iPhone battery life on 3.1 OS: 3G/EDGE switch culprit? Apple asks.

Apple is investigating complaints about iPhone battery life on the new 3.1 OS. Some users point fingers at new behavior switching between 3G and EDGE modes. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers debate and share their experiences.

By Richi Jennings. September 21, 2009.

iPhone battery life on 3.1 OS: 3G/EDGE switch culprit? Apple asks.
Your humble blogwatcher has selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention some hilarious epic toy failures...


  Rene Ritchie reports:

An undisclosed number of users ... [experiencing] poor battery life following the iPhone 3.1 software update are being contacted by AppleCare. ... [The] questions focus primarily on the usual battery culprits, email (especially push), WiFi and Bluetooth, and App Store apps.


The note also contains an attachment which, when double-clicked, ... enables Battery Life Logging on the iPhone. ... The iPhone will sync power logs back via iTunes, and they ask that those logs be sent back to Apple. ... Hopefully this means Apple is continuing to look into all major issues surrounding iPhone 3.1, especially the random lock ups and shut downs (dubbed “coma”).

Aaron Baker aads bakground:

After upgrading to OS 3.1 earlier this month, I can't say that I've experienced any abnormal battery life issues. ... [But] a growing number of users are reporting issues ... claiming that battery life drops as much as 10-12 percent each hour, despite the phone remaining in standby mode.


Along with the "coma" issues that some are facing (encompassing random lockups and shutdowns), the battery life problem is a major issue worth reviewing.

Nick Farrell inquires further:

Apple's Iphone Coma Mode is such a hot topic on Apple's "Using iPhone" user forum that we are surprised Jobs Mob has not taken it down yet for heresy.

Actually Iphone Coma Mode should really be called "Apple Fanboy Mode" because the Iphone simply chooses to disregard all sensible external input and has to be rebooted before it will work again. There is no logic to Coma Mode apparently. It is just like the machine is switching itself off because it thinks it is more important than its owner.

LumpOfCole comments, darkly:

The battery life on my 3Gs has been phenomenal - only when I stick to really checking one thing. When I go between a cycle of apps for a course of time though (like checking FML, then email, then safari, then Beejive, etc), the great battery life turns completely horrid. The phone seems to really work hard to keep all that data in the RAM active somehow, and my phone really heats up when really starting to use the device.

  Obviously the battery is supposed to be worse when using more of the phone, but it really takes a bad leap from light use to medium use.

But GregR is left scratching his head:

I've heard lots of complaints about battery life with 3.1, but with my 3GS phone, I have seen a significant improvement in my phone's battery life since the upgrade, so I'm wondering why there's such a wide variety of results from the upgrade.

Meanwhile, gooya (from Vancoova) offers a....plausible....reason:

The battery consumption is horribly high. I can't use my iphone more than 1 day. ... The only thing I realized now is that it might due to EDGE network...I accidentally left my cellphone on standby mode beside my speakers and noticed the buzzing noise on my speakers....every couples of minutes I could hear the noise.


When u turn off your 3g the cellphone automatically switches on EDGE and there is no option to turn it off. ... Here is when the problem starts. ... I tried to disable my EDGE ... but no success.

  So what's your take?
Get involved: leave a comment.


Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 24 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itblogwatch@richij.com.
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