If you use a Motorola i1000 or i1000plus wireless phone, Double-Time in Elmhurst, Ill., has recently launched its PC 2100 platform to enhance your phone's features (see sidebar for a sample of products for other phones). As part of the company's PowerClip product line, the PC 2100 can double the talk time of iDEN phone as its supplemental power source. Packaged as a phone holster, the original battery attaches to one side of the PowerClip, the phone to the other. The high-capacity lithium ion storage cell provides power on demand to keep the phone operating at maximum power while its circuitry will ensure that the phone battery will never be overcharged. The PowerClip uses the same charging cord that comes with the original phone; it charges the phone's original battery first, then the PowerClip device.
Christine stannard, vice president of marketing, says that battery technology has not kept up with the "many new features and functions on today's wireless phones. There is a greater demand on batteries, yet they are only getting smaller as the form factors of phones decrease." This limitation is multiplied with iDEN phones' feature set, which includes a speakerphone and digital two-way radio. Stannard says that an increasing number of manufacturers will offer both speaker phone and recording capabilities, straining the run times of existing phones.
Users who take advantage of their phones' capabilities loath giving them up in favor of newer models with longer run times. "People who have a lot of contact information in the current model are reluctant to buy a new handset because they don't want to re-key the data," stannard explains. "The PC 2100 allows them to improve battery life without turning in their existing handset. Upgrading to a newer phone can also be expensive so, customers want to keep what they have for two or three years."
She adds that today's battery management systems or indicators make it hard to determine how much charge a battery has left. A user can easily overestimate the amount of remaining power and get caught without the charger or a place to use it.
At two ounces, the PowerClip doesn't add a lot of extra weight. "We wanted to fit the original design of the phone," explains stannard. "If the phone is sleek, we need a sleek design." The PowerClip 2100 can be purchased from wireless dealers, agents and distributors; its suggested retail price is $59.95.