According to Apple, some Smart Battery Cases can experience charging issues, including cases that will not charge or charge intermittently when plugged into power, or cases that will not charge an iPhone or charge it intermittently.
Affected Smart Battery Cases were manufactured between January 2019 and October 2019. Apple says that this is not a safety issue and Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will replace eligible cases for free.
All Smart Battery Cases designed for iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR manufactured between the above dates are eligible for replacement. Apple says that no other iPhone Smart Battery Cases are a part of the program, which means no iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max battery cases will be replaced.
Apple says that customers with an impacted Smart Battery Case can find an Apple Authorized Service Provider or make an appointment at an Apple retail location to have their case replaced. Smart Battery Cases will be examined prior to service to verify that they are eligible for the program.
Affected cases will be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way and the program covers Smart Battery Cases for two years after the first retail sale of the unit.
Since the Smart Battery Cases launched in early 2019, there have been complaints over various failures and issues with charging. At one point in mid-2019, the Smart Battery Cases were unavailable for purchase and backordered for over a month, a stock issue that could have been related to ongoing charging problems.
Before providing service, Apple has advised technicians to ensure the iPhone is updated to the latest iOS version, noting that the camera button will not function correctly unless the device is running iOS 13.2 or later.
Apple has also advised technicians to remind customers that a single quick press of the button will not launch the Camera app in order to avoid unintentional presses. The button must be pressed and held for the app to open. Holding the button for too long, however, will close the Camera app and return to the Lock screen.
All in all, Apple does not appear to be acknowledging an actual issue with the cases here, but rather helping to clear up some confusion.
Apple last week debuted new Smart Battery Cases designed for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, with each case adding 50 percent additional battery life to its respective iPhone.
Noted repair site iFixit and Creative Electron today did an x-ray teardown of the new battery cases to take a quick glimpse at what's inside and how the near camera button feature works.
Compared to last year's battery cases, the new cases have a camera button on the right side that's designed to open the camera when it's pressed. With the Camera app open, pressing the button takes a photo, and holding it down takes a QuickTake video.
According to iFixit's x-rays, the camera button works though a little circuit board in the case, which has a thin, flexible circuit that runs to the photo button. The circuit board is designed to connect to the camera button through the Lightning port at the bottom of the case.
The button is designed to be just a bit recessed to prevent it from activating in a pocket or a bag, and you do need to hold it down for just a bit to open the camera app to begin with. All in all, it's a useful little feature that adds some nice utility to the Smart Battery Case.
There's little else of interest in the x-ray, but the inductive charging coil is visible, as is the 10.9v battery and other internal circuitry that makes the case functional.
For more on Apple's Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, make sure to check out our guide.
The first Smart Battery Case orders are arriving to customers today and the cases are in stores, so we picked one up to give MacRumors readers a heads up on the features and the differences compared to last year's Smart Battery Cases.
Design wise, the Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro models look identical to the prior-generation battery cases, with the exception of the square-shaped camera cutout to accommodate the dual and triple-lens camera systems in the new iPhones.
This year's case has the same bump at the back, which houses the battery that charges the iPhone, and it's about the same thickness as last year's model.
There are volume up buttons at the side, a power button, and, on the right side, a brand new button that's designed to be a camera control. You can press the button to automatically launch the camera app, regardless of whether the iPhone is locked or unlocked.
Pressing the button the first time opens up the camera app, but when the app is opened, pressing again takes a photo. Pressing and holding captures a QuickTake video, and the single press also works with the selfie camera.
Apple is offering the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max Smart Battery Cases in black, white, and pink sand, while the iPhone 11 Smart Battery Case is limited to black and white. The black shade of the new cases has shifted. Last year, Apple used a black case with a charcoal logo, but this year, the entire case is the lighter charcoal color with a deeper black logo.
