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Apple’s iPhone battery fix fails to fix

At the end of last month some owners of Apple’s new iPhone 4S device running iOS 5 started to report problems with battery life.

After posts by disgruntled owners of the phone began to accumulate on various Apple forums, the Cupertino company acknowledged the problem. “A small number of customers have reported lower than expected battery life on iOS 5 devices. We have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and we will release a software update to address those in a few weeks,” it said in a statement.

Version 5.0.1 of the iOS was seeded to developers on November 2, and a short time later it was sent to select end users to try out. Everything appeared to be going smoothly, possibly ahead of schedule.

On Thursday iOS 5.0.1, supposedly containing the fix, was released by Apple. It appears, however, that some iPhone 4S users are still experiencing issues with battery life.

Forums are once again filling with posts by frustrated owners of the phone, complaining that the ‘fix’ hadn’t actually fixed anything at all. One poster wrote: “After installing update phone was fully charged at midnight. This morning at 8AM just sitting on desk, not used at all, battery down to 59%.”

Apple has up to now been somewhat reticent over the specific cause of the battery problem, saying only that it was related to a “few bugs” that had affected a small number of phones. Considering that the latest iOS update hasn’t solved the problem for all users, it seems that the Cupertino company doesn’t actually know the root cause of the problem.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller said, “The recent iOS software update addressed many of the battery issues that some customers experienced on their iOS 5 devices,” adding: “We continue to investigate a few remaining issues.” Meanwhile affected iPhone owners will just have to sit tight in the hope that Apple come up with a solution soon. And keep their phone on charge.

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Trevor Mogg
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