What just happened? Apple had not released a new battery case since the iPhone 7. However, it seems that out of nowhere the company saw the need to provide new cases for the iPhone XR and XS models. At $129.99 each (and undoubtedly guaranteed demand) we see why Apple would want to keep these coming.
Apple released their first smart battery case for the iPhone 6 and 6s in 2015. The design wasn't as striking as one would hope considering that's precisely one of the hallmarks of Apple's brand philosophy. While the iPhone 7 was the last model to receive a corresponding battery case, there were rumors of cases for the recent 2018 edition of the iPhone. Thanks to some sleuthing by Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern, it seems that Apple has finally released their smart battery cases for all three new iPhones... and they look just as ugly as the previous smart cases.
Holy mother! Apple is making smart battery cases, including one for the iPhone XR https://t.co/GaxcJrVdxZ?--- Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern) January 15, 2019
Pricing has been set at $129.99 for each model, featuring both black and white silicone versions. Like previous iterations of the smart battery case, the distinctive hump where the extra battery resides is still there. All cases are Qi-compatible, so you'll be able to use your existing wireless chargers and even fast charge using USB-C power delivery. Apple claims you'll be able talk up to 39 hours, use the internet for 22 hours, and play videos for up to 27 hours with the cases.
While the release seems to come out of nowhere and Apple doesn't seem to have made an official announcement, you can order the cases right now for XR, XS and XS Max right now through the Apple's online Store.