iphone-6-mockup

Much as we may love our iPhones, battery-life has never been one of its strengths (ask Samsung). But if you were hoping that the larger size of the iPhone 6 would mean a much bigger battery, some Chinese media reports spotted by GforGames suggest that we might be disappointed.

The reports claim that the battery in the 4.7-inch model will be in the 1800-1900mAh range – only around 20 percent more than in the iPhone 5s. Factor in the increased power requirement of the larger screen and corresponding increase in resolution, and we might not see a significant boost increase in battery-life … 

The 5.5-inch model may do better – that’s said to have a 2500mAh battery.

While the reports are highly speculative, it is notable that all the iPhone 6 mockups doing the rounds, along with some of the alleged genuine parts, suggest that the iPhone 6 will be significantly thinner than previous-generation iPhones – and a slimmer battery would be the most obvious way to achieve that. While the larger sizes will allow the battery to be wide and longer, much of the benefit could be lost to the slimmer form-factor.

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47 Responses to “Chinese media get specific on iPhone 6 battery capacity, appears that Apple ‘thinnovation’ will exact a toll”

  1. PMZanetti says:

    So we already know the measurable difference in power from 4″ to 4.7″ display, and have utterly ignored the efficiency improvements of the A8? Super.

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    • rogifan says:

      Apple sacrificing battery life because of obsession with thinness is a meme that gets page views so rumor sites keep pushing it.

      Like

    • The largest variation in battery life during average use comes mostly from the screen and cellular radio, not the SoC (granted, if you are playing a 3D intensive game, you can kill your battery pretty quickly, but that’s not the standard we use when measuring battery life).

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      • So the reports that Apple was working on some new complicated display technology, or bringing baseband radio development internally, are not relevant? I’m pretty sure that indicates with a fairly high degree of certainty that Apple has been working pretty hard on developing more energy-efficient components. I could have assumed that without a report.

        It should seem pretty obvious to anyone paying attention that Apple’s approach is to create products that are more and more efficient, and make the battery as small as possible. Not just for the sake of thinness. It reduces Apple’s carbon footprint. And if you’ve seen Apple’s environment page, you’d know that’s a pretty critical goal to Apple.

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  2. demeetreee says:

    Sounds okay. I don´t have any issues (and never had with older devices) with the battery life. Only charging over night and it lasts the whole day with more than moderate usage.

    Also, the iPad Air´s battery was reduced and there´s no real lack of usage or battery life evident.

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  3. Since the logic board is unlikely to be significantly smaller, it would be fairly easy for someone to calculate the size of the new battery based on the dimensions. It would be fairly easy as well to chart the average increase in power efficiency of Apple’s designs and take into account known leaps in battery technology if any.

    I don’t do math and don’t have the time, but it would be fairly trivial to do, and would make a better article than simple wild speculation.

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  4. “battery-life has never been one of its strengths”
    BS

    Haven’t you seen the benchmarks?
    You are just helping this myth to spread.

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    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      It does depend very much on usage. Compare & contrast wifi web-browsing with cellular phone calls here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7335/the-iphone-5s-review/9

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      • Jack Gnasty says:

        I see iPhones at the top of the heap. Not sure how you can assert battery life has never been one of the iPhone’s strengths. It always has been when compared to similar phones. 4 of the top 6 phones in the chart you linked to are iPhones. 3 generations of iPhones. It’s direct competitor holds court at the bottom with 30% less performance.

        Not sure how you can make assertions like this with a straight face.

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      • Ok, so it only lacks in cellular phone calling because “Our cellular talk time test is almost entirely display and SoC independent, turning it mostly into a battery capacity test:”

        But that instantly disqualifies all the other tests where the iPhone performed top class? A single test that is entirely reliant on raw mAh capacity makes the iPhone a poor performer in battery-life?

        So that’s how people are using smartphones these days, making 8 hour long phone calls everyday. And I always thought people were draining their smartphone batteries by using it’s advanced functions, like web browsing, watching videos, or playing games. Areas the iPhone performs better than most competitors with larger batteries.

        It’s amazing that Apple is able to squeeze so much life out of their batteries in comparison to competitors. And yet those in the media can only seem to fixate on one data point, and make over-generalizations about the product, rather than applauding Apple for such great engineering. Smaller battery means it takes less time to charge, uses less energy to charge, etc. I’m glad there’s at least one company in technology who cares about these sort of things, and doesn’t just stuff larger and larger batteries without solving the true underlying problem.

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      • Jack Gnasty says:

        “Yes” has summed it up pretty well. So the chart shows that someone could actually spend an entire workday including the lunch hour on a phone call. I don’t see how that is bad, pretty impressive. Are you telling me, Ben, that you would rather have a mobile phone that is optimized for phonecall duration versus computing performance? Do the vast majority of people need to talk for 12 hours on their mobile? Or is Apple well justified to balance priorities with a reasonable 9 hours of talk and 10 hours of video or browsing?

