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iPhone 4S battery fault could be location services bug

The iPhone 4S's short battery life could be due to a bug in the location services system in iOS 5 that checks your time zone too often.

Is your iPhone 4S battery running down much quicker than previous models? A flaw in the location service system in iOS5 could be to blame, the Guardian reports.

It seems your phone is accessing your phone's location even when there's no need for it to do so, and you've not asked it to. The Setting Time Zone option in Systems Services within Location Services seems to be operating, even when you've not travelled to a different time zone. Hmm.

If you can see a purple arrow next to the service, it may well be accessing your location repeatedly, sapping your handset's battery life. "A purple location services icon will appear next to an item that is currently using your location," is how the Apple menu describes it.

Switch off the Settings Time Zone function, and your phone won't update to a new time zone when you travel to a different country. But considering most of us don't go jet-setting every day, and we're capable of switching it on when we do, it's a small price to pay for extending your 4S's battery to more than 12 hours on a full charge. That's the sentiment of Oliver Haslam over on iDownload, quoted in the Guardian.

This is far from concrete evidence, however, with some 4S owners reporting no problems at all. Though the problem is widespread enough for Apple's engineers to be phoning up customers to ask them about usage, and try to offer potential fixes.

It might not be as huge a problem as antennagate, which plagued the iPhone 4's launch (and Steve Jobs thought was a Google smear), but it's an issue nonetheless. Smart phone batteries die soon enough in our experience, we don't need anything shortening them further.

Have you had any issues with your iPhone 4S battery? What's worked as a solution for you? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.

Image credit: The Guardian