There are two 1,430mAh battery cells inside of the iPhone 11 Pro Max version of the Smart Battery Case, up from the 1,369mAh battery cells used last year in the iPhone XS Max Smart Battery Case. The two battery cells are wired together into one battery, allowing the cases to offer 10.9Wh of energy (vs. 10.1Wh in the prior XS Max model).
Apple says that all of the new battery cases will add up to 50 percent more battery life to the iPhones, which translates to 9 hours of additional video playback for the 11 Pro, 10 hours of additional video playback for the 11 PRo Max, and 8.5 hours of additional video playback for the iPhone 11.
With the Smart Battery Case attached to an iPhone, the iPhone will drain the case first before using the built-in battery, and this is automatic and can't be shut off. Battery life of the case can be viewed on the Lock screen when placed on a charger or in the Today view of the Notification Center.
Charging the case can be done using a Lightning cable or a Qi-based wireless charger. The iPhone will always charge before the case when charging the two together. For those with Lightning-based headphones and accessories, the Lightning port on the Smart Battery Case does have passthrough capabilities.
Supplies of Apple's Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR are limited right now, and new orders made for a Smart Battery Case in the United States won't ship out until July.
There's no word on why the Smart Battery Cases are temporarily unavailable from Apple, but there could have been a manufacturing delay or issue that has caused available supply to dry up.
Right now, Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR all list delivery dates between July 1 and July 16, with pickup available in retail stores on July 16.
Those dates pertain to all colors, including Pink Sand, White, and Black, for all Smart Battery Cases.
The Smart Battery Case shortage also means that warranty replacements for Smart Battery Cases in need of repair are unavailable at the current time, as MacRumors reader Andy learned from a retail employee. Replacements will likely be available again in July when supplies improve.
Apple's Smart Battery Case for iPhone XR is available for $102 from Amazon right now, a $27 discount off of the regular $129 price tag for the accessory.
The discounted price is limited to the Smart Battery Case that comes in black, with the white color option still available for the regular price. There are also no discounts on the Smart Battery cases for the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max.
$102 is the lowest price that we've seen for the Smart Battery Case for the iPhone XR since its launch in January. Apple's Smart Battery Case for iPhone XR, when used with an iPhone XR, provides a combined total of up to 39 hours of talk time, up to 22 hours of internet use, and up to 27 hours of video playback.
The Smart Battery Cases can be charged via Lightning or wirelessly using any Qi-based wireless charger, and battery status can be viewed on the iPhone's Lock screen and in Notification Center.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
Amazon and B&H Photo this week have introduced the first straight price discount on Apple's just-released Smart Battery Case for iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. The sales are discounting the price of the new accessory by about $11.
The cases are priced mostly the same, but Amazon does beat B&H Photo's sale by a few cents for the iPhone XS and XS Max Smart Battery Case in Black. Check out the full list below, and note that Apple sells each case for $129.00 on its website.
Priced at $129, the Smart Battery Cases come in either black or white and are made from the same material as Apple's silicone cases. From our hands on article:
How does it work?
The Smart Battery Cases are similar in design to a silicone case but with an extra bump on the back that houses the battery pack. While attached to the iPhone, the Smart Battery Case functions like an external battery pack, providing additional power to the iPhone.
A Lightning connector built into the case connects to the Lightning port in the iPhone, but Lightning access remains available due to an additional Lightning port in the case itself.
When you have the Smart Battery Case on your iPhone, your iPhone will use all of the charge in the case before expending its own battery.
What's the capacity?
Each of the Smart Battery Cases features two 1,369mAh battery cells inside. Because there are two battery cells wired together, the cases run at a higher voltage that offers 10.1Wh of energy, making them higher capacity than previous battery cases introduced for iPhone 6s and 7.
How much extra battery life does it add?
Apple lists the approximate battery life you can expect from each iPhone while in the case, broken down into different use cases.
- iPhone XR total battery life with case - Up to 39 hours talk time, 22 hours internet use, and 27 hours video playback.
