Apple has filed for a patent (number 20170324261) for a single piece iPhone case with a battery and a hinge that would allow the device to last longer without recharging. The hinge could be bent outward, allowing users to slip the smartphone into the case.
The case would pack a power supply designed to supply electrical current to a battery of the iPhone. The accessory device may also include a connector that electrically connects the power supply with the electronic device. The sliding motion of the smartphone prevents the connector from damage by bending.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that accessory devices can be used as a protective cover for electronic devices, as well as providing a pleasing aesthetic appearance. Some accessory devices may include a power supply designed to provide electrical current to the device.
In order to insert or extract the electronic device in an accessory (a case, in this instance) in a manner that doesn’t damage the electronic device, a user is generally required to detach one structural feature of the accessory device from another structural feature. This allows for a straight insertion or extraction of the electronic device. However, an accessory device with two (or more) structural features may lead to losing or misplacing at least one of the structural features.
Apple says that one solution may be to pull the electronic device from the accessory device at an angle. However, an angular extraction of an electronic device from an accessory device can lead to other issues. For example, when the accessory device includes the power source, a connector, or plug, must be inserted into the electronic device.
The angular extraction causes a bending moment on the connector that may cause the connector to break off from the accessory device and remain inside the electronic device. Apple thinks its single piece case with a battery and hinge is a solution to the problem.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.