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iPhone 4S Battery Issue: What's The Deal?

Jacob Chung |
October 30, 2011 | 11:55 a.m. PDT

Senior Tech Editor

Apple's iPhone 4S heavy battery draining an issue for many users (credit Apple)
Apple's iPhone 4S heavy battery draining an issue for many users (credit Apple)
The iPhone 4S came out with a bang--never mind the criticism of tech journalists--selling over a million units on launch day. But soon after it reached the hands of the consumers, reports have been coming in of battery life issue.

Though it may have seemed like an issue for a handful of customers initially, with time it's proving to be a possible glitch on the device. So what's the issue? 

According to the complaints of hundreds of iPhone 4S users, the battery on the new device was being drained even without heavy usage. 

"Seems to lose 1% every 3-4 minutes, even when locked/asleep," user JonGoldman posted on Apple's Support Communities page. 

Apple's iPhone specifications say the 4S is rated up to 8 hours usage on 3G speed and 14 hours on 2G speeds not to mention a 200 hour standby time. Compared to the last model, this presents an interesting change. 

According to Apple, the iPhone 4 is rated for 7 hours of usages on 3G speeds and 14 hours for 2G speeds--the difference being the older model is given up to 300 hours of standby time. Meaning, the battery life on a the newer model is rated higher during usage of the phone while it decreased on standby mode. 

Keeping this in mind, it would seem logical an app running in the background may be the culprit. And though no specific studies have been released, background network usages seems to be the problem. 

From the Guardian:

On iDownload, Oliver Haslam suggests: "it appears that iOS 5′s GM release introduced a bug that causes the Setting Time Zone function to keep the location tracking circuitry running constantly, draining battery power considerably. Switching it off may mean that your iPhone will no longer set its own time zone when you travel, but that's a small price to pay for having your iPhone last more than 12 hours on a full charge… We have tested this method on 4 different iPhone 4s handsets, including an iPhone 4 and an iPhone 3GS. All have reported drastically improved battery life after switching 'Setting Time Zone' off."

On Apple's end, the company has been contacting customers who have had this issue to track usage and figure out a solution. No official response has been made by Apple as of now. 

To fix the issue the auto-adjusting option can be changed for the time zone by going into: 

Settings --> Location --> Services --> System Services --> Setting Time Zone


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