Apple iPhone 12 and 12 mini battery size leak clears the capacity decrease mystery
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Apple cites pretty similar numbers for the battery life of its iPhone 12 series, to what it offers on the iPhone 11 models. Well, save for the iPhone 12 mini, of course, which doesn't have a predecessor, and keeps a slender profile presupposing a shorter battery life which is still longer than, say, that on the iPhone SE 2020.
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The trouble, however, is that so far the leaked iPhone 12, 12 mini, Pro and Max battery capacity numbers have mostly been well below those of the iPhone 11 models with the exception of one 12 Pro Max battery pack tip which hasn't been confirmed yet.
The Brazilian certification agency ANATEL (via Tecnoblog), however, now sheds a light on the possible reason. There, the iPhone 12 mini battery pack (A2471) and the iPhone 12 battery (A2479) are listed with capacities of 2227mAh and 2815mAh, respectively.
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The iPhone 12's battery pack, in particular, may sound a lot smaller than the 3110mAh unit in the iPhone 11, yet Apple cites the same endurance numbers for it, what gives?
Well, the ANATEL listing also mentions that the iPhone 12's A2479 battery retains 2925.7 mAh capacity after 300 full charge/discharge cycles. Apparently, this is a higher number than the 2815mAh listed, and could eventually be attributed to the difference in typical and rated capacities.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra battery clearly lists the difference between its rated and typical capacity numbers
Ditto for the the iPhone 12 mini battery pack (A2471) - 2384.3 mAh retained after 300 cycles, vs the rated 2227mAh that have been bandied about for the 12 mini since forever. In fact, another 12 mini battery certification leak before the phone's announcement explicitly states that the noted 2227mAh pack is the rated capacity:
The iPhone 12 mini rated battery capacity
If we assume the same thing for the rated 2815mAh capacity of the iPhone 12's battery, then the typical number that is what manufacturers usually list in specs, and goes into our own database, too, will be higher than 2925 mAh, and hence get much closer to the iPhone 11's 3110mAh battery.
This, together with the more frugal A14 chipset and OLED display technology of the iPhone 12, might explain why Apple lists the same 17 hours of video playback on a charge for both phones, despite the higher screen resolution and the slightly smaller battery.
In any case, the first iPhone 12 and 12 Pro teardown will most likely happen as soon as this week, and then we'll know for certain their typical battery capacities.