back to article Apple admits iPhone battery suckage, promises fix

Apple has admitted to battery-sucking bugs in its recently released iOS 5, has promised that a fix will be forthcoming, and has seeded a beta of iOS 5.0.1 to developers. Apple's admission comes to us via AllThingsD. Before The Reg told you about the battery suckage and a few suggested fixes, we asked Apple for confirmation and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No problem

    Just take the back off and pop a replacement battery into it.. They're really rather cheap if you shop around.

    Oh can' you were.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How many people actually carry spare, charged, batteries around? I'll tell you: outside of your geek fantasy world, very few. It's simply unpractical.

      There's cheap, USB charged, external batteries if you really need it.

      1. bazza Silver badge


        Carrying a spare battery is a lot more sensible than carrying a charger... And if battery life is a problem then it's even more sensible to select a phone with good stamina.

        It seems that iPhones have reached the point where they won't last long enough for quite a large fraction of their normally enthusiastic user base. It doesn't matter how shiny a phone is; people *can't* use it if it goes flat on them. And there's nothing like unavoidable loss of service to put people off what is actually a quite expensive device.

        1. Lallabalalla


          Just carry one of them charge-you-up-off-an-AA-battery thingies.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's good to see you've fully embraced the whole Android ethos of copying someone elses work and passing it off as your own.

      1. Jedit Silver badge

        The Android ethos of plagiarism

        It's so bad, they even copied their ethos off Apple.

        1. Grease Monkey

          @Jedit am I the only one that's noticed that there was little mention of Android being a copy of iOS until some dead drug addled mad fucker was quoted as saying it was?

          iOS? Even the name is ripped off from somewhere else. Except of course in the Big Jobs revisionist history of the world it was Cisco that ripped it off from him, because he thought of it first but never mentioned it to anybody.

          Apple even copied their company name from somewhere else for fucks sake. It's not like that was very original was it? And they kept it up from there.

  2. Nick Collingridge

    Nothing's perfect - why not try and get things in perspective for once? This was the 5.0 release, after all, not the 5.01, and anyone who knows anything about technology knows that getting something absolutely without any errors on the .0 release is never going to happen. The fact that this is the only problem that is attracting any complaints, and even then only for a small proportion of users, is almost as good as it is ever going to get. Is there any other platform that is closer to perfect with its .0 releases? Honestly?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > The fact that this is the only problem that is attracting any complaints,

      Yeah, but the battery runs out before they can test for anything else.....

    2. Stacy

      How about because all of the Apple faithful like to carp on about how fantastic Apples are, how they never break, just work and have no bugs?

      I use Apple machines and Windows (and iPhones and Android ones). They are all the same - full of bugs and annoying as hell. The difference is that when you have a problem in Windows and Android you can generally find help, when something breaks in an Apple you can generally find lots of people telling you that Apples never break and it must be some external problem.

      1. Lallabalalla

        apart from...

        the free fixes available from Apple and their resellers and all the helpful people on the forums and anyone else with an aDevice who is usually pleased to help and.....

        1. Stacy
          Thumb Down


          Not in my experience...

          Yes Apple provide hotfixes like everyone else.

          But I've yet to see a friendly forum. When searching for answers from previously asked questions I've been put off from answring by the vindictiveness of posters towards anyone who suggests that there may be a problem. When I requested help from an Apple user I know for a MacBook Pro not talking to a router (that I had attached lots of other kit to without a problem) I was simply told - Macs just work, your router must be broken.

          When looking to find out why the print quality options were not turned on on my own MacBook Pro when using my printer from the built in driver (something that I was told is an advantage of Macs - all of the drivers are built in and you never need to install anything - yeah, right...) I found a forum with the same question and the user was told to go learn how to use a computer before coming and asking stupid questions. Not one single person had an answer for the poor soul that asked the question and I now print exclusiuvely from my Windows machine as they Mac still refuses to print anything except draft.

          Very helpful friendly people...

    3. Andy Jones

      I would just like to point out that my Samsung Galaxy S2 works perfectly. No flaws. Battery is fine. Screen is fine. Signal is fine. Oh, and it is a .0 release!

      1. Bullseyed

        Andy Jones

        I have the same phone, and while it is fantastic, I wish the battery lived longer and the antenna sucks from time to time. I am on Sprint though.

    4. Rob Dobs

      YES Honestly this is 5.0 not 1.0

      They have had years to make this work right, and its not excuse that its new, because its not.

      If Siri (a new app) had issues I could see this argument. However this is not the first version, and they should not be introducing NEW problems to their products, it shows a poor quality of engineering, and even worse testing/vetting procedures for their products.

  3. MooseNC

    Easy fix!

    They'll just do what they did with the antenna issue and make the battery life bars drop slower!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3000 odd posts, many from the very same people for a phone that by now sold at least 6 million?

    Doesn't sound like it's a significant issue.

    On the other hand still waiting for the GPS fix for the Samsung Galaxy S....

