I’m starting to get worried about the battery life on my iPhone. Not that there’s anything wrong with it now, of course. I’m worrying about what it’s going to be like in 12-18 months.
I haven’t yet had a chance to really test how strong my iPhone’s battery is. I haven’t had a day where I was out and about all day, without a chance to get home and plug my phone in to make sure that it’s got a good charge. Despite my lack of scientific analysis, it seems as though the battery runs down pretty quickly.
There are a lot of reasons for this, of course, chief among them being that I tend to spend a lot of time using the features of the iPhone that most tax its battery. The WiFi feature is particularly battery draining and that’s how I like to do my web browsing and email downloading whenever possible. I’ve been doing a lot of that.
Tips for conserving iPhone battery life include turning off services like WiFi, Bluetooth, and reducing the screen’s brightness. All good ideas, but I like having my WiFi on all the time — you find open hotspots all over the place.
CNET’s Crave blog agrees with me. They’ve found that they get less then 4 hours of phone time when WiFi is enabled.
So, if I’m going to keep using WiFi whenever possible on the iPhone — and I am, otherwise, the iPhone is just a really fancy cell phone, and that’s not what I bought it for — then I’m going to have to charge the phone regularly. Apple says that the iPhone will be able to handle up to 400 full charge and discharge cycles before it starts to lose its ability to hold some charge.
All batteries lose their ability to hold a charge eventually, so that’s no surprise. But, since the iPhone’s battery can’t be replaced by the customer, it has to be sent to Apple for repair. I don’t love that idea or the $86 charge that goes along with it, but what worries me more is that the iPhone is my only phone for personal and business use. I can’t be without it for the week it takes to send to Apple for replacement. What will I do in that time?
Of course, it’s very early to be worrying about these issues. But they are looming over the horizon. I hope there’s a better solution to them when they appear than there seems to be now.