iPhone battery extenders on the way

Peter Cohen and Matthew JC. Powell
5 August, 2008
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The iPhone 3G may be the tech fashion accessory du jour, but if it runs out of juice and can’t make a call it may as well be a doorstop. Technologies like 3G, GPS, Bluetooth and WiFi all add to the energy consumption, leading many to criticise the iPhone 3G’s battery life. Thanks to a few forthcoming innovations, however, you will soon be able to stave off doorstop mode all that much longer.

First up is Dexim, which has received “Works With iPhone” certification for its BluePack battery packs, which connect to the iPhone’s dock port and provide battery charging on the go. Dexim has announced two units: the TIPBB1 which adds 1000 milliamp-hours to your iPhone’s battery, and the somewhat larger TIPBB3 which takes it up to 1200 milliamp-hours. Depending on your specific usage patterns this can mean up to six extra hours of talk time according to local distributor iWorld Australia.

iWorld will be shipping the BluePacks in about 45 days, with the TIPBB1 set to retail for $49.95 and the TIPBB3 for $69.95.

Taking a somewhat different approach, Mophie has announced the Juice Pack 3G, which has also achieved “Works With iPhone” accreditation. Both Mophie and Dexim claim to have been the first to receive such accreditation for an iPhone battery pack, which goes to show why you should take press releases with a grain of salt.

The Juice Pack 3G also plugs into the dock port of the iPhone but, rather than extending the length of the iPhone downwards like the BluePack, it wraps around the back adding to its thickness. Which approach suits you best will be a matter of personal taste. A small notch near the top of the Juice Pack allows you to continue to use the iPhone’s camera while the battery pack is attached. A different model is also announced that will fit the iPod touch.

Like the BluePack, Mophie claims that the JuicePack adds up to six hours of talk time to an iPhone 3G, but remember that this is very much dependent upon individual usage.

Mophie’s products are available via the company’s web site. It currently doesn’t have an Australian distributor.

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