- iPhone XS total battery life with case - Up to 33 hours talk time, 21 hours internet use, and 25 hours video playback.
- iPhone XS Max total battery life with case - Up to 37 hours talk time, 20 hours internet use, and 25 hours video playback.
So, if we compare those totals with the normal battery life for each of these devices, we can see how much additional battery life each case adds. Normal battery life estimates for each iPhone:
- iPhone XR: Up to 25 hours talk, 15 hours internet, 16 hours video
- iPhone XS: Up to 20 hours talk, 12 hours internet, 14 hours video
- iPhone XS Max: Up to 25 hours talk, 13 hours internet, 15 hours video
The estimated additional battery life added with each Smart Battery Case:
- iPhone XR: +14 hours talk time, +7 hours internet time, +11 hours video playback
- iPhone XS: +13 hours talk time, +9 hours internet time, +11 hours video playback
- iPhone XS Max: +12 hours talk time, +7 hours internet time, +10 hours video playback
These are, of course, estimates from Apple based on certain tasks on the iPhone. The actual battery life that you get from each Smart Battery Case is going to vary based on what you're doing, but in general, these cases are adding 50 to 75 percent additional battery depending on task.
How does the case charge?
Apple built Qi wireless charging into the Smart Battery Case, so both the case and the iPhone can be charged using any Qi wireless charging accessory.
You can also charge the case via Lightning, and if you use a USB-PD compatible charger (aka a USB-C charger paired with a USB-C to Lightning cable) the case will charge up even faster. For fast charging, you can use one of Apple's USB-C Power Adapters for MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or MacBook, but third-party USB-C chargers over 18W also work.
Your iPhone will always charge before the case if the battery is low, and once the iPhone's battery is full, the case will charge. You can also charge the case all on its own without your iPhone inside using any of these charging methods.
Note: The Smart Battery Case does not come with a Lightning cable for charging purposes, so you will need to supply your own.
Can I use the Lightning port with the case on?
The Smart Battery Case’s Lightning port acts as a passthrough, so you can use Lightning-based accessories like headphones and adapters with your phone while it’s inside the case.
How can I check remaining battery life?
When the Smart Battery Case is attached to the iPhone, the battery life of the case is displayed on the Lock screen when you put it on a wireless charger, attach it to an iPhone for the first time, or attach a Lightning cable.
You can also check the battery life at any time by swiping to the right on the Home screen to open the Today view of the Notification Center. There's a battery widget that lists the battery life of the iPhone, the case, and other attached devices like AirPods or the Apple Watch.
Does the XS case work with the iPhone X?
Yes, with some caveats. The case is designed for the iPhone XS and while the iPhone X and XS are nearly identical, there are a few minor differences. For this reason, the speaker and microphone holes on the case don't line up right on the iPhone X, and the camera cutout is a little off.
You can get the iPhone X in the case, though, and it will charge, but you might run into some problems and need to do a little troubleshooting.
Attaching the case to the iPhone X might result in a popup suggesting the iPhone is not compatible with it, but if you dismiss this popup, it should still charge. If charging does not work, you may need to restart or update your version of iOS to iOS 12.1.3, which is currently in beta testing.
Where can I buy the Smart Battery Case?
Apple sells the Smart Battery Cases for iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR both online and in its retail stores. The cases are priced at $129.
Apple is offering the Smart Battery Cases in black or white, and while there are separate versions for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, each case costs $129 and appears to have the same capacity.
The cases look similar to the prior Smart Battery Cases Apple offered for the iPhone 7, consisting of a silicone shell with a bump at the back that contains the battery. The cases are easy to grip, but bulky, and the iPhone XS Max version adds a decent bit of weight.
There's a 10.1 Whr battery inside of the cases, which is higher capacity than previous Smart Battery Cases. You can expect to get about 50 to 75 percent additional battery from each case, depending on what you're doing.
