Did the iOS update really fix the iPhone 4S battery issue?

On Thursday, Apple released its first "over the air" update for iOS 5. The 5.0.1 update was supposed to fix reports of early battery draining problems with owners of the new iPhone 4S smartphone. But as News.com reports, some people are complaining on Apple's official message boards that the battery issues have remained the same or even gotten worse.

Apple's official patch notes for 5.0.1 admitted that the update was released in part to fix battery problems for the iPhone 4S but stopped short of offering any official explanations for how the battery issues first occurred. But that's little comfort for the people who downloaded the update and are still saying that the iPhone 4S loses its battery charge much faster than normal. One user is quoted as saying, "Lost 15% in 45 mins and I didn't even use the phone. What happened? This update is no help. In fact, it drains the battery even quicker."

The article points out that some people might get better battery life if they allow the iPhone 4S to drain out completely and then recharge it to full strength. Another, if more drastic, suggestion is doing a full backup of the smartphone's software and then restoring it back to its original shipping state. Apple will almost certainly issue further iOS 5 updates and hopefully some of them will pertain to improving the battery life for the iPhone 4S.

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sounds to me like an issue I had with an LG GW300 where a little bit of software was keeping a little bit of hardware running full noise even though it looked like it was all in standby mode it wasn't so it would go through it's charge in 2 days.... after having it looked at and a complete restore done it now lasts a week if I don't use it but even that is a far cry from the 444hr (18.5 days) of standby time quoted on LG's website

Before and afterwards my 4S battery is great, all day at work in my pocket albeit with minimal usage it's still on 90% after 6 hours! It's on charge whilst I sleep every night and roughly drains to 45% by the end of the night. Happy compared to the 3GS I had.
Faulty batch of batteries to blame?

I'm getting sick of hearing this, sod the iphone 4s, why does my ipod touch 4g 'white' have a pathetic battery life of a DAY (yes, all other programs other than music or what I'm using are killed) with a bigger capacity battery and screen brightness on lowest setting, wifi off etc. yet my jailbroken ipod touch 2g with backgrounder has a battery length of about a week?

n_K said,
I'm getting sick of hearing this, sod the iphone 4s, why does my ipod touch 4g 'white' have a pathetic battery life of a DAY (yes, all other programs other than music or what I'm using are killed) with a bigger capacity battery and screen brightness on lowest setting, wifi off etc. yet my jailbroken ipod touch 2g with backgrounder has a battery length of about a week?

You do know you have a warranty, right?
Instead of whining here, you could be filling out an RMA...

Astra.Xtreme said,

You do know you have a warranty, right?
Instead of whining here, you could be filling out an RMA...


For all I know it could be a 'feature' of IOS5, plus I can't be arsed to remove the Zagg shield off it.

I wonder how many people got the 4S as their first smart phone. People don't realize these things can't last for 7 days on standby like their old feature phones.

majortom1981 said,
My battery was fine on my iphone 4s and since .01 update it drains 1 percent every 2 minutes.

Same here. I had no battery issues before 5.01. In the morning, I had it plugged in fully-charged while I updated and it dropped to 97% for some reason. At the end of the day I had 10-15% less charge than usual. I'm hoping my second day would be different.

EVERY single person I have spoken with who has a battery issue with iOS 5 restored their settings from a BACKUP.
Do a FULL RESTORE and DO NOT restore previous settings. Set the phone up from scratch and if needs be sync with iTunes, but set up as a NEW DEVICE. Do not restore the backup file.

Battery issue fixed.

Squuiid said,
EVERY single person I have spoken with who has a battery issue with iOS 5 restored their settings from a BACKUP.
Do a FULL RESTORE and DO NOT restore previous settings. Set the phone up from scratch and if needs be sync with iTunes, but set up as a NEW DEVICE. Do not restore the backup file.

Battery issue fixed.

Normally I would agree, but speaking first hand from experiencing this issue a full restore and setting the device up as new didn't make any difference at all. During the first week of having my 4S I tried all the recommended "turn this off, turn that off" but it still drained.

I even tried another full restore after being to the Apple store and having to wait while my new one was ordered in.

