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back to article iOS upgrade swells iPhone battery-suckage grief

If you've experienced runaway battery suckage on your brand-spanking-new iPhone 4S, you won't be alone if you're still cursing your Cupertian smartphone after updating to Apple's supposed battery-fixing iOS 5.0.1. Apple admitted battery-life problems with the iPhone 4S and the new iOS 5 earlier this month, and released the iOS 5 …

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Bronze badge

my brand new (I got it on release day, from Sprint, took 45 minutes) iPhone has 78% battery as I type this. I charged it to 100% last night before going to bed. I've made several calls today, checked the Map app a few times, checked weather (there's a chance that the temperature may fall below 18°C here in sunny South Florida tonight) and did a few other things. I figure that I can get at least two days on a charge, probably three, and if I cut back on some things, four.

I do not see the problem. I really don't.

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Facepalm

Just swap the battery in that case.

Not that big of a deal?

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Thumb Up

Same here...

12 hours since switch-on, 4 or 5 calls, a few texts and maybe half-an-hour eradicating "Stupid Zombies", and my iPhone 4 shows 86%.

I'm content with that.

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Anonymous Coward

Really?? Some low standards you have there Ted...

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why waste the dollars ??

... on a Jesus phone if that's all you use it for? seriously.

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Facepalm

Well of course not

"my brand new (I got it on release day, from Sprint, took 45 minutes)"

"checked weather (there's a chance that the temperature may fall below 18°C here in sunny South Florida tonight)"

With comments like those your obviously too busy showing off to notice practical shortcomings like that

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Silver badge
Facepalm

@AC 17:12

Some people live in the real world - I'd recommend it to you...

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Flame

Plonker

That's all I used it for on that particular 12hr period.

If you made one small trip in your car over a 12hr period & I slated you for buying it would you consider that criticism valid?

More knee-jerk crap from the "We must slate Apple & all their users" brigade.

Some people hold different views to yours - live with it and (try to) stop being such a knob!

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Anonymous Coward

Oh,

"If every single person posting to this forum started calling Apple, then they would be forced to do something about this total screw up of a release."

Presumably not using their IPhone. You never know if you might be cut off due to the battery failing.

Hah!

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Anonymous Coward

my battery is fine

I got great battery life before the update and I continue to get great battery life now.

Having said that, I've got a Samsung Galaxy S2 so that might have something to do with it...

It's quite amusing that after years of accusing android of being a battery killer, iPhone users are struggling with battery life.

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Meh

Yeah... Right... that patented Android Battery life

Not an Apple fan, I like my Evo, but if there is anybody who should be shot for providing crap battery life it's HTC and Google. If I actually have the temerity to use the thing as an actual phone, I can almost hear the sound of the battery draining like air being left out of tires.

In an office full of geeks, most of us with smartphones, I don't know of any of us who consider the battery life on any of them acceptable, except for the Blackberry users. Those damned smug Blackberry users with their little Blackberry Messenger network and their multi-day battery life...

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Agree there

Among the various issues that plagues the Gingerbread upgrade of the Desire Z is that battery life is much worse. In the 2.2.4 days I used to get back home (with an extended battery) with ~40-50% left, not I'm lucky if I have 20%.

Perhaps in the Apple/Google war Apple have decided to copy Google on more than just the status bar ....

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Anonymous Coward

I'd agree

HTC battery life is abysmal. I *can* squeeze up to four days out of it if I turn off background sync and unnecessary stuff like actually using any apps -- I might as well just go back to having a dumb phone with a battery life of damn near a fortnight,

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Anonymous Coward

Not (only) a hardware issue

My iPhone 4 went from lasting two full days on average between charging under iOS4 to barely making it one full day under iOS5. That seems to imply that it isn't just a hardware issue (though there may be one with the iPhone 4s, I cant' say.)

Along the same lines, 5.0.1 doesn't seem to have helped much, if at all - though it has only been one day so it will take somewhat longer to know for sure.

