Apple discloses 'very limited' iPhone 5S battery life issue

Company says a small number of iPhone 5S models it shipped out are experiencing a battery issue that results in shorter use times.

Apple's iPhone 5S
Apple's iPhone 5S Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Apple says some buyers of its latest iPhone may experience shorter battery life due to a manufacturing defect on a "very limited" number of models.

"We recently discovered a manufacturing issue affecting a very limited number of iPhone 5S devices that could cause the battery to take longer to charge or result in reduced battery life," the company told The New York Times. "We are reaching out to customers with affected phones and will provide them with a replacement phone."

It's unclear just how many phones that is, which models were affected, and just how fast the phones are depleting.

CNET has contacted the company for more information, and will update this post when we know more.

The iPhone 5S went on sale last month alongside the less-expensive iPhone 5C. Both are rated for similar battery life. They can run for up to 250 hours on standby; can be used for up to 10 hours of 3G talk; And can do 10 and 40 hours of video and audio playback respectively. That's up by many metrics compared to 2011's iPhone 4S, which Apple still sells.

Apple reported early sales of 9 million iPhones in its first weekend on sale last month, though the company hasn't (nor is it likely to) disclosed how many of those units were the higher-end device. On Monday, the company said it sold 33.8 million iPhones during its September quarter, which included eight days of 5S and 5C sales.

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