    1. Markl2011

      "On the other hand still waiting for the GPS fix for the Samsung Galaxy S"

      Don't hold your breath. All their engineers are busy at the moment trying to make their phones and tablets not look like iClones.

      Anyway get in line. I want a fix for the poor battery on my Samsung Apollo first

    2. Clint Sharp

      Uh, over 3000 posts on a support thread? Let's not forget many folk won't report to an Internet support forum, many will go to an Apple store and many more will just assume it's a "Non issue." and they should "Just avoid holding it in that way."

      3000+ posts is rather significant even if half are replies or duplicates by people who have already posted.

    3. Lallabalalla


      this affects the 4 too so you can quadruple that. we are talking way <1% here.

    4. Bullseyed

      The battery doesn't last long enough to get online to post on the forum.

      99% of Apple users don't know how to use a forum anyway.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      AC 00.35 -What GPS fix for the Galaxy S?

      Do you mean Galaxy S or S2, because the GPS on my S works just fine thanks.

      Great phone and the battery life isn't a problem as I do carry a fully charged second one (occasionally I do swap it over though -el cheapo chinese one - two quid works fine) ....not actually NEEDED it though.

      When my contract is up I'm thinking about the S2 purely on the strength of the S.

      Frink out!

  5. Gene Cash Silver badge

    They actually ADMITTED it?

    I guess Steve truly is dead!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Shocking it may be to you but it's not the first time Apple admits to a bug, especially in a .0 release.

      1. Ammaross Danan


        "Shocking it may be to you but it's not the first time Apple admits to a bug, especially in a .0 release."

        You're just holding it wrong.

    2. Wang N Staines

      My thought exactly.

      Steve would find ways to blame it on the users.

      The new CEO needs to up his game.

    3. Bullseyed

      My first thought upon seeing the article.

  6. JaitcH

    At one time, not long ago, problems simply faded when ...

    He said they weren't defects in reality, just figments of users imaginations.

    When is Tim being elevated to Saint Tim so he, too, can declare defects to be figments of peoples imaginations? It saves Apple a fortune.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They won't sanctify Tim for a year or two yet, they're all waiting for Jobs to rise again.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      what Jobs actually said was

      Our fruity product is fine it's your reality thats defective.

  7. ian 22

    Aussie accents?

    What about Scots?

  8. Neoc

    No wonder

    That my explain why my iPad went overnight from needing a once-a-day top-up to running out of power at least twice a day even when on standby.

  9. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    3GS Speed

    Since I upgraded my 3GS to 5.0, I find some tasks distinctly much slower. The worst item is screen unlocking. There's a definite new delay between completing the screen unlock function and the iPhone being usable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Patented though so you can enjoy an exclusively crap experience.

    2. Velv Silver badge

      Contrary to the article, my opinion was that my 3GS was actually lasting longer between charges. But it's just gut feel.

      It is kcertainly slightly slower, but nothing I can't live with.

      At least they seem to have fixed the problem of the 3GS rebooting three minutes into a call. Not had one crash yet.

  10. 6th

    I supplied a title anyhow.

    I thank you el reg for just reporting the news. Sure you make up units, but you didnt this time at least jump on the everything-gate bandwagon. Thank you. It's just a glitch in a dam iphone - not a presidency ender.

    Just came from

    A fairly normal article until you get assaulted with "Antennagate" and "Batterygate" ... really? That's as stupid as "Utegate":

    Watergate was a long time ago but the stupid Baby Boomer reporters here won't get off it. Stop smoking those things and stop making lame, unnecessary, words up and then injecting them into your report.

    This whole wordgate affair smells of a ripe conspiracygate.

    1. gerryg


      threshold needs resetting

    2. No, I will not fix your computer


      >>Thank you. It's just a glitch in a dam iphone - not a presidency ender.

      My girlfriend charges her iPhone 4 every night, despite the occasional long day and heavy use the battery was fine, but now, since iOS 5 a long day with heavy use means a dead phone at the end of the day, inability to respond to urgent call outs, phone for ambulance/taxi etc. this is totally unacceptable, if 5.01 fixes it, great, otherwise, it's a useless phone.

      The iPhone is a great phone, but even Apple recoginsed that it's not a business/professional one (their terms of use even excluded business use - has this changed?)

  11. Deft

    What about audio

    I have had real audio problems since using iOS5 on my 3GS. Distortion on bass heavy music and I'm convinced they have changed the default "no EQ" DSP setting to make the output hotter and more bassy. There are a couple of workarounds (and perhaps some bugs relating to per track volume adjustment contained in the XML file) but I would love to see a fix (or back to what it was in iOS4.

  12. Steve Evans

    I can't help but wonder...

    I wonder when we'll see Apple awarded a patent for a process which randomly drains the battery in an excessive way.

  13. LarsG


    Still try to find justification for this problem.

    And still the lemmings head for the cliffs.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      Don't you have something better to do with life little boy?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Take a deep breath

    Lars, it's a bug in some software experienced by some users. Tell me of another platform that hasn't had a bug in software experienced by some users.