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Anonymous Coward

my iphone4 before and after ios5 had pretty much the same battery life. Using it on and off to browse internets, listen to music all day at work and make 15 minutes of calls, about 2 and a half days if I push it.

If I listen to tune in all day at work, about 9 hours battery life.

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Anonymous Coward

Nope, iOS 5.0.1 didn't help

Battery life still horrible with iOS 5.0.1 on my iPhone 4. Disabling most of the System Services under Location Services helps a lot, but even then the battery doesn't last as long as under iOS 4.

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JDX
Gold badge

you could take it before a court. But at what costs?

Nothing, small claims court is very straightforward.

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Silver badge

Do you really think Apple would leave it at that when they were told wrong ?

They'll appeal.

And the more courts you pass the higher the costs and the stakes will become. It wouldn't be the first time where someone cancelled their complaint procedure simply because of the always present risk that they'd have to cough up all the costs.

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Last time I used the Small Claims Court it was 50* quid to file the complaint. Is it really free now?

(*I got it back when my complaint was upheld.)

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Devil

You're doing it wrong..

It's the way you're charging it. Other users are not having battery issues. The people with problems are charging it the wrong way. iCustomers don't know what they want, they have to be told what they want. Apple have already made this clear.

This is the battery life you were looking for, you can go about your business, move along.

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Anonymous Coward

Not had problems before and with 5.0.1 get even a few more % at the end of the day.

Do hope Apple figures out the problem affecting the other users, sounds like it depends on the 3G radio environment. Nasty stuff.

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They "dismissed" Antennaegate because it affected a very small number of users who could be taken care of through standard warranty processes.

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Silver badge

It affected everyone who had the iPhone 4 and tried to use it as a phone. Maybe only a small number bothered to complain about it, but I'd reckon nearly everyone with an iPhone 4 has had to deal with "Network Error [dismiss/cancel]" every single time their fingers or palm wander over that special black band.

Why do you think one of the things that every review site on the web is saying is that the 4S has had its antenna fixed (and that there may be Samsung patents involved, cue drama and lawsuits)?

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Gimp

I give it a couple of weeks

before Apple announce that, to their complete shock and horror, the iPhone has been reporting battery usage incorrectly. Update 5.0.2 will totally revamp the way battery usage is reported for all models of iPhone. But there isn't a problem with the hardware, oh no, of course not.

Myself, I'll still buy another iPhone. Why? Even though the company is arrogant, the products are locked down and light on features, and the fans are twats, the iPhone is still the easiest smartphone around to use, and the most fun. I don't really care about anything else.

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Boffin

No difference

Having a Galaxy S2 (mine) AND an iPhone 4 (work) I can tell you there's bugger all difference in UX and from a techie's perspective the iPhone rapidly becomes impossibly frustrating to use since Apple decreed their tiny little screen is all you need for smartphone and about every five minutes thereafter when find a feature doesn't in the best way possible because the control freaks have thrown a roadblock in the way.

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Anonymous Coward

Charge your phone more often.

Not that big of a deal.

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Anonymous Coward

alternatively it could be bullshit and just a bunch of folk jumping on a bandwagon?

My buddy is very happy with the improvement in battery life he had moving from a 3gs to a 4s

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Anonymous Coward

You may be on to something. Probably one or two of the highly dedicated Android lovers from around here posting at least half of them.

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Trollface

RE: "...........one or two of the highly dedicated Android lovers.......

...............from around here posting at least half of them."

Posting accusations of FUD-posting in the form of AC-protected FUD? I do hope that was deliberate irony and not a complete failure to see the contradictions in what you wrote and the way you wrote it.

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Anonymous Coward

Arctic Fox

If both are possible (and true) how is it a contradiction? Seems someone needs to go back to logic primary school.

