iFixit X-Rays Apple’s Smart Battery Case to Understand How Dedicated Camera Button Works

Last week Apple released a Smart Battery case. The Smart Battery Case for iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max comes with a dedicated camera button. This is a pretty big deal since iPhones don’t offer a dedicated camera button. iFixit has used X-ray to understand how the camera button works on the Smart Battery case.

There are no buttons on the iPhone 11 that match up with the camera on the case. Our first guess was some kind of wireless transmission to the phone, but then we saw our patient’s X-rays. It turns out there’s a little circuit board inside the case, which has a thin, flexible circuit running out to connect to the photo button. That circuit board connects the camera button to the phone through the Lightning port “chin” at the bottom of the case. Not totally unexpected, but interesting to see how much hardware design goes into adding just one thing to a battery case.

Furthermore, as pointed out on Twitter, the camera button on Smart Case needs to be pressed for a wee bit longer. In all likelihood, this is a design aspect that prevents the button from triggering the camera accidentally. Apple’s Smart Battery Case resembles its predecessor when it comes to design. All three models of Smart Battery Cases draw power from a 10.9 Watt-hour battery. The case also baked in an inductive charging coil and a pass-through port for lightning connections.

It is interesting to see how even smartphone cases are evolving. I used to love the dedicated camera button Nokia Lumia phones and it is good to see Apple adding the feature in Smart Battery Case.

[via iFixit]

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