Apple reportedly looking into poor iPhone 4S battery life

Daniel Bader

October 29, 2011 8:25 am


From the outside, the iPhone 4S looks exactly like its predecessor, but the guts of the device are an entirely different story. A faster processor and baseband, along with an improved camera and slightly larger battery should make for significantly improved performance. But some customers are noting that their new phones, pre-loaded with iOS5, are experiencing poor battery life — some up to 10% drain per hour.

According to The Guardian newspaper, several iPhone 4S customers have been contacted directly by Apple engineers who are looking into the issue. They have been asked to voluntarily install monitoring software — all anonymously collected, of course — in order to determine what could be the cause of the aberrant battery drain. Some have speculated that Siri, the new always-on personal assistant, needs a constant connection to the internet, slowly trickling the battery dry. Others say it could be background processes at play, which have more free reign to update over previous versions of iOS. There have also been reports of corrupted iCloud or Google sync data — specifically corrupted contact lists — which, once wiped clean and re-installed, solve the problem.

While there doesn’t seem to be anything official yet from the company, it’s good to know that Apple is looking into the issue. Have you experienced a decline in battery life over your iPhone 4? If so, let us know in the comments.

Source: The Guardian

  • Eric

    Mine only lasts for 1/2 half and I have to carry the charger on me; on average I make calls for about 30 – 45 minutes, E-Mail, Facebook, and some browsing…

  • Eric

    Sorry meant to say 1/2 a day.

  • DD

    This is bad for the religion that believes Apple products just work.

  • KidCanada

    And they expected us to believe we’d get the same or better batterylife with a second core processor? Haha! Apple ur bs amuses me #smh

    • daveloft

      It’s not the dual core, it’s iOS 5, it’s the cloud sync capability and apps like find my friends.

    • Dimitri k

      The same goes with Androids. I have owned the Samsung galaxy s2, iPhone 4S & the atrix 4G. They all die pretty fast. The batteries need to have more power & need more MAhs in them. Dual core yes uses plenty of battery but its also the apps, notifications, cloud sync in which backs up your phone everyday or so. & also the screen brightness & 3G/wifi & GPS. They all take so much battery.

    • Chris

      What are you talking about? Dual core processors are more efficient than single core at the same task and clock speed. They can operate a single core at a time, using a fraction of the power of a single core running similar low-demand tasks.

    • xtachx

      You know – the laws of Physics dont really care about the iReligion. If you spend more energy (more cores int he processor, or faster processor), your battery drains faster. We have had processor improvements, but we never had battery improvements int hat scale.

      Every dual core phone suffers from this battery hog problem.

  • Pouya

    I don’t have Iphone 4S yet, but I am experiencing the same problem on my 3GS. Since I upgraded to iOS5, my battery lasts for about 10-12 hours..

    • TeknoBug

      There’s iOS5 update for 3GS?

  • canuckpunk

    My girlfriend who has the iphone 4 just upgraded to iOS5 has been stating the same thing so I think it could be something new in iOS5

  • Michael

    My dad has the iPhone 4 and he’s reporting someof these issues as well. It seems that since the update, Gps stays on all the time and he must charge it while at work.
    Hmmm….

  • Beenie

    I’ve noticed a huge difference in battery life. Normally I can stretch to needing a charge every third day now I needs it every 3/4 of one day.

  • jacksonbriggs

    At least they’re looking into the matter. Better than say, LG and the optimus 2x. It took them a class action lawsuit to look into their random restart issue.

  • Nicole.

    I have an Ipod 4th gen (not the brand new ones) and I upgraded it to the iOS5 and I am also having the same issues with my battery life. Maybe Apple needs to look into their system not the phone.

  • Realzzz

    Turning off setting time zone should solve the problem for some people. Go to option – location service – system services and turn off setting time zone

  • tremSr

    I would say ios 5. All new notifications, getting pushed, geo-tagged, location services. iOS 5 is running a whole lot more background operation, plus with icloud sync. I think they just overlooked many of these aspects, as much of the new os is new to Apple. Plus many of the default settings when you update to iOS 5 could definitely wipe battery….the thing is iOS user never really had to worry about looking into these things, why would they now?! If you were never shown to disable your gps, or turn off constant syncing, why would you, you never had to before. They just see the new features but don’t realize the processes needed to keep them running, and nine times out of ten, it is the battery blasters that are the culprit.

    ps. This isn’t for everyone…Realzzz knows something about it, but there are many iphone owners that are oblivious.

  • Slype

    Now that iOS 5 is now on par with Android in terms of features, iPhone users now know why some Android phones are drained by the end of the day or even sooner.

    Battery technology needs to be pushed a bit further I think because ideally, we would leave all of our features on and not have to worry about application/wifi/gps management in order to conserve the battery life.

  • Klyde

    Sold my 4S for the poor battery life, just bought the Samsung Galaxy S2…wonderful, no comparison, better battery life, bigger screen and a better operating system overall! I WAS BLIND WITH APPLE!!

  • DarthVR6

    I’ve had 2 iPhone 4s’s since launch. First one had HORRIBLE battery performance. It would only last 10 hours. It also had a defective speaker right off the bat. Had TELUS exchange it and the new phone is MUCH better! Same settings, same push settings, same everything – I get 2 days off of one charge.

    The other thing I did differently with the 2nd handset is that I charged it for 8 hours before using it (which includes configuration).

