Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) on Thursday pushed out iOS 5.0.1, an iPhone operating system update designed to address problems some iPhone 4S users had reported regarding the device's quickly draining battery.
However, the update apparently did not solve the battery-drain issues for everyone, according to many posts on the company's own support forum.
Whereas iPhone users typically expect their phones to easily make it through a full day of moderate use between charges, some 4S users insist that the battery charge falls 1 percent every few minutes. Some users reported that the patch even worsened the problem. Others say that the update did indeed solve the issue and have witnessed a boost in battery performance. And still others claim to have never noticed a problem to begin with.
However, support forums are not an accurate gauge of overall success, since most people who post messages on them are compelled to do so because they are dissatisfied.
iOS 5.0.1 is the first update Apple has delivered over the air. Users don't have to be physically connected to an iTunes-running to find out about the update and install it. Apple did not specify the exact battery fixes in the patch, stating only that it fixes bugs affecting battery life. The update also fixes some bugs with iCloud documents.
Fix the Problem, Fix It Fast
"So far, Apple's iOS 5.0.1 update seems to have partially, but not fully, repaired the battery problem," Neil Mawston, director of global wireless practice at Strategy Analytics, told MacNewsWorld. "This is the second time in two years that Apple has received negative press coverage for battery life problems, and it is not doing the Apple brand any favors."
Apple, Mawston noted, needs to act more decisively to cure this new battery problem, since it is perceived as a pain-point for many consumers and a weakness by rivals.
"Apple needs to fix the battery problem fast and then roll out CEO Tim Cook to explain why it happened, how it was fixed, and why it will not be repeated in the future," said Mawston.
Apple Users Are Passionate
If Apple's fix is not complete, there is certain to be plenty of noise.
"This is a problem because of the outspoken, passionate nature of the iPhone user base," Kevin Burden, VP of mobile device research at ABI Research, told MacNewsWorld. "Most new smartphones with dual-core processors and clock speeds over 1 GHz are not going to deliver the same level of battery life we remember in our phones just couple of years ago."
Battery life issues, Burden noted, are particularly acute given the trend of thinner smartphones, which means smaller batteries.
"This is something that a lot of users are noticing with their smartphones," said Burden. "The whole issue is exacerbated because of the outspoken nature of Apple's cult-like user base." Apple, he also observed, has complicated the problem by never allowing users access to the battery.
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