iPhone 5s battery life

In a rare but not entirely unprecedented response, Apple’s gone on the record Tuesday with The New York Times (of all publications) to admit that a fairly limited number of iPhone 5s units may be plagued with lower than expected battery life and slow charging issues due to what the company attributed to an unspecified “manufacturing issue”.

This isn’t your typical teething problem fixable in software: Apple has said it will provide owners of the affected phones with a replacement unit. Here’s Apple’s full statement on the matter…

Spokeswoman Teresa Brewer issued this statement to The New York Times:

We recently discovered a manufacturing issue affecting a very limited number of iPhone 5S devices that could cause the battery to take longer to charge or result in reduced battery life. We are reaching out to customers with affected phones and will provide them with a replacement phone.

I choose to believe that NYT, not Teresa, is unaware that ‘5s’ is spelled out in lowercase.

The article educates us that “a manufacturing issue is not the same as a defective battery, which some users thought was the problem with their phones”. Apple could easily bill Foxconn for these defects and impose penalties.

The iPhone maker is no stranger to battery woes.

Back in 2006, they recalled some MacBook batteries because Sony-made cells tended to explode. Besides, we all remember the ugly iPod battery issues that used to dominate headlines a decade ago.

NYT thinks Apple’s statement “implied” that “a very limited number” means “a few thousand phones”. I would love to learn about the science behind that math!

Writer Brian Chen goes even further speculating how the iPhone 5S is supposed to have “significantly longer battery life” than its predecessors, without giving us the specifics.

Though Apple’s specs page rates both new phones as having the exact same battery life – ten hours of talk time on 3G, 250 hours standby time, 8 hours of Internet use on 3G (10 hours on LTE or Wi-Fi), 10 hours of video playback and 40 hours of audio playback – that’s not really the case.

Firstly, the iPhone 5s achieves its battery efficiency over the iPhone 5 by packing in a larger 1,570mAh vs the 1,440mAh battery.

iPhone 5s 5c battery (AnandTech 001)

Secondly, the FCC documents dug up by AnandTech revealed the iPhone 5s battery has a capacity of 5.96Whr, which is slightly better than the iPhone 5c’s 5.73Whr package.

And thirdly, both new phones outperform the iPhone 5’s 5.45Whr battery.

The New York Times hit a new low earlier today after its writer Catherine Rampell made up a claim basically accusing Apple of being on a mission to purposely screw its customers by “busting your iPhone.”  The company, she wrote without producing any evidence whatsoever, “may be coordinating the obsolescence of its products”.

I swear I’m not making this up!

I was shocked and couldn’t believe this passes for high-quality journalism nowadays.

For a sensible take on NYT’s “piece,” read Brian Barrett’s takedown on Gizmodo.

Is your iPhone 5s acting up in terms of battery performance?

Mine’s working as advertised and I’m getting as much run time out of my unit as I did out of my iPhone 5, if not more.

  • Jo

    Cool, I hacked the upvote button so you can’t upvote my comment.

    • Nate McKelvie

      Hahaha I like your tactics, I didn’t fall for it and click it, but I give you props for the creative attempt

      • Jo

        Thanks bro but I really hacked it. All you have to do is get a Disqus account, use emacs to modify the perl script while you’re logged in. Boom. I hacked it, try it out. The hack was long to create, but not that sophisticated.

      • Nate McKelvie

        Still not falling for it, especially since you have 16 up votes hahaha

      • Jo

        ok now i must admit it was fake

      • Nate McKelvie

        Hahahaha it was a good one though and it worked quite well!

    • felixtaf

      Since you hacked it, take my upvote for the COOL hacking… 🙂
      Upvote No: 19…

      • Palmer Paul

        #23 for me

    • Jonathan

      I upvoted you just for the clever remark. xD Even though I knew you couldn’t have done that. If so, why not just go find out my social security number. 😛

      Shhh… it’s 123456789 😀

      • Palmer Paul

        Because hacking an upvote button is the same as accessing highly encrypted data…

      • Jonathan

        I thought of saying that instead of what I did, but I felt like being fun. xD

  • Guest

    What happens if you download the Princess Diana screensaver application?
    Your iphone will keep crashing!
    haha haha haha

    • Jo

      your joke is a little bit funny.