        What the chart tells me is that other manufacturers have pretty bad software and inefficient hardware that disproportionately drains their battery. Whether it’s browsing or phonecalls, you gets 9-10 hours on the iphone regardless.

        If my responses seem to be a little snarky, it’s because I expect better judgement from a website called “9-5″ Mac. Experts on Apple should understand why they balance their performance the way they do in the iPhone. After all, that IS a huge chunk of the magic that makes it work. Ben Lovejoy may have personal preferences, but is this your personal blog or a pro site?

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      • Ben Lovejoy says:

        My usage is mixed, but I can’t always get through a day on a single charge, and I’m not alone in that. Certainly given the choice between current thickness and a significant increase in battery power vs thinner with around the same power, I’d opt for the former every time. Your usage and preferences may of course differ – both are valid viewpoints.

        Like

  5. tilalabubakr says:

    Even this 20% will be wasted on the bigger screen consumption :(
    Thinness is OK, but battery-life is essential and can be considered as a considerable competitive advantage.

    Like

    • Thinness is absolutely amazing. You don’t realize it until you hold the device that is super thin and weighs so little, whilst remaining extremely durable. The battery will be slightly better or the same as it has been, as Apple decided on what the battery life should be a long time ago, and they will try to keep it roughly the same until new battery technology comes along (graphene). There’s no reason to have a smartphone battery last longer than a day (before you go to sleep), but more importantly, a work day (before you get home to plug it in). Samsung’s are far worse, you know this because you’d literally have to shut off like all the features to get it to last, this is cemented by the fact that there is a specific battery saver mode which shuts down everything and probably slows everything down significantly.

      The people that complain about battery life, generally don’t know how to prolong it, or they have a million features active that definitely drain battery. For example, if you simply check mail manually as opposed to push, it will literally save you INSANE battery life. Background app refresh kills, as well as specific apps (Facebook). That’s probably why Apple is putting per app energy usage into settings in iOS 8, so everyone can understand that their garbage social media apps (specifically Facebook) are draining their battery significantly. Also people don’t know that shutting down apps (i.e. Swiping up in the multitasking) and reopening them constantly, just causes more drain than keeping them open, as keeping them open isn’t reloading them into RAM constantly, and they are frozen, thus they don’t use battery life, unless you have background app refresh on, in which case you need to think rationally about which ones you want that to work for.

      Lastly, you have the psychological thoughts that your battery isn’t lasting as long as it should, etc.

      Like

      • Nick V says:

        I definitely noticed a significant difference when I set my mail to fetch every 15 min compared to push.

        Like

      • tilalabubakr says:

        I couldn’t agree more. I’ve deleted my Facebook app almost a year ago, and set my mail to fetch every 15 mins since I have push in my Mac, and the battery is really better, but still not that perfect. Also remember that you’ll need the bluetooth to be on 24 7 to get the most out of iOS 8 and Yosemite continuity feature.

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      • Thinness is nice enough, but not at the expense of battery life. If I’m using my iPhone 5 when out and about, which will be a mixture of GPS, photography, audio, and web/email, then the battery will be dead by lunchtime.

        It isn’t enough. Phone makers should be aiming for batteries which last for multiple days of heavy use.

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  6. 100% Agree with Ben. Apple has the priorities wrong here. Longer battery life is a feature that I would like to see enhance. These phones are thin enough. The number one annoying thing with any portable gadget is how frequent you have to charge. A 2 day range would way more beneficial than thinner and thinner phone.

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    • 2 days? That’s honestly ridiculous. Yes, ideally batteries will get to the point where you won’t have to charge them for days or weeks, but it simply isn’t necessary. You go to sleep at night, you charge your phone, it’s full in the morning, it’s that simple. If you are too lazy to plug your phone in at night then I don’t know what to tell you.

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      • chrisl84 says:

        The less times you recharge a battery the longer that battery will live. So by charging your phone every other night vs every night that’s 50% less cycles and therefore you can expect to see a stronger battery 2 years down the road. Every battery is great the first month, but constant recharge cycles slowly make it less and less efficient

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      • @chris um, yes, and no that is literally no issue at all. I’ve never experienced significant drops in battery power in 2 years, and longer, because the reality is, there isn’t a big difference, sorry to say. The average upgrade cycle on smartphones is relatively quick too, so no, it’s never an issue.

        Like

    • roryosiochain says:

      Absolutely agree 100%, also particularly if travelling. tbh, the 4/4s’s were thin enough they should’ve upped the battery life over thinning out the phones.

