Some Users Still Experiencing iOS 5 Battery Issues, Apple Investigating

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Battery DrainApple released iOS 5.0.1 Thursday to address, among other things, a battery drain issue, but some users are reporting that they are still experiencing poor battery performance even with the update. The company said in a statement that it was investigating some remaining issues left over after the update.

“The recent iOS software update addressed many of the battery issues that some customers experienced on their iOS 5 devices, the company said in a statement released to AllThingsD. “We continue to investigate a few remaining issues.”

The original battery drain problem affected a subset of users with iOS 5, and some of those users found that the iOS 5.0.1 update did improve battery life on their iPhone.

Some users, however, continue to report problems. For instance, the original thread on Apple’s support forums has grown to more than 4,600 replies and more than 327,000 views, with recent posts focusing on continued problems under the 5.0.1 update.

Apple forum member khanan posted:

100% four hours ago, 18% now. Got this phone this morning, uprgraded [sic] to 5.0.1 and got about NOTHING on it. This **** needs to be fixed, this is the worst phone ever. My iPhone 3G had went from 100% -> 91% after a 2h30m busride [sic] with constant iPod playing. Unacceptable. Give me a phone that works.

Member richardfromweston added:

Upgraded to 5.0.1 this afternoon and it appears that the battery life is worse after the patch. I was at 83% and after 15 minutes it has dropped to 78%. I really hope they can get this straightened out quickly!

There is no word yet of what Apple has found or what the company is planning to do about the issue.

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Lee Dronick

What is the percentage? 4500 users have a problem, how many users don’t. I am not belittling those that have the problems, I am wondering just how big is the problem.


I upgraded my phone this morning and I am on my 3 rd recharge with minimal usage.  The new software didn’t fix my battery issues.

Steve Blackwell

I made an interesting observation about two week ago where I noticed that certain users would extoll the virtues of Android on one site and then complain about the massive problems they were having with ?their? iPhone/iPad on another site.

To prove my theory I complied a list of user/screen names of the more rabid anti-Apple posters that claimed to be iPhone/iPad users (45 names).  I also used Google to search with pasted comments to find out users with multiple login names (posting the same comment on multiple sites).  To keep this task manageable I selected as a frame of reference two resent Apple stories that generated a lot of noise; the battery issue and the Siri downtime news.  (I have a bit of time on my hands)

Of the 45 user/screen names and comments from 36 articles (324 Comments total), I found the following results:

Of the 45 user/screen names 36 were unique users (as far as I could tell)

Of the 36 users, 15 were obvious Android users complaining about ?their? iPhone battery or Siri problems.  This is based upon reading posts of these 15 users on multiple pro Android sites.  Many admit in posts that they hate Apple and would never buy one of their products.

These 15 Android users accounted for 223 negative posts on the 36 articles sampled. This means that of the total comments, 68.8% were negative posts by non Apple users pretending to own an Apple device for the sole purpose of spreading false information.

Please bear in mind that there are many variables to this and it is only supplies to highlight the fact that many of these so called Apple iPhone/iPad users are just trolls

Lee Dronick

Thanks Steve.


Seriously. This seems like more hype than a real issue.  I bet its more likely a bunch of ppl got their 1st iphone and never close any apps.

Scott B in DC

I don’t know where the problem is, but I am not seeing a problem. I unplug my phone in the morning and take it with me all day. There are the usual phone calls, checking email, a few text messages here and there, but when I arrive home in the evening I have at least 70-percent of the battery left. After dinner, sitting in front of the TV, I’ll Twitter, read some news, play some games, and have not seen my battery go below 30-percent after a day.

What are you running when your battery runs down? How many background apps? Maybe when I plug in the iPhone, I go through and close all of the “running” apps. I do use reminders and use Siri to set the reminders. I do ask Siri about the weather and have asked for directions. But I never get below 30-percent after a full day. Even the day I actually did a Facetime chat for 30 minutes and spent the length of a college football game tweeting about it, I was not able to run down the battery.

I have four email accounts that are checked regularly. Some emails are responded, many are deleted. I have even written short blog posts. Still… I have yet to run down the battery.

What have people loaded to run down the battery?


I’ve owned an iPhone, iPhone 3, and an iPhone 4. I’ve never had battery problems this severe until the iOS 5 update. iOS 5.0.1 did not solve the problem. In the time it has taken me to read this page and type this comment my battery has dropped 2%. This isn’t just “hype” or an Android fan making trouble. This is a real problem.


Ur in a very small percentage of ppl who still have the problem. But the news is all on it. Thats hype

Bryan Chaffin

From my perspective, this is a serious issue that Apple needs to tackle ASAP?I have not experienced this problem, but some other TMO staff members have, and these are some of the savviest and smartest people I know.

And I’ve no doubt that many people dismissing this as a niche problem being blown out of proportion would be quick to crow (or at least chuckle) if the Android platform was having a similar problem.

