Yup, same problem here but it's affecting basically all my iPhones (3GS, 4, 4S) independent of iOS version. Actually I don't typically see it happening with iPhone 4 but it's due to more lightweight (less CPU intensive tasks) I'm running whereas (as explained already above) running CPU heavy apps or tasks trigger this problem easier.
In addition, I have only seen this happening in cold weather e.g I'm taking lots pictures with Hipstamatic and it's using GPS and what not at the same time when rendering the final picture, marking the location etcetc.
As such lithium ion batteries do work worse in the cold weather so maybe voltages go sometimes just low enough for phone to panic and kill itself, and maybe having older battery also contributes to this problem as well.
The cure: warm the phone a bit between hands or inside a warm pocket, and restart it later on. You might get the battery warning and phone refusing to start, but holding the power button a tad bit longer will reset it and eventually phone power on - if you REALLY want/need to use it. At the same time you'll notice the battery level is still around whatever if was before phone committed suicide, also if you plug it in to charger the phone starts right away.
Is it annoying.... yes. Is it affecting only certain iPhone model or even iPhones - well, based on tests some phones / models fare better in cold or rather in winter conditions. I think some tests I saw gave highest marks to Samsung and HTC whereas Nokia Lumia and iPhone (4s) didn't do quite so good at all.
I don't have a problem with the phone being cold/hot. And I could have no apps running and it still shuts down perfectly on cue every time. As soon as I plug it in, it comes back to life and shows whatever percentage it shut down at (which is very predictable, today was 37%...next time will probably be 39%, then 41%, etc).
I'm just frustrated because I'm running out of time with my warranty (which means no more replacement phones) and I've tried different things with no luck. I deleted half of my apps before getting my last phone (Apple thought maybe a faulty app could be causing my phones to crash). My newest phone currently has next to nothing on it. I have 6 apps that all of my other iPhone friends use (Facebook, FB Messenger, Pinterest, Weather Channel, My Verizon, and Pandora), my email account, and contacts/calendar. I have not snyced my music back to my phone (thinking maybe there could be an issue with a music file) but the problem started up again within 3 weeks of getting a new phone.
How does this keep happening? If it only happened to 1 phone, I'd think nothing of it...but all 3 phones??? There is definately a problem somewhere and if it's something I'm doing, I would love for someone to correct me. I stream music on Pandora at work a couple days a week but other than that, I really only use my phone to check email & Facebook. Any suggestions?
You have pretty much exhausted the options I would do - and actually I wouldn't even go as far as uninstalling apps. Did you calibrate anyway the battery charge meter by completely draining the battery and charging it fully?
I can just relate to the experience you're having. I have three iPhones: 3gs, 4 and 4s. So far I have seen the issue happening with 3gs using iOS4.x when I'm e.g using foursquare while battery is around 30-40% or lower in the cold weather. I think the GPS chip together with processing and cellular would be too much for the battery to handle, or some sensor is triggered to turn off the phone. Maybe the older battery contributes as well - don't know.
With iPhone 4s it's possible that the issue actually started to occur only after iOS 6 upgrade - and other people have been reporting the same. I hope so - and hoping for quick fix, as I'm getting fed up with first Google Maps missing followed by personal hotspot working like )!("/$ followed by phone dying in cold weather. Any of the previous issues alone already made me consider other options outside Apple world. Now I have only the battery issue left together with the self blame of ever installing iOS 6. And I definitely didn't consider upgrading to iPhone 5 after all the mess I have recently experienced.
My battery never fully drains so I'm not quite sure how to do that, just now it shut down at 47% like it had no battery left? I've tried to calibrate it before, maybe I'm not doing it right. How do you calibrate your battery?
I actually have been having this problem since last June (iOS 6 wasn't released until November I think?) so the problem was there before the upgrade for me (I just wised up and finally reached out to Apple instead of Verizon). Again, I haven't exposed my phone to cold weather so I highly doubt that could be an issue for me either.
I agree, this is very frustrating. I put an email in to my Verizon rep to see if there's any way I can try getting a different chip for my phone...that's the only thing they carry over from one phone to the next, could make sense right? From what I've researched, the chances off having a bad chip are very slim if you've never jailbroken your phone, but I've exhausted almost every other possibility.
I simply use the phone until I have only a little charge left. Once that's reached I'll simply let phone idle completely or drain the rest with lightweight use. We have big difference here as I can actually reach 1% rather than phone dying at 20++ percentages. Previous said, e.g yesterday phone just died after some use with 12% battery left and started again when bringing indoors. I was then able to drain the battery from 12% -> 1% before it eventually died completely. After this I couldn't start the phone anymore instead getting the charge icon constantly, so I just plugged it in at that point. After charging over night I would then consider the battery charge meter calibrated.
