If you use your iPhone for business, more power to you, says battery pack maker Mophie. Its new Space Pack, which despite its name is not designed for astronauts, lets users of Apple's smartphone extend battery life and storage -- essential improvements for users who are always on the go.
The Space Pack was unveiled at the 2014 International CES mega-show in Las Vegas this week. The company says it won't be available until March 14, but can be pre-ordered now.
Leave Your Laptop
Tustin, Calif.-based Mophie says it's the only battery pack that can extend storage space for the iPhone 5s and its predecessor, the iPhone 5.
"We wanted to create a product that enables iPhone users to truly enhance their experience by solving some of the core limitations of smartphones," said Daniel Huang, Mophie CEO and co-founder, in a statement.
"With an iPhone case that provides the charging solution and low-profile protective design expected from Mophie, we've taken the next step and developed an entirely new category, pushing the increasing trend toward computing even further," he said.
Mophie says its battery pack doubles the life of the iPhone's battery, welcome news for app-happy, heavy data users or those who are always talking on the phone. And with more data storage, Mophie says business users can easily store presentations without schlepping along a laptop.
You can display those presentations on TVs or monitors using Apple's Airplay or share them with other devices using Airdrop.
With the use of a free iOS app, users can also access content and easily manage all files via a local file management experience even when they can't connect to Wi-Fi. The 16-gigabyte Space Pack is $149.95 while the 32-gig model is $179.95 and they come in black and gold.
Unlike SD cards that can be added to phones with lower storage, the Space Pack, because of its cost, won't necessarily save you money. For example, buying a 16-gig iPhone 5 at $99 (with a two-year contract) and adding the 16-gig Space Pack brings the cost up the $248 for a 32-gig phone when the cost of the iPhone 5 with 32 gigs included is $199.
A Leg up on Rivals
But you do get the added battery power, which could be a good draw and impact sales of higher capacity iPhones.
"[Apple] doesn’t charge an arm and a leg for extra storage," says Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. "It costs about $100 to double the storage from 16GB to 32GB, or from 32GB to 64GB on an iPhone 5s. But I believe paying less than $200 to Mophie to effectively double your battery life and get 32GB of storage will look extremely attractive to many iPhone users."
King noted that there are other mobile chargers available for iPhones by Mophie appears to be the first to offer storage as a bonus.
"That should give Mophie, which already has a solid market position, a further leg up on the competition," he said.