Do you remember the Apple Smart Battery Case? Not heard from in a few generations now, a new patent suggests it could finally be making a return with the potential of working on other devices. It seems to be bigger and better than ever before.
Spotted in this patent originally filed on June 22, 2023, and accepted on December 28, 2023 called “Case for portable electronic devices”, it shows a case that can be put around a device, replacing the need for a portable charger. The patent is rather vague about many of its terms, likely to give Apple room to add more functions to its devices, but it seems to be designed with a bit of a modular function.
A case can be slotted onto the iPhone, with its own battery pack, which can then be clicked into a larger frame with more functions and a better battery. In the abstract for the patent, it says,
“A case can facilitate operation with a portable electronic device and a battery device that can be connected to another, external device. To minimize the number of separate devices carried by a user, a battery device can be held within the case that also hold the portable electronic device.”
Extra devices, extra functions
The patent shows a diagram of a portable device (likely an iPhone), a case, a battery device, and an external device, then shows them all together in one bigger shell. It has a small component on the side too that could be used to power the case for charge or serve some other function, like charging other external devices.
This means that not only could your case be used to charge your current iPhone or even iPad as the wording is fairly vague, but it could also charge other devices through some kind of tether. You could also opt to use the reverse charging present in the iPhone 15, one of the best iPhones you can get right now. As it is just a patent, this is not a declaration of intent for making the device but a sign it could be implemented in future Apple cases.
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James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person.
With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer.
As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.