iPhone 4S Users Report Continuing Battery Problems

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Users say the iPhone 4S is still having battery drain issues, despite a fix issued by Apple

Some iPhone users are still reporting battery-life issues, a day after Apple pushed through an iOS update designed to fix “bugs” related to the issue.

A portion of those users are venting their anger online, complaining that their iPhones with the new iOS 5.0.1 update continue to drain battery power at a faster-than-expected rate.

Problems worsen

“I’ve had the same problem on my iPhone 4S,” one commenter wrote on Apple’s discussion boards. “After updating to iOS 5.0.1, battery life is [worse] than iOS 5.0.”

“Same here as with others,” wrote another. “My 4S has worse battery life now with 5.0.1 than the original 5. Drains about 1 [percent] per 15 minutes without any use.”

Apple issued an 11 November statement to AllThingsD, suggesting the matter was under examination. “The recent iOS software update addressed many of the battery issues that some customers experienced on their iOS 5 devices,” it read. “We continue to investigate a few remaining issues.”

The iOS 5.0.1 update was advertised as a fix for what Apple described as “bugs” affecting battery life. It also added multitasking gestures to the first addition of the iPad, tweaked some issues with Documents in the Cloud, and improved “voice recognition for Australian users using dictation”, according to the update screen accompanying the software push.

Reports of battery issues with iOS 5 originally erupted on the web near the end of October, with a discussion thread on Apple’s website quickly filling with users irate over their iPhone 4S battery life. “I checked and all my settings are similar to my iPhone 4 (i.e., Bluetooth and ping off, brightness pretty low, etc.),” one wrote. “Seems to lose 1 percent every 3-4 minutes, even when locked/asleep.” Others on the thread reported battery drain approaching 15-20 percent per hour.

Dropped calls

In some minor ways, the situation with the iPhone 4S recalled that of the iPhone 4, whose blockbuster release in 2010 was nonetheless marred by reports of dropped calls whenever users gripped the device in a certain way with bare hands.

It took Apple some time to arrive at a solution for the original iPhone 4 conundrum, namely issuing free rubber bumpers to device owners. The bumpers blocked the device’s exterior antenna rim from skin contact, resolving the issue.

Despite the battery issues reported by users, the iPhone 4S managed to sell 4 million units by the end of its first weekend of release. Analysts expect the devices to continue their strong sales run through the Christmas season.

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