Humpgate: ASUS And LG Troll Apple’s iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case
Apple’s first foray into the iPhone battery case market has been both unexpected and controversial. Called the iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case, the Cupertino tech giant’s latest official accessory for its iPhone lineup had a rough debut that saw it being bombarded with negative comments regarding its design. While the case, which also works with the iPhone 6, offers a significant boost to battery life as well as commendable protection and software integration that allows users to view separate battery levels for case and phone, few seemed to acknowledge its practical appeal. What took center stage in its stead was the now-notorious “bump” or “hump” of the back of the case, and now, competitors seem to have joined in on the fun as well.
CEO Tim Cook responded to the criticism, justifying what the generally ill-perceived design by explaining its practicality. “If you make this solid all the way across, in order to get it on, you’d find it very difficult to get it on and off.” Even though many may end up buying the accessory despite its mixed reception, Cook’s defense may not be enough to quell their dissatisfaction with the case’s look. Considering Apple’s oft-lauded design-centric approach to consumer electronics, it’s natural for fans to expect products that are more cosmetically pleasing, especially if they are going to be covering their iPhones.
The competition has, of course, seen this as the perfect opportunity to one-up Apple. ASUS tweeted out an image mocking the need for having to use a battery case while advertising the superior battery life of its own flagship smartphone. The image claims that the ZenFone Max, which packs a gigantic 5000mAh battery, offers 12 hours of additional talk time, two additional hours of internet usage, and two hours of video playback more than the iPhone 6s with the Smart Battery Case on.
A few hours later, LG chimed in with a thinly veiled insult, poking fun at Apple’s design aesthetic. LG’s tweet included an image of its V10 smartphone accompanied by a caption filled with “bump” puns.
While watching large tech companies trolling each other is quite a bit of fun, it might not be the best form of advertising. LG’s jab at Apple’s new iPhone accessory made me smile and might have introduced a lot of potential consumers to the V10, but it also reminded me that there aren’t a lot of other companies that would get such attention from their competitors.