iOS 4.3 Battery Life

It seems like we can’t even go one release of iOS without people complaining about how the latest OS update has somehow diminished their iPhones battery life. I’ve noticed lately on Twitter and Mac forums people complaining about battery life with iOS 4.3.

It’s certainly possible that Apple could have introduced a bug that may have inadvertently affected iPhone battery life. That or we have a placebo effect (entirely possible).

Something else we can add to the mix

What about a rogue app update screwing with your device? There are probably many variables here, but considering how often people bitch about this, I’m wondering if the problem is the later.

If memory serves me correctly, the trends I have noticed are as follows:


  • Apple releases an iOS update.
  • Mass adoption of the update.
  • Few weeks go by while people use their iPhone and observe behaviour.
  • 1-2 months go by.
  • Twitter and popular Mac forums start filling up with comments about how shitty the battery life is after the latest update.

I wonder if anyone else has noticed this trend?

If people are noticing significantly different battery life after updating their iPhones (assuming the problem is not an actual OS bug), I’m wondering if perhaps we’re dealing with the following situation:

  • User updates to a fairly major iOS release.
  • None of their third party apps have received updates since the last major iOS release.
  • User spends a week observing battery life behaviour.
  • Poor battery life problem is perceived due to incompatible apps.

Although it seems strange that a third party app could introduce an issue with draining the battery more than what it normally would, it strikes me as a certain possibility.


I’d love to see some actual benchmarks between iOS 4.2.1 and 4.3 to see if there really is a noticeable difference. You would think both internal and external beta testers would catch and report issues that would affect battery life. I just haven’t seen any sort of substantial evidence that either confirms or refutes any claims about iOS 4.3.