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8/10/2012
01:55 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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iPhone 5 Battery Smaller Than Expected?

Images said to show the Apple iPhone 5's battery prompt concerns about the upcoming smartphone's staying power.

Apple iPhone 5 Vs. Samsung Galaxy S III: What We Know
Apple iPhone 5 Vs. Samsung Galaxy S III: What We Know
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
With Apple prepared to introduce its next-generation iPhone as early as next month, pieces, parts, and specs have been leaking across the Internet. The latest purports to be an image of the battery for the iPhone 5.

Pictures supplied to 9to5Mac show a narrow battery with a number of markings on it. It appears similar in size and shape to the battery used in the Apple iPhone 4/4S. With something like a battery, however, the devil is in the details.

According to 9to5Mac, the lithium-ion battery is rated at 1440mAh. That's just 10mAh more than the iPhone 4S's 1430mAh battery. The iPhone 5's battery also has an increased watt-hours rating, at 5.45 watt-hours compared to the iPhone 4S's 5.3 watt-hours and the iPhone 4's 5.25 watt-hours ratings.

Perhaps more interesting, however, is that the voltage has changed. The iPhone 4/4S battery--and the battery of nearly every other cell phone sold today--measures 3.7 volts. The new battery shows a voltage rating of 3.8.

Why do these teeny tiny little numbers matter? The new iPhone's most significant new features--a larger display and LTE 4G radio--are power hogs. LTE 4G, in particular, can drain a fully charged battery in almost no time.

For example, the Samsung Galaxy S III supports LTE for AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless. When used on the LTE networks of AT&T and Verizon, the GS3's battery life is measured in hours, not days. The GS3's battery measures 2100mAh, almost 50% more than the supposed iPhone 5's.

[ Bump up your current iPhone's battery life. iPhone 4/4S Battery Cases Compared. ]

That begs the question, just how good can the iPhone 5's battery life be with such a small battery, especially if it has to power a larger screen and faster data network?

9to5Mac postulates, "Perhaps Apple's tweaked dual-core system on a chip for this new iPhone is efficient enough to run LTE with[out] the need for a much larger battery. We also speculate that Apple may indeed be moving ahead with latest version of the Qualcomm Gobi chips that has a smaller battery draw than previous versions."

It's also possible that the leaked photos aren't of the iPhone 5's battery at all. Given the size of the batteries in other Apple devices, such as the iPad and MacBook Air--and those devices' lengthy battery life--I am not worried that the iPhone 5 will have crummy battery life.

With any luck, Apple will put this all to rest next month.

Android and Apple devices make backup a challenge for IT. Look to smart policy, cloud services, and MDM for answers. Also in the new, all-digital Mobile Device Backup issue of InformationWeek: Take advantage of advances that simplify the process of backing up virtual machines. (Free with registration.)

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Number 6
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Number 6,
User Rank: Moderator
8/14/2012 | 6:12:19 PM
re: iPhone 5 Battery Smaller Than Expected?
"LTE 4G, in particular, can drain a fully charged battery in almost no time."

So? The way providers charge for data plans or throttle, users look for wifi. Except for Sprint customers, of course.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
8/14/2012 | 11:58:37 AM
re: iPhone 5 Battery Smaller Than Expected?
It only needs to hold the charge until the next new iPhone comes out. So what is all the fuss about it?
Maybe the new phone uses less power and thus requires a smaller battery to have the same run time on one charge. And if not, then it is entirely because the dumb users are just holding it wrong.
Appledystopia
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Appledystopia,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/12/2012 | 10:59:42 PM
re: iPhone 5 Battery Smaller Than Expected?
The research I found stating that 40% battery life is optimal for long term storage is from a project involving Ohio State University, Oak Ridge National Labs, and the National Institute of Standards Technology -- "For long-term storage, manufacturers recommend a 40 percent charge. This allows for some self-discharge while still retaining sufficient charge to keep the protection circuit active." They also mention removing the device from any cover before charging, avoiding the use of charging mats, yadda yadda. I already wrote a 2 page post on it on my site...
John doe
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John doe,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/12/2012 | 1:50:16 PM
re: iPhone 5 Battery Smaller Than Expected?
Sorry its pretty much a certainty, " http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/... ". I sorry your new "outdated before its even out" iPhone 5 will die in about half a day.
canucken
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canucken,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/12/2012 | 1:09:42 PM
re: iPhone 5 Battery Smaller Than Expected?
The fact remains that no one knows what the battery will look like, or if indeed this is the battery. This is called 'speculation'. Fact. Look it up.
lbell284
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lbell284,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/12/2012 | 4:23:51 AM
re: iPhone 5 Battery Smaller Than Expected?
They must have changed the chemistry slightly in their batteries to get the extra .1 volt because lithium batteries seriously don't like being overcharged but what really matters is the mAh rating. That and the actual current drain tells how long the phone will work before it cuts off from low voltage. It doesn't matter what their energy density is. All that indicates is their relative size for their output capability.

Any battery that is going to be stored for any time should be fully charged and that doesn't matter what chemistry your using. All rechargeable batteries self discharge over time and almost all will be damaged if allowed to go too low in charge percentage. Quite often beyond hope of recharging again or will only work with seriously reduced capacity. What I just said is coming from 40 years of experience working with all types of batteries.
John doe
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John doe,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/12/2012 | 2:02:49 AM
re: iPhone 5 Battery Smaller Than Expected?
The fact remains that LTE radios drain batteries, and the new iPhones battery does not sound sufficient.
Appledystopia
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Appledystopia,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/12/2012 | 1:28:40 AM
re: iPhone 5 Battery Smaller Than Expected?
I doubt that. Apple has a standard of getting a full day (10 hours) out of a charge. I doubt they will go below it. Batteries have never been Apple's Achilles' heel. Where they go wrong is with collusion. Collusion with publishers to fix e-book prices, and collusion with Facebook and Twitter, to ensure they are the few social networks that persevere. They could completely open up their social sharing, even WordPress does this. This is by design -- it is collusion.

Also, many Apple-developed iOS apps are abysmal... The free ones like Reminders, Music, iTunes, and Podcasts are really lame. They can make great apps -- GarageBand and iMovie are amazing. But you have to pay for those. Well worth the price, particularly GarageBand!
Appledystopia
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Appledystopia,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/12/2012 | 1:25:38 AM
re: iPhone 5 Battery Smaller Than Expected?
You have to realize that there are continual advancements in lithium ion battery technology. They continue to have more energy density than their predecessors. I just wrote a piece on my site, Appledystopia, about prolonging the battery life of iOS devices (really any li-ion powered device). The research I present goes above and beyond what Apple has to offer (which is not surprising, as their documentation has become sparse lately). For example, don't charge your iOS device in a case, as it traps in heat. Also, if you want to store your device for an extended period, get it down to 40%. This will slowly dissipate the battery, keeping the ions flowing. I have links to my sources -- national labs, ANSI, DOD... This is not blogosphere hype. I am no jive turkey...
John doe
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John doe,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/11/2012 | 3:47:52 PM
re: iPhone 5 Battery Smaller Than Expected?
That battery doesnt feel sufficient enough for an LTE device, I'm guessing half a day.
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