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Apple customers dealing with battery issues despite update

Posted November 12, 2011

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— Apple customers say devices with the new iOS 5 operating system are still suffering from weak battery life, even after the company issued a software update meant to fix the malfunction.

Users took to message boards on Apple’s website to complain that the software remedy delivered Thursday hasn’t corrected the flaw. Complaints continued Saturday.

"I woke up this morning to find my iPhone plugged in (8 hours of charging on official charger) and at 99%," one wrote Saturday. "Its STILL plugged in and is now at 98% 20 minutes later. I think I should go return this lemon."

Another customer shared frustrations about Apple's response.

"It would be nice if Apple could admit there's a problem and notify its users, its not like they don't have everyones email address!" one customer wrote.

"I look forward to the next update (or do I)?!?!!!!!!!"

However, another cited no problems with a 4S device.

The criticisms first surfaced after Apple released the mobile operating system last month, in conjunction with its new iPhone 4S. Apple said that it’s looking into the matter.

Some of the user comments:

  • "This is just crazy, I literally can see my battery drain 2-3% in less than 5 minutes, with nothing runing... I hope there's a fix soon, else I will have to take this thing back to the store. I'm sure the unboxed, new iphones are still on the origina liOS5"
  • "I was not experiencing a battery issue until I upgraded to 5.0.1 last night. So far this morning, my phone has been off the charger for 2 hours, and my battery is down to 90%, and all I've done is read a couple of e-mails and checked-in on FourSquare. This is terrible!"
  • "update didnt fix my battery issues but im sure its made them worse..."
  • "Epic fail. Charged to 100% went and took shower - drove to work - checked email. WOW 83%???? What happened?"
  • "I wasn't having major issues with my battery until I upgraded to 5.0.1. It is definitely worse! Unplugged my phone at 7:30 am. By 11:30 it's down to 70% and all I did was make a 5 minute phone call."
  • "I have an iPhone 4S running iOS 5.0. The batter life was questionable at best. It would drop with minimal usage. Nothing like the iPhone 4 with 4.X. I upgraded last night to 5.0.1 and noticed it is dropping just as fast. What is going on Apple? This entire upgrade experience has been a nightmare. So disappointing. I hope they release another update soon that actually addresses the battery issue."

Apple's Response:

“The recent iOS software update addressed many of the battery issues that some customers experienced on their iOS 5 devices,” said Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple. “We continue to investigate a few remaining issues.”

Apple also drew controversy last year over the previous iPhone’s antenna, which would lose signal when gripped a certain way -- a problem known as “Antennagate.” Apple gave away free cases and updated the software to address those complaints. The iOS software runs on the iPhone, as well as the iPad and iPod Touch media player.

The company responded to the battery-life criticism last week, saying a “few bugs” have affected a “small number” of customers. Apple didn’t elaborate on what was causing the problem. The company’s iOS devices account for about two-thirds of its sales.

Users can get the update by connecting to iTunes.

Other changes in the update include better voice recognition for Australians using dictation.

Read customer complains here.

(Bloomberg news and The AP contributed to this report.)

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