There's anecdotal evidence to support the claim, which surfaced after the arrival of iOS 4.3. Fortunately, there's an easy way to disable the service.
Another ding for Ping.
When Apple rolled out iOS 4.3 a couple weeks ago, it quietly added a few features to the widely reviled Ping social-network service: push notifications for comments and follow requests, parental controls, and so on.
Soon after, many users started reporting a sizable drop in iPhone, iPod, and/or iPad battery life--and it wasn't long before Ping began to emerge as the culprit.
Fortunately, as reported at Pocket-lint and elsewhere, there's a simple fix for the problem: turn off Ping. Here's how:
That's all there is to it. If you check the reader comments at sites like the aforementioned Pocket-lint and Lifehacker, you'll see that at least some users have reported much-improved battery life after making the change.
I wasn't able to test this myself, as I never got around to updating my iPhone 4 to iOS 4.3. Rather, I just installed iOS 4.3.1, which arrived yesterday and may itself be a fix for the Ping battery-drain issue.
If you've noticed a decrease in battery life after installing iOS 4.3 and/or an improvement with iOS 4.3.1, hit the comments and let us know what's up!