11 Replies Latest reply: Oct 15, 2012 10:28 AM by enchantedloom
Brunni Level 1 (0 points)

I'd like to investigate and get your comments about the battery life issues introduced with iOS 5, which iOS 6 failed to fix, only making it worse with even more services that potentially cause problems.


It seems this doesn't affect everybody and always. For instance, Apple engineers using AT&T in cupertino do not seem very concerned by the issue, but if you are on Orange, Switzerland, it's another story. From my understanding, big battery drops (~10% / hour) are related to the way iOS handles bad cellular network conditions. Often, the iPhone will "think" it has cellular data available (o/E/3G icons next to the operator) where it actually won't be able to reach the operator and never receive a response. In this case, iOS will leave the 3G chip powered for several minutes until a timeout occurs, even having the phone locked. If mail is fetched every 30 minutes like me, it makes 5 minutes of usage per 30 minutes, and should easily drain your battery in one day.

(Note that this will also happen every time you use the calendar for example, if it's synchronized with iCloud.)


So first problem: a timeout way too long. It's an usual, but still annoying thing with OS X. Second thing, as long as iOS doesn't realize that the push connection is invalid (i.e. it thinks it has network but will actually not be able to receive anything) it's ok. If a small drop or change in connectivity happens though, the connection will be reinited, and that's where things get very bad. The connection may fail at that point: 5 minutes of battery usage (~2% battery), but iOS will try to reopen it right afterwards. If connectivity is not properly restored, 5 more minutes lost, and so on. This is shown as usage when you go to Settings > General > Usage.

Yes, my mother did not use her iPhone 4S a single time after charging it yesterday, yet it was dead at the end of the day with 3 hours 30 minutes of usage. This do not happen on Android devices like my father's Galaxy S, who uses the same operator.


For people who have battery life issues, have you observed something like this on your iPhone too?

  • Visnetje Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm experiencing this very same issue since my Wi-Fi doesn't work anymore. (could not scan for networks in iOS 5.1.1, is now greyed out in iOS 6) Also, Bluetooth doesn't recognize other devices, gets recognized itself but doesn't want to make a connection. There's no sign of moisture red dots, and my 4S is not even 2 months old!

    The battery is losing ~10% per hour at minimum.

    Strangest thing is that it's also losing battery when put on Airplane Mode, or even when turned off!


    I also have bad reception in my house (carrier is Vodafone in the Netherlands).

    So this may be the reason for the device to keep trying to switch between 2G and 3G.

    I must say I'm experiencing the same issues when outside with better reception, so I'm not really sure the cellular connection is actually the main cause.


    I'm closing all the apps every once and a while, so they shouldn't drain the battery either.

    In fact I'm using it just like I have been using the phone with 5.1.1, but then I didn't have any problems... Until Wi-Fi suddenly stopped working and I restored to 6.0 to see if that would fix the problem.


    Now trying the phone with iCloud account removed, system location services visible, no cellular nor Wi-Fi connection, and no apps in the background. To see if the battery's still draining.


    I noticed there are LOTS of people experiencing this same issue! That doesn't look very good...

    Hope this gets fixed very very soon.

  • DynaJim Level 1 (5 points)

    I too dutifully updated to OS6 on an IPhone 4 even though it was working great on OS5. (Next time I’ll check the blogs first)  However, I found the problem with my configuration… and no it was not OS6.  And since this is my wife’s phone, I was VERY motivated to find the problem!


    I’ll spare you to days of resets and reloads from every cloud and computer available to me.  I finally did a hard reset with just the phone and finished the setup with just the phone and no cloud, no iTunes.  The phone seemed stable and battery life was normal (normal for me it two to three days if I dial back all the data chit chat).   Then one at a time started adding back apps.  When I reconnected my exchange email account (Hotmail), the battery drain kicked in (3 hrs to dead).  After reading about some of the “push” issues, I switched from “push” to “fetch” in the email settings and the phone only dropped 2% overnight!  Yea!!!