Squuiid said,
EVERY single person I have spoken with who has a battery issue with iOS 5 restored their settings from a BACKUP.
Do a FULL RESTORE and DO NOT restore previous settings. Set the phone up from scratch and if needs be sync with iTunes, but set up as a NEW DEVICE. Do not restore the backup file.
Battery issue fixed.

That doesn't sound very user friendly.

Well I got my 4S on release day and restored from my backup of my iPhone 4. Noticed the battery issue withing the first couple of days. Left it a week and couldnt take it any more. I was losing around 10% per hour with the phone on standby. Took it to the Apple store and they checked it out and said it was fine. However, as they wanted me to be happy with my purchase they ordered me a replacement. This replacement solved my issue as I used the same backup to restore on it and it's been fine since.

The phone has a dualcore CPU, dualcore GPU and a dualmode radio. All that is going to cause more drain on the battery. What do you expect?

If you want a more powerful device, there is something that goes along with it, its called drawbacks. In this case, more powerful chip draw more power, thus resulting in poor batterylife.

The reason Android devices die so fast is they have an even smaller battery, and they are very powerful devices with many having capabilities way beyond what the 4S even offers right now.

TechieXP said,
The phone has a dualcore CPU, dualcore GPU and a dualmode radio. All that is going to cause more drain on the battery. What do you expect?

If you want a more powerful device, there is something that goes along with it, its called drawbacks. In this case, more powerful chip draw more power, thus resulting in poor batterylife.

The reason Android devices die so fast is they have an even smaller battery, and they are very powerful devices with many having capabilities way beyond what the 4S even offers right now.

And just what are thescapabilities that are just way beyond?

TechieXP said,

The reason Android devices die so fast is they have an even smaller battery, and they are very powerful devices with many having capabilities way beyond what the 4S even offers right now.

Umm... you haven't seen any of the recent benchmarks, have you?...

Well it hasn't changed much on my 3GS so far, even if they say it fixed it for the phone. But then again, I don't think I ever had a problem related to the battery, at least not when iCloud screws up on my phone.

I've had it for 2 years now, and even with multitasking, iCloud, localization, notifications enabled, I can definitely last a little over a whole day of general use.

I highly doubt that it makes it worse for some people. Most likely a placebo effect.

Haven't had any issues with my 4S, even before the update. Battery will get me through a few days with casual usage.

I have an iPhone 4S and I don't have any kind of battery problems not before or after the 5.0.1 update. I think if your battery is draining 15% in 45 minutes that the phone probably has a hardware issue.

I read some users on the MacRumors forum that had the battery issue and when they got a replacement phone the problem was fixed so I'd imagine it is caused by hardware as they are using the same backup of all their stuff from their old 4S meaning all the software and configuration was the same and the only thing that changed was the phone hardware.

They sold more than 5 million of these things so far if even 0.1% of customers had a faulty one that would result in 5000 complaints, more than enough to fill their forum I'd imagine.

Vice said,
I have an iPhone 4S and I don't have any kind of battery problems not before or after the 5.0.1 update. I think if your battery is draining 15% in 45 minutes that the phone probably has a hardware issue.

I read some users on the MacRumors forum that had the battery issue and when they got a replacement phone the problem was fixed so I'd imagine it is caused by hardware as they are using the same backup of all their stuff from their old 4S meaning all the software and configuration was the same and the only thing that changed was the phone hardware.

They sold more than 5 million of these things so far if even 0.1% of customers had a faulty one that would result in 5000 complaints, more than enough to fill their forum I'd imagine.

If it was a hardware problem, then why would Apple release a software patch saying it fixed the battery problem?

So now the defense of Apple has become that we need to ignore what Apple says, that they are wrong, to put blame on the people who complain.

nohone said,

If it was a hardware problem, then why would Apple release a software patch saying it fixed the battery problem?

So now the defense of Apple has become that we need to ignore what Apple says, that they are wrong, to put blame on the people who complain.

Yes because me saying it's a hardware problem (that is 10x worse than something that could be fixed in software) is defending them. Just listen to yourself seriously.

They released this update because there was probably an unrelated battery issue to do with iCloud syncing. Developers who were able to view the phones console reported that iCloud sometimes kept trying to sync calender entries over and over again wasting battery. I believe that issue was unrelated to the main battery issue which I believe is due to a hardware defect.

