Source of Apple iPhone 4S battery drain may have been found

Source of Apple iPhone 4S battery drain may have been found
Just yesterday we reported that Apple was crowd-sourcing ideas to fix a problem on the Apple iPhone 4S that seems to be draining the smartphone's battery. An answer for the problem might already have been discovered as Oliver Haslam of iDownloadBlog told U.K. newspaper The Guardian that a bug in iOS 5 could be responsible for the problems iPhone users have had with battery life on their phones.

According to Haslam, a feature on iOS 5 that keeps the local time on the Apple iPhone 4S correct-even when the user might have switched time zones-is apparently responsible for the battery drain on the handset. The good news is that the "Setting Time Zone" function can be disabled which would allow the battery to power the phone for the expected length of time. The price to pay seems rather small as Apple iPhone 4S users would only have to remember to manually change the time on their phone when traveling to a different time zone.

Haslam stated that after testing this theory and disabling the feature, battery life improved on iOS 5 powered versions of the Apple iPhone 4S, the Apple iPhone 4 and the Apple iPhone 3GS. He blamed the problem on a bug in the software that caused the location tracking circuitry to constantly check with cell phone towers to determine the location of the phone. The program uses the signal from cell phone towers and triangulation to get a fix on a current location. The feature is supposed to check in only occasionally with the towers to find where the handset is located.

Some Apple iPhone users who have disabled the "Setting Time Zone" feature have been unable to notice much difference in battery life, but it is such a simple thing to disable a function that probably not too many iPhone users care about. You can find "Setting Time Zone" under Settings/Location Services/System Services. Apple has not yet commented on the bug.

Apple's own testing has allowed the company to claim that the newest version of Apple's smartphone has one more hour of 3G talk time than what is expected from an Apple iPhone 4. A test done by CNET using a Sprint branded Apple iPhone 4S resulted in 9.2 hours of talk time over the carrier's Ev-Do Rev. A 3G pipeline. The battery in the Apple iPhone 4S has an extra .05WHrs of power as compared to the cell on the prior version of the phone, according to a tear down of the device by iFixit.

source: iDownloadBlog, TheGuardian via  CNET

Related phones

iPhone 4s
  • Display 3.5 inches
    960 x 640 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    0.3 MP VGA front
  • Hardware Apple A5, 0.5GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB,
  • OS iOS 9.x

FEATURED VIDEO

59 Comments

59. skymitch89

Posts: 1453; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

I don't think that the "Setting Time Zone" function is the only problem with battery drainage. I think the face that the phone has a dual-core processor and is almost constantly connected to data (iCloud) are also part of the problem.

48. toaster

Posts: 114; Member since: Sep 13, 2011

Has anyone actually tested this to see if this is really the issue?

46. readingthissh1t

Posts: 303; Member since: Jul 20, 2011

I SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM! probably irrelevant

52. _SavioR_

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 30, 2011

I saw the Nexus S running ICS and I am impressed.

45. _SavioR_

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 30, 2011

As for web use. I'd be getting the same... Instead of the 6hrs Apple states. I may have to sell this and just buy a Nokia N9.

42. _SavioR_

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 30, 2011

I hope an iPhone 4s user can help me and answer my questions.... This is my first iPhone and ive been reading news about this all over... Now, I want to know if my phone is normal or suffering the battery problem as well. Stand by- in 6 hrs on stand by I lost 5% ( I thought you're not supposed to lose nothing at all on stand by... I made sure I closed any running apps). Web browsing- every 2 minutes 1% drops. I literally see it too. Talking on the phone- every 2 -3 minutes 1% drops. Is this normal????? Android user(s), How is the battery life on the Epic Touch 4g (GS2)????? Thanks

43. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Savior, think of your phone as a computerized radio, because that's what it actually is. When you're web browsing or talking on the phone it is constantly broadcasting out a signal, picking up a response signal, and translating that signal into what you hear on the speaker or see on your screen. So apart from the screen itself, your radio is definitely going to chew up your battery the fastest. I don't know about a percent every two to three minutes, I'm too lazy to do the math right now, but your phone will die faster when you browse or call. Also, most Android phones with mixed usage will last you from morning to night at least. It all depends on how much you use your phone, and for what.

44. _SavioR_

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 30, 2011

Thanks for the reply Sniggly. But this is what I copied from apple: Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery Charging via USB to computer system or power adapter Talk time: Up to 8 hours on 3G, up to 14 hours on 2G (GSM) Standby time: Up to 200 hours Internet use: Up to 6 hours on 3G, up to 9 hours on Wi-Fi Video playback: Up to 10 hours Audio playback: Up to 40 hours I did the math... If I was to talk for an hour, I'd lose 30%. 60 mins.= 30% 3 hrs= 90%. This from losing 1% every 2 minutes... Which has been happening to me. So, I'm getting 3 hrs plus 20 minutes of talk time on 3G.... Far from what Apple states. Yes, I'm still one of those who uses a phone for phone calls.

47. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Yeah, the percentage did seem high to me. Based on that math, your battery does seem to be draining really fast. I know my Atrix lasts a lot longer, and I'm getting good reports on the SGS 2 battery life.

