Apple reportedly investigating iPhone 4S battery drain

Company is said to be contacting iPhone 4S users who have complained on Apple support forums that they're getting battery life that's far less than advertised.

The iPhone's low-battery indicator.
The iPhone's low-battery indicator. Screenshot by Rick Broida

Apple engineers are looking into faster-than-expected battery drain on the company's newest iPhone, according to a report.

The Guardian reports that some iPhone 4S owners are being contacted by Apple after complaining about lower-than-expected battery performance on the company's support Web site. Numerous users there are saying their phones are lasting just a few hours, even with minimal use, and with power-draining features disabled.

At least one owner told The Guardian that an Apple engineer contacted him and provided instructions for installing a diagnostic file that would be sent back to the company for analysis. This was after telling him the quick draining was a known issue.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.

The iPhone 4S launched two weeks ago in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and several other countries, and is expanding to 22 additional countries this weekend. It boasts an extra hour of 3G talk time compared with the iPhone 4, while coming in at 100 hours less of standby time, based on Apple's own testing. CNET's own iPhone 4S battery testing with a model on Sprint's network yielded 9.2 hours of talk time on the carrier's 3G EV-DO Rev. A network, coming in as the strongest iPhone battery test to date.

The phone continues the trend set by previous iterations, sealing the battery inside to allow for better use of space. As a side effect, users can't swap it out with another battery, as most other phones allow.

A teardown of the iPhone 4S earlier this month by iFixit revealed that the battery in the 4S is slightly more powerful than the one in the iPhone 4, but not by much. Users get an extra .05 WHrs of juice compared with the battery that was in the iPhone 4. The big difference, of course, is that the iPhone 4S sports a dual-core A5 processor.

 

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