    • quitcherbichinn


      • Nate McKelvie

        Tacky, but slightly humorous

  • n0ahcruz3

    Off topic: can someone tell me why AAPL stock tank -2.49%?

    • felixtaf

      Coz, none can satisfy Wall Street!

      • n0ahcruz3

        was it because of the faulty batteries? Wtf apple is handling it well by replacing it with new phones. This bull.

      • felixtaf

        Stock prices these days has nothing to do with sales or revenue. It depends on the analyst’s predictions and expectations. But what I cant believe is , no matter how good Apple’s sales records, the stock will slide down the next day. I dono what more a company can do in 3 months!
        (I have no experience in stock markets or marketing – Jus my observation & thoughts)

      • Palmer Paul

        Its because stock prices are about future performance, not current performance. Therefore, if Apple has a great quarter, it will be harder/less likely for them to exceed that revenue in the next quarter, so their stock price will go down. This is obviously a simplification of the subject, but its still explanatory.

      • felixtaf

        If thats the case, next quarter is holiday season. So they will sell more products for sure. Thent he stock shud go up? Man, I dono!

        Last year Q4, they sold 47.8 Million iPhones and 22.9 Million iPads. The quarterly revenue of $54.5 billion and record quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion. (From Apple investors website).

      • Palmer Paul

        Maybe its also compared to previous years. That means investors expect a lot less than $13.1B in net profit.

  • 4p0c4lyps3

    My 5s seems to b in top running order. Imo, battery life is rather lackluster.

  • chumawumba

    Can’t tell if my battery life is just bad or defective issue

  • Lance Baker

    The battery life on my 5s is fantastic.

  • cybersat

    they can say Chinese battery so you can get away with it, then iFan will believe whatever they said.

  • Palmer Paul

    First, you pointed out that 5s is spelled with a lower case “s”, yet later on in your post, you spelled it as “5S”.

    Second, “a very limited number” is probably a few thousand phones as the NYTimes guesstimated. Its not quantitative math, but by using common sense you can figure it out.

    Third, although I haven’t read Catherine Rampell’s article, I think its a safe statement to say that Apple builds their products so that they become obsolete within two to three years. This is basic consumerism.

    Lastly, its “First”, “Second”, and “Third”, not “Firstly”, “Secondly”, and “Thirdly” (although it is “Lastly”).

    Sorry for being so critical Chris, I just want to help you improve your writing, as we can all use a few pointers every now and then.

    • n0ahcruz3

      Nicely done! *claps*

    • Kenrick Fernandes

      useful info bro. And i agree with your second point. It doesn’t require you to be a genius to figure it out to be a ‘few thousands phones’. Her statement is right 🙂

    • Hahaha.
      Criticizing others while making same mistakes. Good going author.

  • disqus_PNOtPViMdM

    Battey life on my iphone 5s is bad my iphone 5 lasted me way longer

  • Dao Sasone

    Gs4 7.5 hrs min with air gestures bluetooth and wifi on. So funny that a comp who supposed to be manufacturing quality smartphones been having issues with battery life every since the original iphone. Its always one thing or the other.

    • mehrab

      Two words for you , High demand

  • Antzboogie

    Wow Tim Cook this isnt your fault but you need to fix this and not rush phones!

  • n0ahcruz3

    How about making the phone a milimeter thicker and make room for larger battery? I dont mind a slightly thicker iphone as long as it has stellar battery life.

  • Brandon Weidema

    i get barely 5-6 hours battery life on my iphone 5s, time to call apple…

    • omrishtam

      me too :/ but i am pretty sure it is because i am on 7.0.3

    • Kenrick Fernandes

      is that your usage time or total standby time. 5-6 hours is just about right for usage time.

      • Brandon Weidema

        i can go out at 5pm, come home at 10pm and my iphone will be at <5-10% with light to moderate usage.

  • Truck Inspectors

    my iP5S has the best battery life of any iPhone I’ve ever had. It’s on 7.0.2 for what that’s worth.

    I upgraded from a 4S (6.0.1 JB) and it’s a night and day difference in terms of performance in every aspect.