iPhone 4S Plagued by Battery Problems

by Dale Wright

Users of the brand new iPhone 4S have been assisting Apple with troubleshooting procedures after it emerged that some phones were running out of battery power within half a day.

Some users reported on Apple’s forum that the power meter on their iPhone 4S is dropping every few minutes, and some have missed appointments because their phone has cut out unexpectedly overnight. One user said that their iPhone 4S had suddenly stopped charging to 100% capacity, stopping at 97% every time.

The cited standby power for the iPhone 4S is 200 hours, according to the Apple website. That’s a drop from the 300 hour estimate for its predecessor, the iPhone 4, but is a long way away from what many users are actually experiencing.

Reports suggest that the problem is not related to any rogue apps or OS memory leaks. It’s also not thought to be down to the new processor which is twice as powerful as the iPhone 4: the iPad 2 uses the same processor and does not exhibit the same issues. Some users have found that syncing their contacts from Gmail, MobileMe or iCloud causes the battery problem due to file corruption, and deleting all contacts solves the battery issue. The Guardian newspaper tested a brand new iPhone 4S and found the battery drain to be noticeably worse when the phone was connected to a mobile network, rather than a wifi hotspot.

Another report on the PC Mag website cites the location and time zone features in iOS 5, designed to automatically adjust the iPhone’s clock when the user crosses into a different timezone.

Apple technical support staff are contacting users to run diagnostic tests on problem handsets, but so far there’s no solution to the power drain. Any long-term problems with Apple’s flagship device are likely to cause huge concern, especially after the notorious reception problems that plagued the iPhone 4.

Are you experiencing any battery issues with your brand new iPhone 4S?