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Actually, the iPhone Battery Will Last Longer Than 400 Charges

Illustration for article titled Actually, the iPhone Battery Will Last Longer Than 400 Charges

Click to viewSome good news for the iPhone's battery. Everyone, including us, originally reported that the iPhone battery loses life after 300-400 charges, needing to be replaced. People were mad. The mainstream media picked it up, getting all huffy. Turns out, that's bullshit. Apple's site clearly says that the battery life "is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity after 400 full charge and discharge cycles." Even if that statement is filled with hedging, it's clear that the battery should be very much alive after 400 cycles, and we were wrong. I'm sorry. The source of the error?

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This factoid showed up on blogs like this one after Pogue's review went up, and spread from there. Here's Pogue's statement in the NY Times, which sources Apple, and is nowhere near as drastic as we'd originally interpreted:

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Illustration for article titled Actually, the iPhone Battery Will Last Longer Than 400 Charges



Here's the official word, now:

Illustration for article titled Actually, the iPhone Battery Will Last Longer Than 400 Charges

That's from the right hand of the iPhone battery page on Apple's site, closer to the bottom.[Apple] [NYTimes]

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DISCUSSION

So, is this battery in the iPhone really, technically speaking, any different than a battery in a Treo or Blackberry or any other cell phone? The reason I ask is that most heavy Blackberry and Treo users I know have to replace their battery annually. Yes, they probably only lose 25% capacity at the point they replace it, but 25% capacity loss is pretty significant in a cell phone. If you are used to your phone making it from 5pm one day to 7am the next morning, and it suddenly stops making it, the first thought will be 'time to replace the battery'.

My point being that this appears to only confirm the concern that in about a year the iPhone buyers are going to be sending devices in to Apple in large numbers for replacements. Unless there is some new exciting battery technology I am not aware of, I can not imagine any amount of debate on the subject will change that simple fact.