    There is a justification. It happens all the time. That's why software updates are distributed.

    Please try and calm down.

  15. Tegne

    People are charging it wrong.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Just turn the phone off, it's not that big of a deal."

  16. John Sims

    No sign of a mail fix then

    Many users can't reply to emails. Hit the reply button, type your message, hit send and - oh dear - the mail app has closed and there is no copy of your reply saved to drafts.

    (forwarding emails does not have this problem)

  17. Silverburn

    It's funny...

    ...watching the two camp duke it out as to which of their platforms is crapper.

    Jeez you two - chill the f* out.

    Droidbois - if your beloved Android was so damned perfect, you wouldn't need ICS would you? And it will be a .0 release forever will it? No bug fixes? Let those without sin...etc etc. And some people *prefer* the simplicity of Apple devices to the complexity/freedom/tinkerability of Android devices. Just accept it.

    Fanbois - enough with the denial - *every software manufacturer* has f*ed up at some point, and invariably needs *at least* one bug fix release. Apple are no different. Andriod *does* do some things better than IOS too. Just accept it.

    Now, if my world view is correct, I shal recieve copious downvotes from both now-affronted fanboi camps (because what I said is complete lies, naturally). While receiving a smidgen of upvotes from the more rational human beings who still have a firm grasp of reality - who's lives are not defined by which phone OS they use.

    1. John_C
      Thumb Up

      So true.....

      I've used both 'droid and iOS.

      I like them both. I find iOS is slicker, 'droid more tweakable. Currently running Gingerbread on a Galaxy S. I'm quite tempted to have a go with WinMo 7.5 next now it's been out for a bit, although ICS might delay that.

      It's only a phone and if I don't like it then meh I'll move on to something else after a while.

      I also had an iPad but now have an Asus Transformer because I needed more of a netbook-style device without wanting to lose the tablet element. They're both brilliant, but in slightly different ways.

      This sort of tribal rubbish has been going on forever (ZX Spectrum vs C64 vs Acorn anyone?) and sadly it will never end. It's usually the people spouting the venom who miss out because many of them are closed off to new experiences.

      1. PsychicMonkey


        my Amiga 500 IS far better than your Atari ST.....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I tend to agree completely.

        Except - of course - the C64 was in fact better. :p

    2. Lallabalalla


      I could upvote you for being correct then downvote you for being cynical ;-) so why bother? I think the BS will die down if some of these rabid types ever get a job. Or finish their lunchbreak.

  18. Simon Buttress
    Big Brother

    iOS5 is Apple's mobile device Vista

    Certainly in my experience on my 4th gen Touch. Noticeably slower operation, repeatable freezes, takes an age to unlock, several crashes.

    Downvote me, I don't care, I only speak the truth.

  19. hexx

    at least they are working on the fix which will be available soon to all iOS users. doesn't affect me much though.

  20. Tony Paulazzo

    iPad 1 here

    lag on virtual keypad (and sometimes system wide) and random app crashes (utterly random, works for days then crash), both Apple (particularly Safari) and others, even those updated for ios5.

    Not so annoying I've bothered restoring to new and reinstalling everything, but seriously considering it.

  21. Even Jelical
    Thumb Up

    hmmmmm, had this problem a while ago

    I had the battery problem, coupled with a 'you have used your data allowance' message from O2? My iphone 4 battery would go from 100% to off overnight! Suddenly stopped without me doing anything? OS update has not brought it back! Strange........................

  22. Prag Fest

    Out of interest

    Where exactly are all these 'Apple fanbois in denial that a problem even exists'?

    I can't say I've read anyone saying such things, all I see are people with a bit of common sense trying to put things in perspective. Anyone?

  23. IChandler

    I wonder if this will fix the 4s feedback and distortion when using hands free?

    Seems to be pretty common. When on a call hands free I start getting loads of distortion on the call. Looking at the Apple forums, it seems that the microphone in the handset is sometimes turning on even though I'm handsfree. In the short term, I can get around it by turning speakerphone on and off but as an everyday phone its already getting on my tits!

    Oh, and Siri's about as much use as a chocolate fireguard!

  24. MGman
    Thumb Up

    This fixed it for me...

    I rested my iPhone 4 onto my 4S and was ready to demand a refund when the battery would fully discharge whilst I slept every night (and I don't sleep that long!).

    I was serious upset and not happy to turn everything off to try and make it work, as what would be the point of upgrading.

    Anyway, I tried lots of the solutions and as with a previous upgrade (may have been the 3 to the 3S) a lot of the problems seem to come from restoring settings made for the previous model onto the new one.

    I found that if I did a 'reset all settings' (you don't lose any data/contacts/media) that after a further power cycle of my phone I'm suddenly getting good battery life (well similar to my iPhone 4) without turning off all the nice new features.

    I can now easily go a full day again with my normal usage without worrying and lose about 1% an hour overnight (the phone checks email every 15 minutes), which I'm happy with.

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