The update, which was only supposed to fix a Wi-Fi issues for the iPhone 5 and iPad mini devices is causing many batteries to drain even when the devices are not in use. The battery drain is dramatic for some users, though others don’t see the same battery problems.
ZDNet mentions one post from TidBITS in which one iPhone 5 user saw his phone grow warm and the battery drain from 97 percent to 85 percent when traveling from Santa Monica to LAX airport. The user then put his iPhone into airplane mode while on the plane. When he stepped off the plane the iPhone was cool and the battery had drained completely.
Anecdotal evidence can’t determine why the update drains battery so quickly, but from the reports of battery drain it seems the update could have something to do with Wi-Fi. If airplane mode still causes the battery to drain quickly it’s almost certainly not the 3G or 4G LTE radios that cause the issue.
Apple will likely fix the update soon. ZDNet claims Apple pulled the support note for the update, but the page is still available on Apple’s website. Any new update, however, will likely not come out until the new year. Apple gives its corporate staff a lot of time off for holidays, so unless it brings the engineers in to fix the update as soon as possible users will have to wait until after New Years.
The next major update to iOS 6, iOS 6.1 will likely come to all iOS devices in mid-January, and it could fix the battery issues for users who have them. The update will also likely add a number of small new features for all iOS devices. With any luck, iOS 6.1 won’t introduce any new issues to iOS.
Until a fix is available iPhone 5 and iPad mini users may want to carry around an external battery, just in case.