Apple made some questionable choices when it designed the outside of its new Smart Battery Case, and it turns out the internal design may not be much better. A teardown from iFixit reveals that the $99 accessory is all but impossible to repair it if something goes wrong.
Replacing the battery itself is actually possible, though it isn’t easy. Apple’s used plenty of strong adhesive to keep it place, which means you’ll probably end up ruining the interior microfiber lining in the process. Any other repairs are totally out of the question, so you’re probably out of luck if some other component in the case breaks or stops working.
iFixit also reveals a few more issues with the design. For starters, the cutout that sits above the headphone jack is wide enough for something slim like Apple’s own EarPods, but it’s too small for bigger third-party headphone connectors. The screws used to hold the case together are actually pretty standard, but they’re stuck to the microfiber liner.
On the plus side, the Smart Battery Case appears to be pretty durable. The case also uses a duct design to give your iPhone a front-facing speaker. That’s a cool feature, though it’s unclear how it might alter the sound quality.
If you’re still not deterred you can buy Apple’s Smart Battery Case now, though there are plenty of cheaper options out there to choose from.