In your case you could test if you can still start the phone at 47%. Even if it's displaying only charge icon you could try to hold the sleep/power button longer and/or do reset with holding home+sleep/power button a few seconds. If it indeed doesn't start it would indicate battery truly is empty. It it does.. then you could try to continue using the phone hopefully hitting lower battery levels and eventually try to fully recharge it in case you'll see the battery charge percentage working any different.
Below picture shows I can still reach the "0%" battery level and also pretty good usage times.. so the problem with me really is just that the stupid phone doesn't like cool temperatures (possibly after iOS6 upgrade)
Well, I gave up the fight and went back to the Apple store for my 3rd time. Got a really helpful rep there, she tried everything imaginable for 2 hours (even stayed way past closing time, she was frustrated that nothing was working). So I now have my 4th phone. Starting totally fresh this time with no backups from iCloud or computer. Something gave her the idea that it could possibly be an issue with iCloud. You seem to have your fix figured out, hopefully this one is mine
After a record setting 11 days later, it shut down at 31% again. The problem has started back up with next to nothing on my phone and very minimal useage. Only added a brand new email account and Facebook app, nothing else. Never used iCloud backup, never hooked up to computer backup. Not happy at all.
Huh. You really have one big puzzle there ongoing. Can you get past the 31% if you decrease the overall power consumption e.g by disabling 3G for a day, GPS, ... Just something to try for a day. ..though you have already reached the status of 'mystery' so I wonder if anything helps apart from still doing factory reset to see how it goes and identify the problem by slowly adding the applications one by one, even if it's a bit tedious.
I am having the exact same problem as you. I am on my 3rd iphone 4S, I've only had it for 8 days and it has started the pattern of shutting down at 30% or higher. Did you ever determine a solution to your phone problem? I did the same thing as you and started this 3rd phone completely new with no backups from iCloud or from the computer. No apps have been running when it has started dying.
I do use Verizon, actually. I called Apple this morning and they said they could either spend a couple of days trying to do diagnostics on it (they checked the battery last night and it said it was working properly) or set up an appointment for me at an Apple Store to replace it (a 4th iPhone is a little ridiculous...). I just spent over an hour on the phone with Verizon talking about the same problem with them, and they had me restore the phone to factory settings, not sign into my apple ID, and just leave the phone empty for 24 hours. Basically, I am charging the phone to 100%, use it only for texting and calls (I don't even have my contacts loaded or an email account, no apps), and they're going to call me back tomorrow morning to see where the phone is at. I also have made an appointment with Apple, but I don't know what else they can do besides replace it and I can't keep doing this every week and a half! If anything comes out of this process Verizon is having me try I will let you know right away.
Out of curiosity, when you look at your iPhone, does it say your network is Verizon in the upper left hand corner? Mine does not say Verizon and just says 3G and the bars of service I have. I can receive phone calls and texts, send them, and use Safari, so the phone is working, but it has never said Verizon on the phone. Verizon tried to fix it and couldn't and came to the conclusion that the phone is still working, so it shouldn't be a problem. Maybe the two are not related at all, but it makes me suspicious that in addition to all 3 phones having these battery problems, all 3 have not been able to identify Verizon as my network. I may be jumping to conclusion though.
I've done what you're trying several times and it has never worked for me (let me know if you have any luck). We have tried everything possible and the only other idea we've come up with is maybe there's an issue with the SIM card Verizon installs in the phone (it's the only thing we've kept the same in all 4 phones). Verizon told us the last time that there's no way the card could be an issue, but next time I take my phone back to Apple I'm going to demand a new phone with a new SIM card (I know 2 other people with Verizon/iPhones with this issue). I think it's impossible to have this happen with nothing loaded.
I did have that happen with my 2nd phone, it never had Verizon in the upper left corner. My phone worked fine too, not sure why it was different that time? All my other phones had Verizon in the corner.
I find it very odd that everyone I know with this issue seems to be Verizon users. I'll probably wait a couple weeks and take this phone back to the Apple store when the battery gets worse. I'll keep you posted and let me know if you figure anything out.
This is a fascinating problem. I have an AT&T iPhone 4. It's just now starting to exhibit similar 'random shutdowns' which is why I googled my way into this forum thread.
My situation is a little different. In addition to being on AT&T, I'm still on iOS 5.0.1 and I was successfully using this phone for quite a while. I am pretty good about keeping my background apps to a minimum. I haven't noticed the climbing battery percentages issue you described, but, will start looking out for it.
Just discovered I've been capturing diagnostics data (and auto sending to Apple). Maybe will turn that off for a change. I have a hefty list of data/dump files in my diagnostcs log screen. Wonder if there's a clue in there?
Here's a recent example:
Incident Identifier: 817B1773-6021-4456-86C5-4B40592D9A0C
CrashReporter Key: 37e1c155df69f6185e0ccf9ca1c70ec7473601a1
Date: 2013-03-19 17:36:10 -0400
Reset count: 0
Boot failure count: 1
Boot stage: 80
Boot app: 0
Maybe you should turn this setting on and see what gets captured.