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Thumb Down

Fanbois

Apple fanbois know Apple tactics best, right? ;-)

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Boffin

One should expect a significant improvement

After all, he's going from a tired, well over 500 charge/discharge cycles battery (almost 1000 cycles if he got it near launch) to a brand-new sub-10 cycles battery.*

If nothing else changed, that alone would give you around a 25% increase in battery life - these kinds of cell are generally rated for 80% capacity after 500 cycles.

You'll get the same improvement if you swap the battery in any other smartphone after two or three years of heavy usage.

If it doesn't, then something is quite badly wrong - either they've put a smaller battery in there, the phone is drawing more power, or the battery is faulty.

My guess is that Apple made a mistake in handling multi-core in the low-power environment and either spin both all the time or fluffed concurrency.

The issues on older phones may well be user colouring - someone's mentioned battery life so the user tests and finds that it doesn't last like it did when new, they've put this new firmware on it, ergo it's the new firmware.

Or it could just be an old battery. Easy test - replace the battery. Oh yeah...

(*Assuming he used it instead of, I dunno, putting it in a shrine and praying to it.)

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Silver badge
Coat

I have to say I am rather surprised.

The Apple forums indicate very strongly that whilst the problem is not hugely widespread amongst 4S owners it is not *quite* the vanishingly small percentage that one or two here are suggesting. Given that the iPhone has been the market leader on battery-life for quite some time (typically 10 - 15% more than comparable rivals, depending on whose tests you believe), I am very surprise that Cupertino missed this one - especially since precisely that aspect of the phone has been one of their major marketing points. Never mind, the next time an iPhone owner passes remarks about the battery-life of our Android phones..... :-P

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Boffin

Don't think they "missed it"...

For you to have asserted that Apple "missed it" indicates that it is a design flaw.

Far, far more likely is that this is a supplier parts problem, either in the battery itself or the circuitry surrounding it. The kind of thing which their outsourcing vendor is not fully testing for, but the kind of thing that the old Apple (which owned all their own manufacturing) WOULD have been checking for.

The small number of users experiencing problems (as a percentage), and the fact that it does not seem to be affected by a software fix in all cases, is highly indicative of a supplier parts fault. And there is no way for Apple to have seen that during design or testing, given that the parts supplied for testing where probably highly QAed by the suppliers.

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Silver badge

I think that they *have* "missed" something.

Nowhere in my post did I say that it was necessarily a design flaw. I would have thought however, that a company as famously "particular" as Apple would have ensured that there was some form of random "batch-checking" of manufactured phones (independent of their "fabber") that gave them a reasonably reliable picture (statistically speaking) of what they could expect, such that they were working on a fix from the get-go? It does indeed surprise me that this appears to have caught Apple on the hop. They have after all built their reputation on the quality of their hardware, have they not? That some duff parts may have got into the supply-chain may very well be the explanation (or at least part of the explanation) for this. That however does not explain why this appears to have come as a big surprise to Apple.

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FAIL

Don't think it missed it? Depends what "it" is

If "it" is their "superior" battery life or "exemplary" hardware quality then Apple have indeed, missed it.

If you believe the marketing bilge then the massive price tag on Apple devices buys you a higher calibre of hardware, which shoddy battery components do not make.

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Anonymous Coward

Telecom veterans

Apple are not

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Gimp

They are now...

Hard to remember, but they have been doing this for a long-ish time now. And have sold more phones than most other vendors.

Conversely, you could buy an Alcatel mobile phone.. Alcatel have been in telecomms for decades, and have made most of the cellular network switching infrastructure that many of the telcos use. You can buy an Alcatel mobile for about £50, and it is barely worth even that. But boy, what experience...

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Anonymous Coward

long-ish compared to what?

Motorola first handheld mobile phone: 1983

Samsung first handheld mobile phone: 1988

Apple first handheld mobile phone: 2007

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Silver badge

Erm, Apple haven't really sold that many.

They've a massive marketing presence, but they are actually still pretty small - less than 10% share of US mobile subscribers in Aug 2011 according to comScore, and that's an increase.

Samsung (25%), LG (21%) and Motorola (14%) all have a bigger share.