Also I'm not blaming the people haha you are so ridiculous. I'm blaming Apple it is their fault but these people who are waiting for a software fix to a hardware problem are silly if your phone is faulty return it for a new one!

Vice said,

Yes because me saying it's a hardware problem (that is 10x worse than something that could be fixed in software) is defending them. Just listen to yourself seriously.

They released this update because there was probably an unrelated battery issue to do with iCloud syncing. Developers who were able to view the phones console reported that iCloud sometimes kept trying to sync calender entries over and over again wasting battery. I believe that issue was unrelated to the main battery issue which I believe is due to a hardware defect.

Also I'm not blaming the people haha you are so ridiculous. I'm blaming Apple it is their fault but these people who are waiting for a software fix to a hardware problem are silly if your phone is faulty return it for a new one!

Again you say that Apple is wrong, that it really is hardware when Apple says it is a software problem. You say that it is such a small percentage with a made up number, so it is not really a problem. How do you really know it is only 5000 complaints? Below it is not the device's problem, it is a placebo effect. It is not a battery problem, it is an iCloud problem. Why not just say it is not even iCloud's problem, and blame it on the wiring of the internet that is causing the problems. THat will completely absolve Apple.

Vice said,
I have an iPhone 4S and I don't have any kind of battery problems not before or after the 5.0.1 update. I think if your battery is draining 15% in 45 minutes that the phone probably has a hardware issue.

I read some users on the MacRumors forum that had the battery issue and when they got a replacement phone the problem was fixed so I'd imagine it is caused by hardware as they are using the same backup of all their stuff from their old 4S meaning all the software and configuration was the same and the only thing that changed was the phone hardware.

They sold more than 5 million of these things so far if even 0.1% of customers had a faulty one that would result in 5000 complaints, more than enough to fill their forum I'd imagine.

Although I'm not doubting it could be a hardware problem, there was definitely at least one software bug, because the one person I know who had this issue fixed it by turning off the time zone location setting.

Hardware doesn't explain the iPhone 4 users who are complaining as well

Vice said,
I have an iPhone 4S and I don't have any kind of battery problems not before or after the 5.0.1 update. I think if your battery is draining 15% in 45 minutes that the phone probably has a hardware issue.

I read some users on the MacRumors forum that had the battery issue and when they got a replacement phone the problem was fixed so I'd imagine it is caused by hardware as they are using the same backup of all their stuff from their old 4S meaning all the software and configuration was the same and the only thing that changed was the phone hardware.
I owned a 4 and now a 4S I see no difference in battery life I've been using mine for calls email and texts for the last 5 hours and I'm at 87%. I also pay attention to what can do push notifications and which email accounts get refreshed or push into my mail app. I get about 3 days of use on a charge and my iPad 2 lasts for almost a week. I would think hardware is the issue or user error in what apps can do what.
They sold more than 5 million of these things so far if even 0.1% of customers had a faulty one that would result in 5000 complaints, more than enough to fill their forum I'd imagine.


jesseinsf said,

Dude he is right. It's not trolling. you are giving an opinion that seems to come from false information. People want to see proof with links to this proof because everyone refuses to be misled. This is constructive criticism and not trolling.

He isn't right actually. If it was a software problem why am I unaffected? Why are people on Mac Rumors able to get a new handset and put their exact same software and data on the phones and solve their issues?

All I've said is I don't think this is only a software problem. I already said that a developer found a battery draining bug with iCloud. Maybe Apple fixed that but they can't fix a hardware issue and if people are still having battery problems _AFTER_ using Apples software fix then obviously it's something else.

All he wants to do is argue with me and try to make me out as some apple apologist. I am not, I think this is their fault and they should be replacing any phones with the hardware fault now that they've claimed to fix the battery issues in software.

Vice said,
I have an iPhone 4S and I don't have any kind of battery problems not before or after the 5.0.1 update. I think if your battery is draining 15% in 45 minutes that the phone probably has a hardware issue.

Its a strange bug thats for sure... But the people i know who have the 4s have no issues with regards to battery, the standard 1 day then charge like most phones on todays shelfs...