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Is Software To Blame For iPhone 4S Battery Problems?



Over on ZDNet’s Hardware 2.0 blog Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is making a good case that the recent battery problems plaguing iPhone 4S owners is a problem with the software, not the hardware. Apparently an anonymous iPhone developer came to him with some illuminating evidence that points to this explanation.

The dev has two iPhones, one for daily use and one for testing apps. The daily use iPhone experienced battery issues, the testbed did not. Further experimentation showed that it wasn’t one handset’s wonky battery, but something in the configuration of the iPhone. Read the original post for the full details.

It’s not yet clear if a particular app or setting is to blame, or even some common combination of both. That may take more experimentation… or Apple just fixing it.

The good news is, this now seems like something Apple can indeed fix with an update and it’s not like the antenna thing wherein the phone needed a physical fix. Apple continues to investigate the issue, but it would be nice if they could offer up a temporary fix of disabling an app or a setting before the big one came through.

As Adrian points out, most people don’t have access to a bunch of iPhones, so it’s hard to see if this holds up across handsets. However, if you own an iPhone 4S, give us a heads up in the comments and let us know if you are or are not experiencing bad battery issues and what apps you have installed. It might be illuminating.

In the mean time, here are some tips that may help:



  1. greg

    11/14/2011 at 6:09 pm

    I only experiencing battery issues when my att signal strength is very week, or don’t have it at al,l  then I can literally see the battery disappear  in front of my eyes, and when the signal is strong or there is access to wi-fi the battery lasts 2 days. iphone 4s 16g 

  2. briankolb

    11/16/2011 at 8:47 am

    Hi K.T.
    I’m experiencing battery issues with my 4s and I have the Mophoe juice pack which used to help me tremendously.
    I have all the exact same apps from my iPhone 4. Nothing new. Seems to be an Apple issue.
    Brian – Wrights Media

  3. Kiana

    11/22/2011 at 3:18 pm

    WOW!   My white iphone 4S is most of the time, SUPER HOT!  My battery lasts about four hours, and that’s without doing hardly ANYTHING!  Should I take my iphone back to the Apple store and ask to get it fixed, or a replacement?  I have the latest OS on my phone.  Mahalo!

  4. Mel

    12/11/2011 at 7:27 am

    My husband and I both have an iPhone 4S – his is black and mine is white. When my phone has been charging all night long, it says it’s only at 95%. My husbands is 100%. Also, by the end of the day my phone is at approximately 20% or below and my husbands is at around 50+. We have the same exact settings and use the phone roughly the same amount. 

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