iPhone battery drain? Apple owners point finger at iOS 10.1.1 update

It seems there's no relief in sight for iPhone owners struggling with prematurely dying batteries and seemingly false battery-level readouts.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Complaints about various iPhone models' batteries dying prematurely link the issues to the release of iOS 10.1.1.

Image: Apple

iPhone owners are complaining that Apple's latest updates to iOS 10 are causing batteries to conk out at 30 percent.

While the company last week agreed to swap out faulty batteries for select iPhone 6s devices for free, complaints about other iPhone models' batteries dying prematurely have been picking up steam since Apple released iOS 10.1.1 at the end of October, a few days after its major feature update, iOS 10.1.

A report on Apple's discussion board from October 25 set the ball rolling by noting that odd battery behavior on an iPhone 5 started after updating to iOS 10.1. The battery reading dropped from 30 percent charge to one percent within a few seconds and then the phone would shut down.

The user reported that the iPhone was failing to boot up when unconnected to a power source after powering the phone down with at least 80 percent charge. Yet after plugging it into the electricity, the phone would magically return immediately to a 30 percent charge.

The report struck a chord with a number of iPhone users, with the thread now 16 pages long, detailing battery issues on the iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6s.

Apple hasn't offered an official explanation for the issue or a timeline for a fix, but some forum users have reported that Apple Support says it is aware of the problem and working on an update to resolve whatever is causing the issue.

A number of iPhone owners reported having paid Apple to replace a battery and that, for now at least, has resolved the issue for them. What's not known is whether iOS 10.1 contributed to extra wear and tear on those batteries.

It's also hard to say whether all these users are experiencing the same issue. One user, who appears to have an iPhone 6s with a case of 'touch disease', says Apple replaced the device itself rather than just the battery, despite its serial number not matching the ones Apple was accepting under its battery-replacement program.

That user also reported installing the December beta of iOS 10.2 on his old iPhone 6s, which displayed the same random shutdowns.

ZDNet has asked Apple for comment on the reported issues and will update the story if it receives an answer.

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