Modular design: the refuge of a poor consumer experience

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I recently got a Mophie Juice Pack Air battery case for my iPhone which extends the battery life to a more usable day-and-a-half from the previous afternoon and evening that I would have got out of the iPhone’s own on-board battery.

Morphie iJuice pack

Now I am sure that other people get more out of their iPhones, but as a friend of mine said about his serving in the French Foreign Legion ‘everybody has their own journey’.

Firstly, about the Mophie case: with the exception of the disturbingly bright blue LEDs on the back which light up the night ( a bit more subtlety would be welcome like the LEDs on the MacBook Pro batteries; it is a fine piece of kit and makes the iPhone a half-decent smart-phone. It doesn’t seem to interfere at all with the operation of the phone in terms of switches, cellular reception or the GPS unit.

The bigger issue that I have is that the Mophie case needs to exist at all. This isn’t a device to augment and further extend the capability of the iPhone like their card-reader product does, but rather a hardware hack to repair the iPhone’s poor battery life.

Another classic example of this was the ‘high-capacity’ batteries that used to be put on the Motorola StarTac-series of flip phones which turned them from being svelte clamshell mobile phones to a pocket version of Quasimodo in order to get a decent battery life out of them. Or the NEC e606 whose battery life was so poor that it shipped with a spare battery as standard because you were going to be changing them a lot.