Part of why it may seem like a hyped issue has to do with the size of Apple’s market. There have been other (rare) problems that have affected a subset of Apple’s customers, and they didn’t get the attention this has in part because there weren’t that many of them.

Today’s battery draining issue could even be smaller than some of these past issues, but there are well over 100 million iPhone users out there now. Even a small percentage of 100 million people can still be a crap ton of people.

And those people are frustrated.

Before dismissing a complaint just because it doesn’t affect you, stop and think about the bigger picture.

I’ve done so, and I think Apple has a legitimate problem to fix.


I have to say that this is an issue which has received too much attention outside of the tech blogs, etc. I mean, what purpose does it serve for “all things considered” to air a segment on the battery problem?

As far as the actual problem, this is my first iPhone (4s) and I thought the battery life in 5.0.0 was a bit off out of the box. Then 5.0.1 came around and it for sure made it worse for me. Before I was at approximately 18 hours between charges (i.e. running the battery all the way down), but now only make it 9-12 hours with similar use patterns. And coming from an iPod touch, I keep maybe 8 apps at the most running simultaneously.


I am sure that there is a problem and for those affected it is serious. I am also sure that there are some iOS haters who are seeking to magnify the problem and that only complicates the issue. In that it appears to be software related issue, the fix should be forthcoming.

Lisa R

Unless you have a problem with your iPhone don’t comment.  I’ve had my iPhone for over a year and have never had a problem with it.  After I upgraded to the ios5 I can’t go an entire day without charging it.  This is not hype, this is a problem that some of us are having.  I’m sure the ones on here that say it’s no big deal would be the first to start yelling if something happened to their phone.

Just because the group of us may be small, in comparison, that are having problems, doesn’t mean that we’re insignificant.

Lee Dronick

I?ve had my iPhone for over a year and have never had a problem with it.? After I upgraded to the ios5 I can?t go an entire day without charging it.

I had that happen on my iPhone 3G when I upgraded to iOS 4. The later versions of iOS 4 fixed it, but until then it was quite frustrating. Seeing as a similar situation is happening with iPhone 4 and 3GS, I am wondering if iOS 5 should not have been backwards compatible from the iPad2 and the iPhone 4S.

What ever it is, even though it isn’t affecting our new iPhones 4S, I hope that they soon get it fixed.


I guess this is subjective - if you are having battery issues, it’s a huge problem, if not, then it isn’t.

Speaking from personal experience, I went from my 4s barely making through a day to almost three days before needing a charge with the same usage.

To me, the fix was a phenomenal success. (Hope Apple can help the very small percentage of those still having issues.)



The battery life on my iPhone 4 seems to be exactly the same now after upgrading to 5.0.1 as it was with 5.0, which also was the same as it was with all the 4.x’s, namely:  about 3-4 hrs./charge, listening continuously via stereo bluetooth to streaming NPR (on TuneIn Radio) on 3G, with WiFi off usually, and with 10 to 20+ apps open.

Thank you mucho, Steve Blackwell, for your STRONG WORK!  Amazing, what you did!  And amazing, what your results showed! (Have you posted the particulars anywhere?)

David Winograd

I have been having this problem since day one and it’s quite severe. The battery discharges by at least 10% an hour by doing nothing at all.

Under use, I can’t get any more than a bit over three hours.

This is totally unacceptable.


I find it amusing that apple people who don’t have any issues insult the few that do have issues and just looking for a solution. 

Recharging a phone 3x a day gets old fast.


I have a 4S, and since I never had an iphone before (always had company Blackberry’s), I didn’t know what was good or bad.  I can say that before the update, I couldn’t go all day sometimes, as it would die around 9pm.  It depended on how much I used it, how bright I kept the screen, etc.  I don’t really keep the battery charge percentage number showing all the time, since it can be deceptive I think.  I’m also not sure it is linear either.

I updated to 5.0.1, and now, after 1hr, 3 min usage, and 6 hrs, 2 min standby, the batt indicator shows 86%.  Seems better to me after the update.  However, I won’t really know until a week of usage, since I am not on the phone all the time on the weekend.

Also, I thought that it didn’t matter how many Apps were open, since they “froze” in the background, and didn’t use CPU cycles unless it was Pandora or something that downloads in the background.


Dave Hamilton

I can say, unquestionably, that this is still a problem. I upgraded from an iPhone 4 (running iOS 5) to an iPhone 4S, and immediately noticed battery life issues that were not present on my iPhone 4.

It should be noted that my wife still runs that same iPhone 4, running 5 and now 5.0.1, and still gets great battery life. I’m not sure what’s causing these issues here, but I regularly find my 4S overheating in my pocket. I’m not convinced these battery issues are solely related to iOS 5, though clearly some of them are. I also believe the 4S has its own, perhaps unrelated, issues, as well.