    We all have different apps interacting on our phones (had the same issue with an android phone).  Apple has always been brilliant at stable software but they cannot foresee every app interaction or predict how servers with interact with our apps.  I’m not a big blog writer, but I’d suggest folks try what worked for me.  Start with a truly clean install and add one app at a time.  I’d also suggest apps that sync and exchange data (email, calendar, social apps, etc.) frequently would be the most suspect.

  • Brunni Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your input


    Visnetje> Your problem is different. If the battery drain happens in airplane mode, it is not cellular-network related. Check your device logs in Settings > General > About > "Diagnostis" (have it in French, but should be similar) > Diagnostis data and check if you have tons of crashes every day.


    DynaJim> Thanks for your comment. iOS 6 has not worsen the situation, what did for me is iOS 5 and enabling iCloud. Nice that you could get 2% overnight. Mine will take 3% if the network connection is rock solid (maybe 5% under wifi). But if I'm unlucky and network is bad (and it often is), then my phone is nearly dead overnight.


    About your last comments, unlike on Android, iOS apps can do nothing in background, so souldn't be able to consume any battery. The only thing is if they initiate a network connection and you press the home button, it may be kept open for a few minutes and consume battery. Same goes for location services, that may be kept enabled under some circumstances if an inactive app requires it.

  • Brunni Level 1 (0 points)

    More on this: disabling the mail auto checking drastically improves the battery life (to the point you can let it idle for 30 minutes and not lose a single percent). I had an hotmail account and my work IMAP account with fetch set to hourly (push totally disabled).


    Today, I've disabled 3G and reenabled mail checking after removing and recreating the work IMAP account, and so far the results are good. I left charged it overnight, then browsed for 8 minutes, then played Peggle for 15 minutes and it's still at 98% (3h since last plugged). I'll wait a little to confirm that there's either a problem with automatic mail checking or 3G here in Switzerland.

  • ridgero Level 1 (5 points)

    My battery drains veerrrry quickly when i use cellular data. If i stay on WIFI i get really good values. I tried everything, but for my iPhone 5 battery means using cellular data a quick discharge.

  • ridgero Level 1 (5 points)

    BTW, when I use cellular data, my iPhone 5 is boiling within a few minutes. WIFI doesnt have an impact on the temperature.

  • Sirfoxelot Level 1 (50 points)

    Mine has recently developed some very weird battery issues. yesterdays one was the strangest


    Battery at 53%

    Opened camera and started to record a video. Immediately got a warning that battery was at 20%

    Recorded a video approx 2.5mins long. Exited camera app and battery was showing at 1%

    Phone powered off and kept showing the connect charger icon when i tried to power it on again

    Waited for 10 mins and phone then powered on again with battery showing at 33%, however you could watch this dropping before your eyes


    Today, Battery is at 86% after 3Hrs 25Mins Standby and 56Mins usage

  • Brunni Level 1 (0 points)

    Sirfoxelot> If you can reproduce this issue, it may indicate that your battery is reaching the end of its life. Your iPhone 4S should have a "smart battery", that will notice when it doesn't hold the designed capacity anymore, and adapt the reported percentage. When a sudden drop occurs and the battery doesn't know about it yet, you can experience this kind of problems.

    If you cannot reproduce it and your battery is not discharging faster than before, then it was just a software bug.


    ridgero> How good is the cellular network coverage in your area?

  • Sirfoxelot Level 1 (50 points)

    At the moment it seems to be draining faster than other phones I've had. But not to the extent it was yesterday.

    It must have just freaked out for some reason.


    Not sure if to book it in with my Local Apple store to get them to take a look.


    I have found that when connected via 3G though i'm having to charge my phone up 2 or 3 times a day

  • ridgero Level 1 (5 points)

    @Brunni: The coverage is awesome in vienna, we dont have LTE right now, but works really well here, even in the subway. I am used to have an iPhone for 5 years now, bever had such battery life problems.

  • enchantedloom Level 1 (0 points)

    Lots of people are having this problem. It's not the battery (not in my case anyway) - it's because the phone is sending lots of data over cellular, even when on wi-fi. So watch out for exceeding your data limit! I've turned off cellular data in Settings and now my battery is fine (althogh the phone is still sending 5MB/hr over wi-fi). It's an iOS6 bug.