(Smartphones is a different matter - 27% Apple, compared to 44% Android.)

That is from before the iPhone 4S launched, but I doubt it's really changed by much more than a percentage point either way - I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of iPhone 4S owners were replacing a previous iPhone. They don't have a choice given the very high walls around the garden.

That said, given recent events I wouldn't be surprised if a notable percentage of new iPhone 4S sales next year are to replace a Blackberry. When comparing walled gardens, most people choose the one that is not balanced on a pogo stick.

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Silver badge

It is to be hoped that in the event that it *is* duff components in *some* 4S phones.......

...........that the unlucky customers (however many/few there are) do not have to wait as long as American purchasers of defective first gen iPod nanos have had to - they are only now going to be compensated after a wait of five to six years (ironically enough the issue was faulty batteries -:P).

http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/12/apple-to-replace-first-gen-ipod-nanos-in-the-us-due-to-faulty-ba/

Apple are of course far from being the only manufacturer to have skeletons in their after-sales closet but given that their marketing lays such huge emphasis on the build-quality of their kit (and they charge accordingly) they must expect to "get some pepper" when issues like this arise.

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Bronze badge

Battery, circuitry

Consider the circuitry of some tainted routers aimed at the US government. Consider the pissibiluty that backdoors in the phone are being probed by the users' government, or by black market/jackers testing data theft capabilities.

Or, consider it possible that Apple is doing something, but lost control of an experiment. Or, consider that China may have rogue operatives who coerced the manufacturer to build in traps and such on the assumption that 60% of the rooted phones will escape scrutiny of the carriers, and maybe 25% of the backdoored phones will make their way into sensitive commercial and government concerns, and maybe the mics are on, or the cameras are on with the gyros, gps, and so on reporting info. If that is ever then true, imagine apple being forced to rep,ace those handsets AND return manufacturing to the USA. OTOH, the US intel operatives might be jealous and insist on covering up the matter so it can be further explored AND exploited if it is better than the current power trips foisted onto consumers worldwide.

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Silver badge

Have you noticed how.......

The sound of all these big girls blouses are making a noise like the whine of a gearbox about to expire.

Even those of us living miles from habitation are being disturbed at night by the

Moaning

Whining

Crying

Whinging

Of the Apple-istas going on about the most important thing in their life, a battery.

Please someone, take these sad lonely unfulfilled unimportant irrelevant people to a vet and have them put out of their misery. It would be a mercy.

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Holmes

I Think I may have found what's sucking like Paris in 5.0.1

Turn off the Photo Sharing in iClud and your battery life stabilises like the iPhone4 was BEFORE 5.0.1.

It appears it is constantly trying to sync, and turning it off my phone went from 13% drop/hour to less than 1%.

Mail, Calendar, Contacts, etc are still syncing in iClud, it's the damn Photo Sync fucking the phone perhaps.

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Bronze badge

People go out of their way to get the latest and greatest.....for what? bragging rights? It's common sense that you always wait to see how the product is evaluated by others before purchasing. I think AntennaGate would have at least taught them that.

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Go

And yet...

Admittedly, my experience is with an iPod Touch, but I have noticed (to the extent possible in 24 hours) better battery life. Improvements can also be gained by:

•Turning off bluetooth

•Setting mail, contact and calendar updates to manual, or at least lengthening the time between updates

•Set auto-lock to one minute

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Anonymous Coward

My car gets better MPG if I coast downhills and walk all journeys <3 miles.

The problem is, what is the point of gaving a "feature rich" phone if you have to turn off those features.

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True, but

while your MPG rating is not based on coasting and walking, if you really need to squeeze every extra erg out of your gas/petrol, you can use those methods. Note that I got better battery life WITHOUT those measures,

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Meh

Or a software problem

It could be some odd interaction between some Apps and the OS or perhaps Apps which need to be updated and should have been updated three updates ago that are causing the problem.

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Silver badge

"If every single person posting to this forum started calling Apple..."

If only their phones worked.

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