Battery case firm Mophie unveiled a relatively new concept today at CES – a battery case with built-in flash storage. The Mophie Space Pack, as the product line will be called, combines Mophie’s popular battery cases with either 16 or 32 GB of storage. But, before you get too excited, there are some big caveats.
First, the battery boost matches that of the Juice Pack Air, giving users about one additional charge of battery life on top of the iPhone’s primary running time. There are other battery cases, including Mophie’s own Juice Pack Plus, that offer a larger battery, so it’s important to note that you’re not getting the huge battery afforded by other options, including external battery packs.
Second, it’s only available for the iPhone 5 and 5s. Those with a new iPhone 5c or an older generation iPhone are unfortunately out of luck.
Third, don’t be fooled with the way that many publications are characterizing this product. The Space Pack won’t increase the iPhone’s internal storage. It simply adds external storage that can be seen by a special Mophie app called “Space.” You can indeed load this extra storage up with movies, music, and documents, which can then be accessed and played from the Space app, but you can’t use it for apps, and the iPhone itself won’t see or be able to use the storage.
This isn’t Mophie’s fault, of course. Unlike some Android and Windows Phone devices, Apple doesn’t allow third party devices to inherently augment an iDevice’s storage. That means that the storage aspect of the Space Pack basically offers users the same functionality that has been available via other products for years.
Don’t get us wrong, combining that external storage capability into a neat package with a battery case is a nice idea, and some users will undoubtedly love it, but the early reporting on the Space Pack has been wildly unclear on the storage side, and so it’s important that purchasers understand exactly what they’re getting.
Those interested can pre-order later today at the Mophie website. The 16 GB model is priced at $149.95 while the 32 GB version will clock in at $179.95. Both will begin shipping on March 14th.