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Apple: iPhone battery issue due to iOS 5, fix coming

Apple says it knows there's an issue with iOS 5 that's causing battery drain for some, and that a software fix will be here "in a few weeks."


Apple has finally broken radio silence over criticisms of lackluster battery life affecting iPhones old and new since releasing iOS 5 last month.

In a statement provided to AllThingsD, the company said it's aware of the problem and plans on offering a fix in the form of a software update.

"A small number of customers have reported lower-than-expected battery life on iOS 5 devices," Apple told the outlet. "We have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and we will release a software update to address those in a few weeks."

As noted last week, users have flocked to Apple's support siteto complainabout lower than advertised battery life on the new phone, which went on sale in mid-October, as well as on Apple's previous models.

Affected users say fully-charged devices are running out of juice during the course of a workday, even with minimal use, a problem that was not present on their devices before the iOS 5 software update.

So far, users have scrapped together a number of solutions, from turning off software features, to turning off the device itself. But reports on success have been mixed, with some users experiencing more battery drain than others, and some even reporting battery life improving since updating to iOS 5.

iOS 5 spent a considerable amount of time in near-public testing before it was delivered to users. The software, which Apple says adds more than 200 features the previous version of iOS, went through seven beta versions for developers inside a four-month span.

Unlike its predecessor, the iPhone 4S is the first to sport a dual-core chip that can pump out what Apple says is twice the performance compared to last year's model. During the phone's unveiling last month, Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, suggested that the company had not only matched the battery life of the previous model, but beaten it in some cases.

As BGR reports, Apple has already released a beta version of the updated software to developers, dubbed 5.0.1 that "fixes bugs affecting battery life," as well as bringing multitasking gestures to the original iPad, improving voice recognition for Australian accents, and fixing bugs with documents in Apple's iCloud. Not mentioned is an echo that's affecting some iPhone 4S owners who use a wired headset when making phone calls.

Updated at 3 p.m. PT with additional background throughout.