Further iPhone 4S battery life problems on iOS 5

By Alan Ng - Oct 24, 2011

As consumers begin to receive their brand new iPhone 4S smartphone from Apple, we’re still hearing about continued reports about battery life problems since the handset first launched on October 14, with signs suggesting that it could be a specific bug in iOS 5.

We initially told you about battery life problems two days after launch here, but since then – complaints are still pouring in over at the official Apple support boards about the fact that battery life cannot last longer than a day even when the phone is not in heavy use.

Here is an example of some of the complaints coming in at the official Apple support forums, there is over 600 replies on the initial thread just so you’re aware:

”Hi I have an iPhone 4 and since putting iOS 5 on it the battery life has been really bad it drops at a ridiculous rate even when I’m not using it where as it would barely drop any charge when it was in standby.”

”Have turned just about everything off (Siri, all location, all notification except txts etc.), have done the full discharge/recharge, closed all apps, turned off ping, turned off the time zone thing and basically have done everything I have read about on the forums. I go to bed with it at 100% and 6 hours later I wake up and it’s at 47%. I wish the battery life was as good as my 3GS!!”

If you have a good read through the entire 40+ pages, you’ll see that one possible solution for extending battery life on the iPhone 4S is to condition the battery – i.e let the battery drain until it switches off, and then fully charge your handset via the wall rather than USB.

Considering that iPhone 4 owners are also reporting a considerable drop in battery life after updating to iOS 5, it does suggest that the problem at hand is more related to software, rather than Apple’s new hardware built into the iPhone 4S. If this is true, then it can only be good news as a software update will almost certainly improve the situation.

If you have an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S running iOS 5, let us know what typical battery life you are getting on your handset. Are you experiencing lower life as well?

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  • Katee243

    I have a 4s and the battery life has been great! Overnight on standby it goes down only 2%. I have actively used it for 14 hrs one day – taking videos, uploading pictures and videos, surfing the web, playing games, etc and the battery power went down only 52%.

    I love the 4s, it’s a great phone

  • ahb

    I upgraded to a 64GB iPhone 4S from a iPhone 4. Have just sent my 4S back to my carrier as I was getting about 6 hours from the battery even if I wasn’t using the phone. Will stick with my iPhone 4 until the iPhone 5. 

  • Andrevanharen

    My battery is on 80 % after 8 hours use and 90 % after a night of sleep. I’m running iOS 5 on an iPhone 4. I think it must be settings or apps that other users give their problems.

  • Bklaas

    I have a 4s.  Battery life could always be better, but I get 5hr active use and 12 hrs standby and still have 30% left on the battery.  Seams reasonable.

  • Anonymous

    Actually just got my iPhone 4s yestarday.

    The battery is just a bit better than my 3GS after 28 months of intense usage. Actually my 3GS reached such sorry states that you can fry an egg on it and battery completely evaporates if you don’t plug it after 3 hours (use or no use is irrelevant). This conditioning (where the subject conditioned being myself) has helped me manage the iPhone 4S whose battery life is not even close to how good my 3GS was when new.

    On top of that my 3GS was actually faster than the 4S. Yes, it was driving a smaller screen, but it was deffinetely faster. I’m not impressed. In a way I feel cheated to be honest (Don’t even want to mention the fact that Siri doesn’t have a clue of what I’m saying!)

  • Moses

    I’ve just got an iPhone 4s and yes – I’m experiencing the same problems everyone else is.  It’s really disappointing that the battery won’t even last a day when you barely touch the thing!  I hope it is a software problem and an update is forthcoming.  However, I have an iPad 2 which I have updated to iOS 5 with no problems at all.  The iPad battery is currently much better than the iPhone battery. I can get two to three days reasonable use out of it.  I’ve sent one text only this morning on the iPhone ( with everything turned off as advsed in the forums ) and it already down 15%.  There’s no chance it will last the day…

  • dont worry very soon they will release an update!we all know battery draining is very typical problem in every phone,stay put!

  • Huma

    Bought the new iPhone 4S, really excited with the move from Blackberrys over the years. A massive disappointment. I hardly use it to call, receive or send max 5 texts, listen to no music, switched almost all notifications etc off and it depletes in 1 day. Appalling. If this is the performance, what a waste of money. I’m gutted.

  • Jacob H.

    I got an iPhone 4 when it was released for Sprint, running iOS5

    Initially my battery life was terrible. It would drain nearly 50% overnight. I did a restore on the phone’s software and it’s draining at a much more reasonable 2% per hour now without activity, and I get about 6 hours of battery life browsing WiFi. Not what’s advertised, but not terrible. For the record, I have Push notifications off, bluetooth off, and 3G off because I don’t get any 3G service here. Wifi is always on.

    I’m hoping the next software update will fix whatever bug is causing this, because besides battery issues I love the phone.  

  • AndyD

    Have had the iPhone 4s for a couple days and completely unhappy with battery life.  I’m coming from the Droid world and was very excited to make the jump to Apple, now I’m kicking myself!  How could Apple release a product that appears they never tested?!  And if they did actually test it, how did something this major get overlooked?  I called Apple support to hopefully get some answers and they told me the same thing I’m sure many of you have heard, “turn off all locations, notifications, and e-mail push”.  What kind of response is that?  If I didn’t want to use any of the features the iPhone has to offer why would I have ever bought it?!?!  I’d hate to be the new CEO of Apple right now…his first product launch and so far it’s a huge disappointment!

  • My 4s was draining twice a day, mostly sitting in my pocket. I first tried turning off different features to no effect. In the end it turned out my exchange account was the culprit in my case. Deleting the account, resetting network settings, then adding the account back it did the trick. Now the battery drain seems normal. Various things seem to make a difference for one person or another. For me, the problem was my exchange account for whatever reason.

  • Simonson81

    My iphone 4s has been getting about 16hours standby and 8 hours of usuage i am a heavy
    User i have noticed a little bit of battery drainage faster than my ip4 however
    Its normal since it now have a dual core chip or it could be ios 5
    Since my last ip4 was jailbroken on ios 4.3.3 im sure apple will work it
    Out or send every one a car charger that whines lol like the free bumper
    From death grip whiners

  • Iraeise

    I just got my 4S, and noticed that the battery does not last more than a day.
    I have turned off all “cloud” activity (backup, photo stream, contacts, etc) except for FIND MY IPHONE.
    Battery deteriorates from 78% to 70% overnight with no activity, and SIRI off (location on).
    Not good, but not as bad as some others.
    I suspect Icloud is the culprit.

  • sam

    i have an iphone 4 with ios5 and consider myself to be a heavy user. I have the same great battery klife as i have always had 🙂 however a family member recently bought the iphone4s and has complained of very poor battery life worse than her old phone which was a blackberry bold 9800

  • Jstrong

    Battery life is too subjective.  I have been a smart phone user since the first smart phone.  They all have “poor” battery life when trying to compare to a regular phone only device.  Just get used to plugging it in when at the desk or in the car and life is good.  My 4s has fine battery life with all the apps and features on.  I can get an easy 12 hours with a few calls and using SIRI and web/app usage occasionally throughout the day.  So stop whining ……… I wish my car got better gas mileage, and my laptop would run forever too…….. 

  • Bwellb

    My battery life on my 4S seems to be fine. Being that I switched from an HTC hero which needed charging every hour to the iPhone what I’m getting is a great improvement .

    • Anonymous

      I think you might have been doing it wrong since my Hero would last till 7pm.