    If you are experiencing issues, I would recommend visiting APPLE and have it exchanged.

  • Phil

    Yes I thought it was my own fault why the we were draining so quick. One night we had it charged at 100% and by the time we woke up it was down to 60^
    %. Didn’t make any sense and all apps were off. I cant understand why a full charge is required after such mild use

  • abcd

    Still better than Android battery life…

  • Mike

    Mine is remarkably improved over the 4

  • Eric

    I returned my 4S after evaluating it for two weeks; then picked up an HTC Raider @ Rogers and it’s a wonderful device. I came from Galaxy S II prior to the 4S and am glad I am back to Android :)

    .Eric

  • Craz

    Oh no, the battery doesn’t last as long, remove some features in the OS!!!!

  • jon

    My android used to go dead in a day. I tried a bunch of different battery apps. Right now, I’m using Wisync Plus. It controls my 3g data. I set it to automaticaly sync my gmail every 4 hours. And I toggle my data on or off as I need it.

    My battery life increased from 1 day to 5 days…

    • TeknoBug

      Yup my original Desire used to die fairly fast when sync was turned on, since I use K9 Mail I don’t see the point of sync, if I want to check my mail I’ll do it manually. Once you turn it off you’ll see a big increase in battery life on Android.

  • boojay

    They should look into the Sh|t phone part too

  • John

    I will stick with my Motorola Razr V3. Charge it twice a week.

  • anon

    This seems to be a predominant problem with every new smartphone on the market, Android capable phones, BB’s and now Iphone 4S. These companies seriously need to match performance with battery. What use is a great gadget when you have to worry about the battery running out because you are using the GPS function or playing a game. I am a Torch 9800 user, battery is dismal on it, 1200-1500mAH batteries are not sufficient anymore.

    • SunHammer

      The market keeps wanting thinner and thinner phones = worse and worse battery life.

      If you can have a great phone with amazing battery life but it’s 15mm thick vs 9mm and poor battery… people will generally want the thinner one anyway.

  • Cave Man

    If there’s any conclusion that needs to be drawn from this is that the iPhone is not God, it’s only human (so to speak).

    Also, stop researching in screens and other tech, instead focus on battery!!!

  • W B

    Can’t you ask SIRI what’s wrong? Perhaps they haven’t pre-programmed that response yet.

    • GMan

      Siri: You’re holding the phone wrong.

  • phoneguy

    HAHAHA I told u apple fanfags….to all the losers that that pre ordered there POS enjoy apples yet inferior product once again

  • cybulski31

    Ever since upgrading to the iOS 5, my batter has been horrible in my iPhone 4!

    • boojay

      Ever since I got an iPhone, it’s been terrible.

  • Kimberlee

    Just got my second 4S on Thursday. The battery is worse then the previous………Going to apple tomorrow……..see what happens. Only getting 1/2 and it’s mostly stand by time. My 4 had way better battery life:(

  • iDonkey

    Doesn’t matter how long it battery last or even work at all. As long its has an Apple Logo on it, idonkeys would think they’re having the best piece of ***** in the world, got to love it.

  • saffant

    ugh why do fanboys always need to kill the mood whenever (rarely) a reasonable discussion is going on amongst the tech enthusiasts.

    On a more related note, battery tech definitely needs some improvement; what good really is a “smartphone” if it struggles to even ‘survive’, so to speak.

  • MARS

    They wanted stole a quite a few ideas from Android with their latest release including the poor battery life! lol

  • happyboy

    iphone isucks i still with blackberry much nicer then ishit iphone

  • Sam

    I bought my wife the 4s and I bought the battery extender right after as I knew even before this story broke that there would be issues. NONE of these phones have good battery life as far as I’m concerned. I bought a battery extender case for my Nexus S and for the Iphone for my wife. This whole idea of “thinner” is just plain STUPID if it means you have to turn even one feature off. I don’t have to but I’ve also got double the battery life I used to. I don’t care about having a paper thin phone, I care about having a phone that can do what I want it to do when I want it to do it for as long as I need, or atleast until I get home to charge it.

  • tbr

    What would Jobs do to this one?

    • InfinitiGuy

      Steve would say you are holding it wrong.

  • steve

    I have the new iphone 4S and my iphone works perfect and my battery lasts about 2 and a half days with moderate use. not sure what people are complaining about.

  • hurrdurr

    Dont worry guys your probly just putting it into your pocket the wrong way. User error of course, the device is fine

  • Steve Z

    Remember it’s Samsung’s fault. Those bastards stole Apple’s ideas, but managed to get battery life (mostly) right. ;0)

  • Jason V.

    I have been using iOS 5 since October 12th on my iPhone 4. So far I have been able to get 48 hours max based on my usage habits. The only behavior change I have made is that I turn off the bluetooth chip when I’m not driving my car and close down my apps when I know I won’t be using them for awhile. Sometimes I get about 12-16 hours usage but this occurs when I’m using more apps, games and watching YouTube videos.

  • GMan

    Steve must be furious watching this on his iHeavenPad.

  • Betty

    My battery life is horrible and so is my daughters. We shut off the location information and it doesn’t help. I’m at work and it just sits on my desk and drains. Please fix this issue. I have purchased each new iPhone as it came on the market for sale and we love our phones but this issue is making it difficult to want the next one. Help.