The Reason Why Apple Uses Integrated Battery Designs

They are foremost about a cohesive experience that is enabled by technology. That would mean that the primary purpose of the non-removable battery in Apple's gadgets is not to annoy you, or to deliver additional revenues to Apple stores. The purpose would be experience, right?

Well, that is what an Apple patent filing that describes an "integrated embedded battery" appears to outline as well. The patent claim simply explains "a plurality of battery cells, wherein each battery cell is directly attached to a housing for enclosing operational components of the portable computing device, […] wherein the protective structure is configured to protect the battery cell from a compressive force applied to the housing of the portable computing device, the protective structure being attached to or integral with the housing and having a height greater than that of each of the battery cells."

However, the background description of the filed patent is much more revealing. In fact, the reasoning behind Apple's embedded battery is a great example of Apple's thinking behind the design of its products. Apple explains that the design of compact portable computing devices means that there can be "complex tradeoffs" and notes that the battery may be such a tradeoff. The design of the device can affect the battery in its general type, its energy density, durability and packaging.

As a result, Apple says that its embedded battery is a solution for a "portable computing device that is durable, lightweight and efficiently packaged." The description of this specific embedded battery shows an extraordinary amount of attention to the goal of supporting the design of the device as experiences by the user. For example, there are structural "ribs' that protect the battery from compression, but are lighter than a structure that would need to be present were the battery removable.

For replacement purposes, the battery was designed - even if consumers cannot replace the battery themselves, for easy removal: "As the battery cells are not enclosed in a separate pack, they are therefore easily accessible. Thus, the lack of a separate pack makes it easier to identify and repair or replace faulty battery cell. A removal mechanism, such as a pull tab or a removal handle, can be attached to the battery cell to facilitate removal of a battery cell that needs to be repaired or replaced."

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  • Anonymous
    What a joke. My iPhone 4s battery lasts about an hour and a half if you actually use the phone. Taking pictures? Video? You get an hour. Everyone knows it sucks. Who cares how thin the phone is if it doesn't last long. Now I and everyone has to buy a bulky mophie. @$89. There is plenty of room for improvement. Why not just be the phone with the longest battery life???? Genius.... At least half the users
    Are asking for a bigger screen anyway. Put in a bigger friggin battery too!
  • acer0169
    Apple want built in batteries so when it dies, you have to go back to them to buy more instead of ebaying a replacement like everyone else does. My ANDROID phone with 4.2" screen uses 1% battery per hour of idle, and between 5-10% of phone use (calls, games, surfing internet etc). This is why you're an idiot if you buy apple phones in the first place.
  • gamoniac
    Maybe Apple could file for the way they pack the embeded battery, but certainly not for "creating" embeded battery. If cars were invented under the current patent (and Apple's) laws, only one company could built cars with four wheels. Everyone else would need to make a 3-wheel or 5-wheel cars.

    Sometimes I wonder if patent office workers receive kick-backs from big companies. It would be naive to not think so..