Specifically, on the iPhone XS Max with the Smart Battery Case, you'll get up to 37 hours of talk time, up to 20 hours of internet use, and up to 25 hours of video playback.
The iPhone XS with XS Smart Battery Case offers up to 33 hours of talk time, up to 21 hours of internet use, and up to 25 hours of video playback, while the iPhone XR with iPhone XR Smart Battery Case offers up to 39 hours of talk time, up to 22 hours of internet use, and up to 27 hours of video playback.
The cases support Qi wireless charging, so you can charge them using a Qi-based charger (though it won't fit on some upright models) or a Lightning cable. You can even fast charge if you have a USB-C to Lightning cable and a compatible USB-C power adapter, such as the 30W MacBook charger. You don't have to use Apple's solutions -- any 18W+ USB-C PD power adapter will work.
You need to attach the Lightning connector in the case to the Lightning port in the iPhone, but because the case has its own Lightning port, you can use it as a passthrough for Lightning accessories like headphones.
With the Smart Battery Case attached, you can check how much battery life is left in the case using a widget in the Today section of the Notification Center or via the Lock screen. Your iPhone will always use the battery provided by the case before expending its own battery, but when charging, your iPhone will charge first.
All in all, the Smart Battery Case is one of the simplest ways to get extra battery life for the iPhone because it doesn't require an extra external accessory or a cable and there are multiple ways to charge it, but that convenience definitely comes at a cost.
Do you think Apple's Smart Battery Cases are worth shelling out $129? Let us know in the comments.
Apple yesterday debuted new Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, and review units are in the hands of members of the media and some lucky people who received early deliveries.
Many iPhone X users have been wondering if the iPhone XS Smart Battery Case will work with the older model given that the two devices are nearly identical in design, and the answer appears to be yes, though there is some uncertainty.
This morning, iMore's Rene Ritchie put an iPhone X running iOS 12.1.2 in an iPhone XS Smart Battery Case and received an error suggesting the iPhone X was not compatible with the case. It did not charge.
He updated the iPhone X to iOS 12.1.3, however, and was able to get the iPhone X to charge in the iPhone XS Smart Battery Case.
Update: iOS 12.1.2 DID NOT work for me with iOS XS case. iOS 12.1.13 DOES work for me.
iPhone XS Max case DOES charge X for @chriswelch on iOS 12.1.2. It DOES NOT for me, even on 12.1.13.
A MacRumorsreader was also able to get the iPhone X to charge in an iPhone XS Smart Battery Case, and Chris Welch of The Verge said in his testing, the iPhone X was able to charge an iPhone X running iOS 12.1.2 in an iPhone XS Max Smart Battery Case.
Nothing but XS Max charges in my XS Max case, not even XS or XR. What version of iOS?
So it appears, based on this limited amount of testing, that the iPhone X is going to charge in an iPhone XS Smart Battery Case, though there could be some compatibility issues on iOS 12.1.2. We will be keeping an eye out for further testing to confirm the status of the iPhone X with the iPhone XS case.
It is worth noting that while the iPhone X may charge in the iPhone XS Battery Case, the fit is imprecise. The speaker and microphone holes do not line up, and the camera cutout is a bit off.
Apple's Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XS, XS Max, (and presumably XR), feature 10.1Whr batteries that extend the life of each iPhone.
The iPhone XS Max normally offers up to 25 hours talk time, 15 hours of internet use, and 15 hours of video playback, which is extended to 37 hours of talk time, 20 hours of internet, and 25 hours of video playback with the Smart Battery Case.
The iPhone XS alone features up to 20 hours of talk time, 12 hours of internet use, and 14 hours of video playback, which is extended to 33 hours of talk time, 21 hours of internet use, and 25 hours of video playback with the Smart Battery Case.
The iPhone XR features up to 25 hours of talk time, 15 hours of internet use, and 16 hours of video playback, which is extended to 39 hours of talk time, 22 hours of internet use, and 27 hours of video playback.