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Apple dogged by iPhone 4S battery drain criticism

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iPhone 4S

© Apple

Apple's new iPhone 4S handset has been dogged with criticism since its launch last month, with some owners complaining about the handset rapidly draining its battery life.

Some iPhone 4S users have reported that their phone battery loses up to 15% of its capacity every hour, even when not in heavy use.

Other issues have been reported with older iPhone models after the user had installed the latest iOS 5 operating system, which also caused various other problems when it rolled out last month.

Apple declined to comment on the matter, despite its forums being flooded with complaints from users about their iPhone 4S losing charge.

Writing on the Apple forum today, a user calling themselves Airboyd said: "I've been trying all the different solutions and getting a little more time out of my phone. My first few days were horrible. I was plagued with the sharp discharge to zero after getting to 50% even using WiFi.

"This morning I woke up and unplugged the phone from the charger and read thorough some emails and noticed the power going down. 15% in one hour. Read 10 emails. Nothing else."

Launched last month, the iPhone 4S comes equipped with a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery that is claimed to provide up to eight hours of 3G talk time and 14 hours of 2G. The stand-by time is said to be up to 200 hours.

iOS 5
Some users have claimed that the battery drain is down to Apple's iCloud remote storage service, while others have said that turning off the new Notifications feature helps with the problems.

Others users have suggested that the problems stem from the location services software in iOS 5, which they say is scanning too frequently and putting a heavy load on the battery life.

In a blog post last week, blogger Oliver Haslem wrote: "It appears that iOS 5′s GM release introduced a bug that causes the Setting Time Zone function to keep the location tracking circuitry running constantly, draining battery power considerably.

"Switching it off may mean that your iPhone will no longer set its own time zone when you travel, but that's a small price to pay for having your iPhone last more than 12 hours on a full charge."

Posting today on the Apple forums, a member called JordanButler said: "When i got my iPhone 4S the battery died within a couple of hours... after a full charge.

"iOS5 seems to automatically by default send usage data to Apple's servers - battery life has improved considerably since I disabled this feature. I can now use the phone all day long with all features enabled."

The problems with the iPhone 4S follow a similar controversy surrounding the antenna in its predecessor, the iPhone 4, which eventually resulted in Apple offering free cases to anyone affected by the issue.

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