      Like

  7. Arch Angel says:

    Could this be the reason behind the latest TSA decision to stop people taking tablets and smartphones on the plane if they will not power up. Free iPhones for the staff.

    Like

  8. Arnold Ziffel says:

    The factors affecting battery life are many and complex. One thing to think about when it comes to minimizing weight of the iPhone is it helps prevent damage when dropped, i.e., the greater the mass, the more kinetic energy generated, during a fall, that has to be dissipated and absorbed.

    Like

  9. herb02135go says:

    I agree. The obsession with being thin is ridiculous. This isn’t the first time Apple has gone in the opposite direction of what people want. Has anyone here ever thought “this phone is too thick!”

    Who needs an anorexic phone?

    Like

    • Apple goes in the intelligent direction, not the direction everyone wants. A lot of people want removable batteries, or extreme customization, but those things aren’t intelligent, sorry to say. There are an innumerable amount of battery cases and external battery accessories and thus a removable battery is stupid as hell, and people have putrid taste and are stupid, and thus, shouldn’t be able to customize much (you don’t hand a terrible artist a paintbrush, unless you want your eyes to burn, or to laugh hysterically).

      As for battery, you need a smartphone battery to last until you go to sleep at night. NO longer. Yes, ideally they will last days to weeks in the future, but an intelligent person knows that is never necessary. This is why Apple keeps making the device thinner, instead of making the battery thicker. When you can keep that average day life of the battery, you don’t need to worry about it.

      Like

      • Rick Taal says:

        Alright, and now what if I were to tell you I have to charge my iPhone 5 3 times a day? I’m sorry but a better battery is an absolute necessity that apple drastically needs to improve upon. Yes I do have to set back my email push notifications and what not however it would be nice if the battery was just better so either I wouldn’t have to or I could get through a week of usage without having to find a charger all the time! I have been an Apple fanboy too but this is ridiculous…

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      • @rick you probably have a lot of settings draining battery life. I understand the want for those settings to all be active but the reality is, you can set up your iPhone to easily last a workday at the very least, and I’m sure most people last a day. Look at my previous post about things that are probably draining your battery. You mention push, I can tell you right now, even if you have only 1 mail account pushing to your phone it will increase your battery significantly if you just turn it all off and manually check. Also the more spam or uses mail you get will decrease battery life, etc., and of course the more mailboxes the worse it will get. Try turning it all off.

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  10. Jack Gnasty says:

    I suppose most people are not designers and have never designed a thing in their life. So I shouldn’t be too hard on folks who do not have a single ounce of designer mentality when vomiting at the mouth about what they *think* they want in a phone.

    If asked the single question, who wouldn’t want a longer lasting battery?? We all do. Before you go posting about wanting a battery that lasts 2 days, and the phone being thin enough already, just take a second or two and ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice to get that 2 day charge. Right, nothing but cricket chirps. Because we all still want better speed and processing power. We all still want more RAM to reduce load times. We all still want to take high res photos and edit them in Lightroom and Photoshop right on the phone. We want state of the art games. And regardless of what some will say, we want our phones to be sexy thin so they look impressive as they get openly waived around in humble brags.

    For the whiners who want 2 days, go buy a mophie case. The rest of us will happily enjoy the performance enhancements, the cosmetic enhancements, and look forward to the routine nightly charge.

    Like

    • Yeah! I want 2 day battery life so I don’t have to plug my phone in at night, i freaking hate having to plug that in, it totally makes everything suck in life having to take 2 seconds to plug it in! Urgghhh Why Apple why?!???!??!!!

      Now I can understand if someone says they want it to last until they go to sleep at night, but beyond that is absolutely unnecessary.

      Like

    • roryosiochain says:

      “I suppose most people are not designers and have never designed a thing in their life.”
      I am a designer.

      “So I shouldn’t be too hard on folks who do not have a single ounce of designer mentality when vomiting at the mouth about what they *think* they want in a phone.”
      Which Phone hardware have you designed?

      “Before you go posting about wanting a battery that lasts 2 days, and the phone being thin enough already, just take a second or two and ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice to get that 2 day charge.”
      You’ve answered your own question, to sacrifice the novelty of thinness, people would prefer longer battery life.

      “For the whiners who want 2 days, go buy a mophie case. The rest of us will happily enjoy the performance enhancements, the cosmetic enhancements, and look forward to the routine nightly charge.”
      Let me ask you, did you ever look at your iPhone 4/iPhone 4s and think if only it was thinner? Ever? I know I sure as hell didn’t. They look great. I did however look at each of my iPhones and want a longer lasting battery on a regular basis, most certainly without having to buy some third party case that ruins the aesthetic of the phone.

