The power hungry iPhone 5 battery

The sluggish iPhone 5 battery issue hasn’t been fixed - and probably will never be. It’s rapidly becoming a “new normal” thing for iPhone users who have reported battery problems since the iPhone 4.

Ripping over the iPhone’s battery life has become a well-known riff in the tech media. It had been an obsession for months with all the iPhone 4S, to such a point that Apple really had to acknowledge the matter publicly and make some sort of semi-hearted attempt at fixing it on the software side with iOS 5 software updates. Did the updates make a difference? A few say yes, a few no.

And even though the iPhone 4's battery configuration is generally considered to be Apple’s last successful attempt at balancing longevity and function, iPhone 4 legacy users still complained about its battery life. Presumably some people can never be satisfied. However despite the fact that you haven’t heard quite the sustained complaints about the iPhone 5's battery life, now that we’ve got burgeoning iPhone 5 sales and an iPad Mini to distract our attention, the probable seems to be persisting, despite a lack of coverage in the tech media. Maybe users are simply getting used to having less juice?

In 2011, Apple conceded that the battery issue was directly in relation to iOS 5; that its handling of apps running inside the background and other sundry performance parameters were at fault. But after the iOS 5.1 update failed to fix the challenge, the rationale “evolved” from being Apple’s fault to the user’s: too many people were running so many power hungry apps at once, thus draining the battery. What this giant company never really addressed was the fact that they added the A5 processor, Siri, and a bunch of different high-performance hardware upgrades to the 4S, nevertheless kept the battery similar.

We’re getting similar riff from Apple regarding the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5's battery is a different design from that of the 4 and 4S. Namely, its slim shape, and capacity (mAh) yet again were only marginally bumped up. Again, instead of any form of change to the hardware configuration being the cause of problems, the shortened lifetime of the iPhone 5 is also being blamed on a combination of software and usage.

If the battery challenge over the iPhone was truly limited to software and usage, the issue would have already been solved. It could not be tough for Apple to redesign iOS in such a way that it gives the consumer an exceptional, user-friendly way of running only the bare minimum of apps at any given time. Yet, in spite of the patches, fixes, absolute best practices, and suggestions, the iPhone battery ice continues to be a problem. And the battery on the new iPhone 5 is unquestionably not getting any powerful.

Apple is obviously aware of the issue, and, for whatever reason, is not concerned about the frustration level of iPhone 5 users. Possibly the calculation here is that average iPhone 5 users don’t use their smartphones hard enough to really strain the battery. But that’s a gamble for Cupertino, and even though a great-capacity battery is a feature that doesn’t get a smartphone much approval, nothing can ruin the mobile computing experiences more than a dead iPhone battery.