iPhone 3GS Battery Problems Persist but Fix Is Expected

Some Apple iPhone 3GS owners are finding battery life on the new smartphone lacking. Some analysts suspect the iPhone OS 3.0 is to blame. With an SDK for 3.1 already rolled out to developers, a software upgrade is likely before the fall.

Apple touted longer battery life as an important upgrade to the iPhone 3GS, but some new owners of the smartphone-many of whom are filling discussion boards on the Apple site-find those numbers aren't reflective of what they're experiencing.

Apple lists expected talk time for the iPhone 3GS at 5 hours on AT&T's 3G network and 12 hours on 2G-versus the 5 hours on 3G and 10 hours on 2G listed for the iPhone 3G. Projected Internet use on 3GS remains at 5 hours, though on Wi-Fi the 3GS offers 9 hours to the 3G's 6.

Audio playback time is said to have improved to 30 hours, from 24 with the iPhone 3G, and video playback is up from 7 to 10 hours. Standby time has held steady at 300 hours.

"From personal experience, I do not see much of an improvement in battery life on the 3GS," Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi told eWEEK.

"My colleagues that look at the semiconductor side think this might be linked to the new faster processor that uses up more battery," Milanesi added, saying also that the issue had not yet been looked into in more detail.

For more information about the iPhone 3GS, please click here.

Aaron Vronko of Rapid Repair told the SF Gate that the issue is likely with the iPhone's OS 3.0, and not the battery itself, and will likely be fixed with an upcoming 3.1 update.

"The push notification could be operating too often with things like instant messaging. ... Or it could be just some other software glitch that Apple didn't catch that is making things overwork the battery," Vronko told the Gate.

Normally mum, an Apple spokeswoman told theL.A. Times that battery consumption is highly dependent on which applications are being used-an unsatisfying explanation for those users who haven't changed their usage styles.

iPhone 3GS users in the forums are also still complaining about the device heating up, an issue that analyst Ezra Gottheil told eWEEK is likely also due to the OS, and that Apple will likely quickly fix with an upgrade.

Engadget reports that the iPhone OS 3.1 software developer kit (SDK) has already been pushed out to developers. The new software, which is said to also include support for Bluetooth earpieces and better voice controls, is expected to arrive in September.