The iPhone 4S (s aapl) may have its first significant early life issue, according to many users, and even possibly Apple itself. Many users are reporting seeing very poor battery life with iPhone 4S devices, and on Friday the Guardian received word that Apple was contacting affected users directly to get to the bottom of things.
Problems with the 4S battery go beyond just the advertised changes, which acknowledge that the iPhone 4S won’t get as much standby time from a full charge than either the iPhone 4 or the iPhone 3GS. 3G talk time and other use cases are supposed to last longer with the 4S’s new battery, however, which a teardown revealed is higher capacity than the one in the iPhone 4.
Users who are having problems aren’t seeing just a small drop in standby time, however. Some users are reporting between 10 and 20 percent battery burn per hour while the phone is in standby mode. That’s well off the usual, which is closer to around 1 percent an hour, or even less. In fact, we’re treading well into Android (s goog) territory here, where battery life is a known failing of most devices.
Solutions people are suggesting vary from performing a full backup and restore, to switching off Siri, to not using wireless sync. But in many cases, these solutions don’t seem to be helping. Some argue that it’s an issue with 3G data, as users who depend more on Wi-Fi don’t seem to be as affected in some cases.
The Guardian reports that some iPhone 4S users who’ve posted about the problem on Apple’s discussion boards are receiving calls from Apple engineers looking into the problem. It’s a good sign that Apple is investigating, but according to one person who was contacted, an engineer admitted “they aren’t close to finding a fix.”
My own iPhone 4S seems to have comparable, if not better battery life when compared to my iPhone 4. I’ve managed to get as much as two full days of standby time along with five or six hours of usage. I tend not to be away from Wi-Fi for very long, however, and I have noticed that the phone runs hot and battery seems to drain more quickly when I’m actually browsing in Safari using a 3G connection.
What about you? If you’ve upgraded to the iPhone 4S, are you having problems with battery life? Maybe iOS 5 is the culprit, and you’re seeing problems even on an iPhone 4 or 3GS? Let us know in the comments.