Apple Reacts To New iPad Battery Charge Claims

Apple vice president Michael Tchao has claimed that battery charge issues in the new iPad are a feature of iOS

Apple vice president Michael Tchao has responded to reports that the new iPad keeps charging beyond the point where the battery icon indicates it is 100 percent charged – a value-added feature Tchao said has been built into the product’s operating system, iOS, for a while.

The issue stemmed from a report in DisplayMate, where analyst Ray Soneira noted the iPad said it was fully charged when it was not. In fact, the new iPad runs on a cycle where it fully charges, then discharges, then fully recharges in order to maintain an optimum charge, Tchao explained.

iOS feature

“That circuitry is designed so you can keep your device plugged in as long as you would like,” Tchao told the technology blog AllThingsD. “It’s a great feature that’s always been in iOS.”

Apple promises 10 hours of battery life for the latest version of the iPad, which has yet to be given an official moniker Apple usually bestows upon the updated versions of its products.

Yankee Group analyst Carl Howe told AllThingsD that battery charging is a complex process, the specifics of which are best left to engineers.

“What’s really subtle is that consumers think they understand that 100 percent means ‘full’,” Howe was reported as saying. “That might have been the case with older batteries, but today’s batteries have microprocessors managing their charging. So 100 percent is whatever that microprocessor says it is – it’s not any absolute measurement of ion concentration or anything.”

The battery life indicator, however small an overall component of the tablet, has not been the only feature that has drawn attention to the iPad. The new tablet also operates at higher temperatures – the back of the new iPad reached temperatures as high as 113 degrees Fahrenheit – than the iPad 2 when running a processor-intensive game, according to a recent test by Consumer Reports.

The iPad 2, subjected to the same tests, ran between 12 and 13 degrees cooler than the new iPad.

Improved battery life

The new iPad features a high-resolution Retina Display, an improved camera and processor, and comparable battery life to its predecessors. The new iPad’s prices top out at £559 for the Wi-Fi-only, 64GB model and £659 for the 64GB model with Wi-Fi and 4G.

Apple said it has sold 3 million new iPads since the next-generation tablet’s 16 March release. Philip Schiller, the company’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, claimed in a company release that the opening sales weekend had produced “the strongest iPad launch yet”.

Apple could sell 66 million iPads this year, buoyed by strong interest in its newest version, according to Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray. By 2015, Munster suggested, the iPad market will expand to some 176 million units.

He also believes that Apple will release a “sub-$300 iPad” sometime in 2013. “Due to the strong launch, we are raising our [calendar year 2012] iPad estimates from 60 [million] to 66 [million],” Munster wrote in a 20 March research note. “We believe the unprecedented ramp of the iPad over the past year is evidence that the tablet market will be measurably larger than the PC market.”

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