Frustrating, to say the least, especially going from the stellar battery performance on the iPhone 4.

Lee Dronick

Also, I thought that it didn?t matter how many Apps were open, since they ?froze? in the background, and didn?t use CPU cycles unless it was Pandora or something that downloads in the background.

I think, though I could certainly be incorrect, that open apps using location services can be a battery drain. However, I don’t think that is the severe problems that some users are having with rapid battery drain.

I have an app System Activity Monitor that shows among other things a better graphic of battery percentage than the wee bar across the top of the screen. Also how much memory is being used. Kind of like the Activity Monitor in OSX


”... I?m not sure what?s causing these issues here, but I regularly find my 4S overheating in my pocket. I?m not convinced these battery issues are solely related to iOS 5, though clearly some of them are.”

My hunch is that they’re mostly iCloud related; some kind of sync-bug.

Lee Dronick

My hunch is that they?re iCloud related.

Sounds plausible as it maybe always connecting.  I wonder if signing out of iCloud will make a difference for those having battery problems.

I am still on iDisk, but will probably transition over to iCloud in a few weeks.


Could it be that a Google (or Samsung, or HTC, etc.) 5th-columnist amongst Apple’s iOS-developer ranks has created a sort of “denial-of-service-like” worm for iCloud, and now Apple’s iCloud servers are consequently so overwhelmed they can’t identify any pattern of widespread “stuck-in-on-position” iPhone 4S-iCloud syncings? 

If so, that (iPhone 4S-iCloud syncings being “stuck-in-on-position”) would be a good reason for Dave Hamilton to say, ?... I regularly find my 4S overheating in my pocket.”


I have been an iOS owner for about 4 years.  I just got my first iPhone two weeks ago.  I was originally not experiencing any of the battery life problem.  Then I applied the update and it made my battery life worse. I close my apps, have blue tooth, and the time zone setting turned off.  For all of you that are wondering if it is iCloud related, I don’t think it is.  I was using iCloud before I got the phone and it did not have a problem.


FWIW, my new 4s had none of these issues, UNTIL the 5.0.1 update, then it drained very, very rapidly (even faster than my girlfriend’s HTC). I restarted the phone and it has ben fine since, though I have seen intermittent stability issues from the start. I would expect that we’ll see a firmware update at some point.


I have a new 4s and did not experience the problem UNTIL the 5.0.1 update, though since I have been tweaking settings, etc. I can’t say for certain that was the problem. It was draining even faster than my girlfriend’s HTC… 10% per hour sounds about right. I restarted the phone and the problem resolved. I know that photo stream was in the process of catching up after activating it and iCloud, so it may be related to cloud-intensive actions on my pathetically slow connection.


I’m not an iPhone owner so I cannot comment on the issue at hand, but since this thread is full of iPhone users I wonder if I might ask a question. I have a pay as you go flip-phone (no camera, no nothing.) and I can go a week or more between recharges. (I don’t make or receive many calls so it’s 95% or maybe 99% stand-by time.) And usually the batter indicator is around half-way down. (who know how accurate that thing is on this cheap a phone).

Now I know that an iPhone is doing lots of stuff, even when off so I would expect to have to charge it much more often. Also I realize that usage makes a HUGE difference, but in general:

If you leave your iPhone on all the time, do you have to recharge every day?

Lee Dronick

If you leave your iPhone on all the time, do you have to recharge every day?

If I leave it on all day and use it “normally” I need to recharge it everyday. Yesterday I started at 7:00 AM with a full charge and at about 9:00 PM it was down to 20% and in the red. That day included photography, calls, email, Urban Spoon, Map, and Facebook use. This is on my new iPhone 4S, had it been on my 3G at the end of its active life I would have wanted to charge it in the late afternoon.


Thank you Lee for the reply. I suppose then that owning a Smart Phone, you use it more and you have to recharge it more. Makes sense. I would think however that having to charge it during the day would be frustrating. I understand the issue a little better now. I hope (for the sake of my investments smile ) they get it straightened out before we all switch to Mr. Fusion!

Lee Dronick

I would think however that having to charge it during the day would be frustrating.

If I have heavier than normal use I can usually charge it in my auto or from a wall outlet. Or charge it from my MacBook’s USB port.

I will get a Mophie Juice Pack or equivalent for it. My wife used one with her iPhone 3G when it got older and couldn’t hold a charge as long as it did when new.


I am very careful to always close open apps at the bottom and did not have the battery issue until I downloaded the iOS 5.0.1 patch!  Now it is draining like crazy!!!  This is my 3rd iphone so I am not new to it and am not overreacting.  It is very randomly draining for no reason.  I have it hooked up right now to the computer and it has gone from 67% to 64% when I unplugged to answer a text and then was plugged back in for at least 15 more minutes and is only back up to 68%.

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