Tuesday, October 18, 2011

iOS 5 Draining iPhone 4/4S Battery

A number of iPhone users are reporting that iOS 5 appears to be draining the iPhone battery way faster than it should (dropping 12% every 30 minutes in some cases), and that the phone is hot to the touch. Indeed my wife and I have experienced extremely short battery life on our iPhone 4S on Sprint. I have also noticed that the iPhone 4S seems to run a little hot. One user suggested that resetting the network settings appears to have helped some (General > Reset > Reset Network Settings). Too bad that fix won't do anything to fix the poor quality of Sprint's network. ZING!

UPDATE #1 (10/29/11): One possible explanation for poor battery life in the iPhone 4S is a bug in a location-based setting that detects your time zone based on your location. The bug causes the iPhone 4S to continually poll cell phone towers to update your location and calculate your time zone. The bug "causes the Setting Time Zone function to keep the location tracking circuitry running constantly, draining battery power considerably." This would also explain why the iPhone 4S feels warmer than it should. It might be worth it to try disabling this setting temporarily, at least until an official fix is available from Apple.

UPDATE #2 (11/3/11): Apple formally acknowledged the iPhone 4S/iOS 5 battery issues and promised a fix within a couple of weeks.


  1. I have had an Android phone on Sprint's network for a few months, and I have pretty much the same problem. Glad to know it's not just Android phones that die on Sprint. I think it's largely because of their poor network coverage.

    Poor network coverage --> the phone increases power to the radio to try to maintain/get a signal --> phone dead by lunchtime.

    Since I'm pretty much stuck with Sprint, I probably should call about their "network booster" to get a signal. In the meantime, Google Voice lets me take calls at my desk, so I'm getting by.

  2. for any flavor iphone turn off the spotlight search junk, it its battery hungry. maybe you got a bad phone? i havent had download issues on sprint, or even droped calls, and battery life, leave at 7am, get home around 5pmish, a little game playing here and there, and still have over 50 percent of the battery.

  3. We ditched Sprint, returned our iPhone 4S's and bailed over to AT&T. We just got our AT&T iPhone 4S's this week, and the battery draining problem is still a huge issue (regardless of carrier). I spoke to an Apple representative a couple of days ago who acknowledged the issue and said that a fix was likely in the works. Just yesterday, Apple has officially acknowledged the issue and promised a fix for iOS 5 within a couple of weeks.