Understand the iPhone’s Battery Before Purchase

by Rohit Khurana on February 2, 2011


Does the iPhone’s built in battery give disappointing performance? Certainly, this has been the cause of much speculation since the device’s release. One reason for this is the iPhone’s non-replaceable battery, which allows for a sleek design but causes some consternation. Therefore, it does not hurt to have some knowledge of the iPhone’s battery life and how to make the most of it.


The iPhone sports a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery that charges via a USB to computer or a power adapter. Apple claims a talk time of up to seven hours on 3G and 14 hours on 2G (GSM model only), with a standby time of up to 300 hours. Apple also estimates up to six hours of Internet use on 3G and up to 10 hours on WiFi, with video playback of up to 10 hours and audio playback of up to 40 hours.

The iPhone has been criticized for having specs that are not in accordance with actual usage, although this is common with all cell phone manufacturers. Experts who have tested the iPhone battery life have found that it gave less voice time than claimed by Apple. A J. D. Power and Associates customer satisfaction survey gave the battery life a two out of five star rating.

The reasons for concern are understandable for those in some situations, for example international travelers. It would not be good for the phone to conk out on a flight that lasted for 10 hours when one needed to make calls. It would also not be good for watching videos if the battery drained sooner than expected.

Likewise, hikers and campers and those who might have trouble finding a place to recharge a phone might be unhappy, although this would be the case with any electronic device. External power packs available for the iPhone, however, can greatly extend the usage time.


Certainly, how the device is used will have a large impact on battery life, and the claimed specifications are for an idealized usage that will not fit the pattern of most people.

One reason why the iPhone may fall short of its projected battery life may be the same reason that the iPhone is loved by so many people: it’s larger than average screen. There are trade-offs to every benefit, of course, and the purchaser must decide whether the advantages are worth the disadvantages that accompany it.

Following are a few commonsense rules that will greatly expand both the battery lifespan and the number of hours of use on a single charge.

The most important tip is to keep the iPhone out of the sun or a hot car, including the glove compartment. If you feel the phone is safer in the car than on your person, at least lock it in the trunk, which tends to be cooler than a car’s interior.

Other ways you can extend the battery life is to minimize the use of location services, turn off push notifications and push mail, fetch new data in applications, such as Mail, less frequently, turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, lower the default screen brightness and use Airplane Mode in low or no-coverage areas.

No cell phone gives as much usage as a typical owner would probably like. Part of the iPhone’s reputation for poor battery life is the fact that people use it so much and for so many different applications. Time can truly seem to fly by when you’re using your iPhone, and the disappointment aroused when the battery finally gives out may be the best testament to the iPhone’s utility and versatility.

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This is a guest article contributed by  Timothy Arends from Internet Mac Marketing.

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