Forget "the hump" for a moment.
The new Apple Smart Battery Case, available this week in white or charcoal gray for $99, is more than just an accessory for your iPhone 6s. It's meant to provide another charge-up (but not fully back to 100%) only for that model to keep you running all day and offer some protection against drops and cracks, since it has a raised edge.
I'm not sure if the reports from earlier this week were based on actual tests, especially since it wasn't available at my local Apple Store yet and was only available online to ship two-day (I received a press sample). The case is not as bad as some people have said when you hold it in your hand. Yes, it's definitely not as svelte or practical as the Mophie Juice Pack or the Otterbox Resurgence. And, the case feels a bit rushed and just doesn't have that "wow" factor you'd expect.
In my tests, it worked OK. It's a case.
So why are people so worked up? The initial shock is partly due to how the case looks. It has a slight hump on the back, like someone squeezed three credit cards into the back of the plastic enclosure and slapped an Apple logo on the back. After that shock wears off, you begin to wonder how this product made it through the lab. It could be a sign of things to come, or an anomaly...or maybe something much less nefarious. It could be just an accessory meant to charge your phone.
The reason the case is so perplexing, though, is why it even exists. Mophie, Otterbox, Ballistic, Lifeproof, and countless other companies already own this market. Why not let them own it? Why stab your own constituency? Apple must know that when people buy the iPhone 6s online or at a store, they'll ask about a case--and probably buy the Smart Battery Case. I've seen this countless times at the Apple Store, especially when an entrepreneur comes in with a company credit card and buys an iPad everyone on the staff...and a second charger, a case, and a soft keyboard. It's what we used to call the market basket back in my retail days. You are already in the store buying a phone, why not just add a case and a charger?
Here's my prediction. The Apple faithful will skip the case altogether. There's too much backlash. It's almost like they will ignore it as a true Apple product. Yet, the casual consumer, the one who buys the iPhone because someone at the office said it was worth a try, won't notice "the hump" and won't care. This will eat into the sales of a few case companies, but Mophie and a few others will survive just fine.
The real loser with the case is not the customer or the competition. It's Apple. They have suddenly created ill-will with their partners, and even the green pastures of Cupertino (actually, it looks more like suburban area married an industrial park) can turn brown. A cloud can roll in, the thunder can roll...and so can the people behind this case who designed and let it see the light of day. Right out the back door.