structural support, since much of the rest of the case is made of rubber and hard plastic.

As might be expected, the case is essentially impossible to repair. The battery can technically be replaced, but doing so is tough because of glue and the high chance of destroying the case's microfiber liner.

The Smart Battery Case was launched on Tuesday in a surprise announcement, and has so far proven controversial, thanks to its high $99 pricetag and a design some have called ugly. On Wednesday Apple CEO Tim Cook took umbrage at people calling the battery bulge "the hump," insisting that it's necessary to make the case simple to install and remove.