50. _SavioR_

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 30, 2011

That's sweet, man. I think I'm gonna put this up on CL and trade for a Nexus S plus $200 cash. I know someone will do it. If not, just trade it for a E4GT straight across. Nothing against the iPhone, but I need something that will last me hrs without using it. Thanks again, Sniggly.

53. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

best phone/battery u can get right now is going to be the SGS2. PA's test had it lasting 2 days with regular use. We will see how the nexus actually performs when it is officially launched

61. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

63. toaster

Posts: 114; Member since: Sep 13, 2011

And the point of that post was...? If you read those threads beyond the first post instead of just copypasting the first links that searching "galaxy S2 bad battery life" gives you, it's not like there's a single post echoing the OP's sentiments. Please troll elsewhere, thanks.

55. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Hey lower your brightness and turn off location settings. The iphone's battery life is better then most other smartphones so if you arent satsified with its battery there is not going to be a grest solution. What i would suggest is getting an extended battety pack on a android phone or getting a case for iphone with a extended battery.

49. toaster

Posts: 114; Member since: Sep 13, 2011

Despite the big screens, all of the versions of the GSII (except for the T-Mo version) have markedly good battery life. Obviously you're not going to get a week out of it if you are talking on the phone 24/7, but it is pretty near the top of the pile for an Android phone. The E4GTouch is especially good because of it's super sized battery. The T-Mo version, because of the higher clock speed, gets much worse battery life, but that's a bit irrelevant. And yeah, putting your phone on standby still drains battery because of the radio. You would have a problem if your battery discharged while the phone was off ;) Those percentages seem high, but make sure Wi-Fi is off when you're not using the Internet, and that your brightness is set to Auto or minimum if you're not outside.

51. _SavioR_

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 30, 2011

Yeah bro. Wifi, bluetooth, and some notifications are off. Screen is at default. I even restarted this crap and nothing. I think the Nexus S or E4GT will do better since I haven't been hearing any major problems. E4GT looks nice, but you could never go wrong with a pure stock Android (nexus s). Thanks for your help.

62. toaster

Posts: 114; Member since: Sep 13, 2011

No prob :D That battery life seems horrendous. The only other thing outside of defect that I can think of is that you're browsing in an area where the phone is fighting for 3G signal, making it constantly switch in between 2G and 3G. That affects battery life as well. If that's not the case, I would look into replacing it if possible. If you're looking for stock Android, don't get the Nexus S seen as the Galaxy Nexus is just around the corner :) No word on when Sprint will get it, but hopefully it is soon.

40. richk

Posts: 32; Member since: Jun 23, 2010

i wish phone world would stop increasing the speed and improve the batterys instead.

38. trin

Posts: 88; Member since: May 11, 2010

It's because siri won't stfu! Having a woman babble on insistently can be quite draining. Lol. I kiid, I kiid. :D

34. ivanko34

Posts: 617; Member since: Sep 04, 2011

apple has just to read the source code of android OS to get the solution

30. nimo

Posts: 72; Member since: Jun 11, 2010

I don't have those options on my Iphone 4s (UK Model)

35. richk

Posts: 32; Member since: Jun 23, 2010

you must do you just cant find it lol ive got it on my iphone 4

26. Stoli89

Posts: 333; Member since: Jun 28, 2010

Seriously, don't you all know the real problem? You're not holding it correctly!!!!!!

22. ca2l3vin

Posts: 22; Member since: Aug 12, 2009

God you fandroids and iSh*ep irritate the hell outta me. Sometimes I wonder Why do I bother even reading these comments. I work in the phone industry and can tell you that EVERY PHONE HAS SOME SORT OF PROBLEM!!!! sometimes its a simple fix. Sometimes its a slightly bigger issue but the only things us consumers should do is report it to the maker of our phones then expect them to fix it. Just irritating seeing people looking for iPhone articles to first say how bias phonearena is then the fandroids bash the iphone and the iSh*ep defend with whats wrong with android blah blah blah....its a PHONE. Buy what you want and talk about why you like or dislike but dont go downing people for what they spend their hard earned money on. So says the guy that owned both but not uses a WP7 :P

32. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

And then there's the guy who bitches about everyone else arguing. Admit it, without us there wouldn't even be a need for a comments section. :)

58. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

Agree. . . ;-p

21. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Well, if that fixes the issue, fantastic. However, why is it that when you write this article about this issue is all "this is SO not a big deal, and it's such an EASY fix, nothing to worry about." However, when we have some bug with an Android phone, we have articles all saying "DOOM AND DESPAIR BE UPON THEE, MORTALS, FOR THERE ART A BUG IN THE SYSTEM! THOUEST SHALL ALL DIE HORRIBLY! SAY YOUR PRAYERS AND MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR SOUL!!!"

18. Johnny_Mnemonic

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

I think that's not going to fix the problem , should get a real smartphone ( droid ) stop buying kids toys like iPhone

19. richk

Posts: 32; Member since: Jun 23, 2010

hmmmm join andriod to get hacked by chineese government and their free apps lol

17. Johnny_Mnemonic

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

I think that's not going to fix the problem ,

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless