Apple Taps Customers for iPhone 4S Battery Life Data

Apple has reportedly been reaching out to some of its customers looking for more data on the battery life of the iPhone 4S in the wake of many users reporting poor battery performance in the new devices. The Guardian UK reported that Apple has contacted some customers and asked them to install an app on their iPhone 4Ses that collects data on their power use and battery performance.

iPhone Battery Drain?

A thread on Apple’s support forum began on October 15th titled “iPhone 4s [sic] Batter Life?” Since then, there have been more than 1,430 replies (with 25 added while we composed this article) and more than 102,600 views of the thread as users traded anecdotes of their own poor battery life and theories as to what could be causing the problem.

When Apple first released the iPhone 4S, the company said it had increased 3G talk time to eight hours, while standby time clocked in at 200 hours. Many users are experiencing phenomenon like 25% battery depletion in three hours with minimal usage during that time.

An iPhone 4S owner in the UK who claimed he was contacted by Apple after a blog post about his poor battery life told The Guardian that he was experiencing a 10% drain in battery life every hour in standby mode.

“I assumed something was crashing or running in the background,” the unnamed owner said. “I switched off all the new features including Siri and location services, but it was still really poor. I also tried setting up a clean phone with no apps but it is still really poor.”

His story mirrors many of those in Apple’s support threads who have experimented with resetting their phone or data in an effort to find the problem on their own, but to no avail.

“I then got a call from a senior [Apple] engineer who said he had read my post and was ‘reaching out’ to users for data,” the unnamed man told the newspaper. “[He] admitted this was an issue (and that they aren’t close to finding a fix!), and asked lots of questions about my usage and then asked if he could install the file below and that he would call back the day after to retrieve the info. I extracted the file from my Mac after a sync and emailed it to him. He was incredibly helpful and apologetic in the typical Apple way!”

There were many new factors introduced with the iPhone 4S launch. There’s the dual-core A5 processor, a brand new operating system (iOS 5), the Siri personal assistant, and iCloud, which itself overlaps MobileMe for many users. Hopefully, the user data Apple is collecting will assist the company in coming up with a rapid solution.