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" 640 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A5, Dual-core, 800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB



1. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Cool, I will let my friends know that they do not have to jump off that bridge...good info!

2. irvinkeith

Posts: 58; Member since: Jan 27, 2010

I'll try this and c if it works

3. akhi216

Posts: 61; Member since: May 01, 2011

Whatever. Imma call bs on these findings. Welcome to the wonderful world of widgets and notifications all you iPhone fanatics. Make sure to keep your chargers handy!

4. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Right, because Android phone batteries last soo much longer.

6. andulas

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 12, 2010

the galaxy note battery life is actually quite phenomenal.

8. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

like I say....12 hrs to 36 hrs depending on usage.....

27. Phullofphil

Posts: 1767; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

I have had bot phones for a long time. My I phone 4 has it's share of problems also. My iPad 2 has it's problems. The fact is it is what you do to either that makes the biggest deal on battery drain. I have had both my iPad with the a5 and my iPhone 4 be really choppy in spots like typing right now on my iPad 2 it is always about two taps behind me and in certain situations very iratic and slow. It all depends what I do to it. With android there is less control so it's easier to do but when I first got my bionic if I managed it right and turned off LTE when I did not need it my battery lasted me a long time. As long as any top android. When I started getting a lot of apps that did cool things or modded my phone well you really got to watch what you download and operate. They both have similar hardware and when in stock out of the box have about the same battery life. Moto phones usually have better. Htc the worst cause of sence. Apple is usually better that when you turn screen off it is better at keeping pretty much the same level in battery, unless you altered it with downloads or something to alter how it does it's stuff when in sleep. I wish android was more regulated on that part. If I down load or alter my android cause I really can't help it it is fun to mess with, it is not really sleeping. If your apps are updating every fifteen minutes or more your wasting your battery. Get mor control of app personalities. Both iOS and android have problems when you down too many apps and give apps less control. But most of it is how many are set up to be running at all times. Task killer does not work because those apps will just start back up and use more power than before. People need to be educated about the results and conciquinces of what apps they are downloaded and or what setting they have set up in there settings. There is other reasons but you can google that your self but I believe this to be the main reason. If you are using your phone or especially if you pick your phone up and it's not charging and it's warm or hot than you are having programs or services running in the back round. The heat is electricity leak. Just like the difference between an older light bulb and a florescent bulb. The hard ware for apple and android phones use the same hardware tech. It's not really the operating system. Well unless you alter the settings or there is a bug. Or like if I am in an area that has spotty LTE and my phone is searching for LTE batter leaks fast. That what the problem is in a nut shell. It's all about what you do or download to your phone. I know I found out I could have a bionic with great battery if I manage it right. While still having my bionic used to it's potential. There is better ways than just saying iOS is better than android. There are plenty of forums on this issue. A task manager that limited apps and recources to a certain amount of current unless plugged in controlled by the OS would be a good start. Manually sync apps

28. Phullofphil

Posts: 1767; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

That's another good reason getting into rooting and jail breaking should be takin very seriously and you need to really educate yourself or have an older phone you can mess with before jumping to that. You can really hurt or make your device very Inaficiant or even bricked. Bit at the same time really take advantage of very talented developers and have your phone at top speed best performances and still have longer battery life. I am not just talking about downloaded pirated apps either. Yeah my ipadd2 iPhone 4 will be eventually jailbreak. iPhone is on iOS 5.0. And I am assuming with the ini mat update no jailbreak gona come out yet until it gets update. Would be kinda stupid jailbreak untethered and reveal vulnerabilities to soon to get patched. And my android phones rooted. I d that for bettererformance. That's it. I still buy mynapps and support the developers. Any way 99% of the time like imsead above it's your own fault for battery drain.

54. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

you forgot santa's hat o

56. JeffdaBeat unregistered


57. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

Nice one (rant), HTC's battery life sucks due to that heavy skinned UI, unlike other android manufacturers UI's which is more simple the battery life would last longer. and since apples UI is very simple and intuitive the life would obviously last way longer than any android out there. . .

5. DROIDX0430

Posts: 469; Member since: Nov 24, 2010

What a medicore excuse...wait till lte gets on the next iphone in another year and a half

7. redmd

Posts: 1935; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

i think "Setting Time Zone" is not the only bug because i haven't been traveling yet my battery drains faster. but i hope there's a bit of improvement.

9. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

It has nothing to do with traveling...the setting being on, unto itself, has, reportedly, been the issue....turn it off, and who least with Android, you get a breakdown of what is being used and you can more easier identify the issue.

23. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Not all the time. Sometimes you'll have rogue bloatware or apps running in the background.

10. richk

Posts: 32; Member since: Jun 23, 2010

Good article while i was on system services i also turned off traffic, location based i-ads and diagnostics and usage, which should save me some battery on my iphone 4 :) DONT EVEN KNOW WHY APPLE PUT THEM THERE ANYWAY why does i-ads need to know where i am and diagnostics?

11. earle.evans

Posts: 27; Member since: Mar 07, 2010

i-ads location is for targeting. so when you see an ad it is actually relevant, not just a national ad.

13. richk

Posts: 32; Member since: Jun 23, 2010

my point being it drains my battery using gps to to send me ads so ive turned it off :)

12. ivanko34

Posts: 617; Member since: Sep 04, 2011

LOL always something is wrong with apple they just know marketing and put high prices for their poorly designed not tested products

14. zuno gyakusatsu

Posts: 257; Member since: Mar 16, 2010

your thinking of motorola, and samsung. simple typo. you can thank me for the correction some other time.

20. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Once again Zuni has nothing of value to say.

25. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Calm down, Sniggly. We all have an opinion here.

31. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

He's entitled to his opinion, but all Zuno EVER says is "Android sucks, *insert Android manufacture here* sucks." Then he's gone again. He never qualifies his statements, never offers a reason why he feels the way he does. He just repeats the same bulls**t a priori statement every time he posts, albeit with different wording sometimes.

60. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

this is a forum.. you dont need to explain nothing..... if that is what he chooses... I rather him not give explanation than give your opinion disguise as you Sniggly

24. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

This has got to be the stupidest thing I've read. Look, we get it. You hate Apple. But to call their products poorly designed is stupidly ridiculous. Not saying all phones are like that, but I can think of a lot of Android phones that don't even come close to the build quality of an iPhone. And while you're there pissing on Apple, just remember the fiasco Samsung has been in regarding their phones have signal issues and such.

36. Leodrade

Posts: 87; Member since: Aug 26, 2011

i agree with you in some parts but talking about signal issues with Samsung when the iPhone 4S anntena is infringing Samsung patents is not a smart move

15. bigboss

Posts: 80; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

You see it in their logo itself. The apple is already eaten and so is not edible for you.

16. bigboss

Posts: 80; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

You see it in their logo itself. The apple is already eaten and so is not edible for you.

17. Johnny_Mnemonic

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

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

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

* 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 or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.