      It was bad when they made it thinner for no reason in the 5/5s but now potentially reducing the battery life for no improved aesthetic appeal is simply ridiculous.

      Like

      • It actually improves both the aesthetic and the feel by making it thinner. This iPhone will feel so incredible in your hand you will have your mind blown. That’s exactly how I felt when I held the iPod touch 5th gen, the fact that it increased the screen size and yet still felt lighter and better in every way…just amazing. This iPhone will be a bigger display and probably be lighter or the same weight as the iPhone 5s. It will also feel so much better in your hand with the new design. Just wait :)

        Like

  11. standardpull says:

    The battery capacity isn’t nearly as important as operation. Does the battery last for as long as it needs to and does the device provide appropriate user function?

    All I know is that I use my iphone a lot and I always charge it over night. I never run out of juice. I suppose I could but that’s irrelevant.

    I predict that Samsung users are no different.

    Like

    • herb02135go says:

      After a day of moderate use my Galaxy s5 has about 30-40 % left at bedtime.

      If I forgot to charge it at night ( staying at a friends and forget my charger) I can easily go into the next day.

      Wall hugger? Not even!

      Like

      • demeetreee says:

        Oh here we go again… All I hear from Android fanboys is “but you can´t just plug a mini USB into it and charge it at your friends´ place”.
        So you are telling me, that your friend does not have a single mini USB or whatever that pity of cable that is?

        Anyway, what exactly are you trying to say? That you needed about 60-70% on the first day and then somehow magically only need about 30-40% for the next one? In my eyes, we are both “wall huggers”. The only difference being that I charge my iPhone at night (when I have about 20-50& left at bedtime… and 20% being >heavy< usage) and you being the wall hugger that needs a recharge during the day…
        Hey… but you can at least swap your battery and say words like "swag" while doing it. In any case… you will be recharging both batteries at the end of your day. "Wall hugger? Not even [my a**]!"

        Like

  12. “Factor in the increased power requirement of the larger screen and corresponding increase in resolution, and we might not see a significant boost increase in battery-life”

    Yeah, so…..

    Like

  13. zubeirg87 says:

    Whille thin really thin devices feel nice to use, the whole idea does sound a bit over ambitious. It is not the biggest priority. But then the not so big battery is not too bad afterall as it is infact better for the environment. Besides even though the bigger display will eat up the extra mAh of the bigger battery, the phone’s stand by and talk times will definitely see a significant boost as the display is not in use during these times.

    Like

  14. People in the future will surely laugh at us and our early 2000’s battery dilemma.

    Like

  15. confluxnz says:

    While I’m cognizant of the fact battery life does not only depend on the size of the battery, I’m with Ben on this – I’d rather have a slightly thicker phone and much better battery life, than a super slim phone which (still) requires charging every night. My friend has a Galaxy S5 and charges it every second or third day – and he is a relatively heavy user. Oh to have battery life like that on an iPhone.

    Like

    • That phone doesn’t have that good battery life hahaha, no phone does and no phone will until a breakthrough in battery tech comes along. Sorry to tell you. Requires charging at night? You’re too lazy to plug your phone in at night? That’s the saddest thing ive heard in a while.

      Like

  16. zubeirg87 says:

    I think there’s something else that need to be considered. It is how they come to the decision of putting such a thin battery. I think it comes from the layout of the internals. Ever since the iphone 4 the layout has been battery on one side logic board on the other. I think there are a lot of benefits to this layout. One is that the battery is much easier to replace as compared to layouts of previous iphones and phones like the htc one. On those phones everything have got to be taken out to reach the battery. Replacing the battery is a nightmare. Then another advantage of that layout is that heat from battery affects less the logic board components, and vice versa.
    So how does this affect the thickness of the battery. I think if the tech is available to make the logic board thinner, then so should happen to the battery. Otherwise making the battery so much thicker will result in a lot of empty space on the board side. And a lot of extra weight will come to the battery side. The result will be a not very great design.

    Like

  17. pinova says:

    I don’t know how many times I’ve said it. My iPhone is just way too thick.

    Like

  18. Frank Lee says:

    I remember an article discussing battery recharge without being plugged in. Sort of a solar panel type recharge. And didn’t Apple buy a company that does just that? We won’t know what the new iPhone will do until we see it. There’s way too much conjecture.
    I hear android users tout” but you can’t remove your battery” when bashing the iPhone. Why do I need to carry around another fully charged battery? Are androids so inefficient that a second or third replacement battery is required? Imagine an iPhone the size of a gargantuan Note3 with nothing added to fill the increased space but battery. Once a week recharge?
    What I suspect is Apple has addressed this issue through its hardware and iOS software and wireless recharge feature.

    Liked by 1 person