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Monday October 31, 2011 4:16 pm

Is rapid iPhone 4S battery drain due to a time zone check bug?

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Smartphones

iPhone 4s battery drainReports have surfaced that the iPhone 4S is home to a battery drain of a bug, and speculation is mounting that the source of the drain is related to the iPhone's Location Services features. And you might be able to blame time zones for that.

Time zones?

"See, it appears that iOS 5′s GM release introduced a bug that causes the Setting Time Zone function to keep the location tracking circuitry running constantly, draining battery power considerably," writes Oliver Haslam of iDownloadBlog. "Switching it off may mean that your iPhone will no longer set its own time zone when you travel, but that's a small price to pay for having your iPhone last more than 12 hours on a full charge."

Of course, with any proposed fix from the Internet, there's still a crop of naysayers who maintain that the time zone feature has nothing to do with the battery drain issue. And we're not just talking about an hour or so cut out of the iPhone's normal standby time: Some iPhone users claim that their devices only last for a few hours, at best, even when they aren't being used to a great degree. That's a far cry from the promised 200 hours of total standby time listed on the iPhone 4S spec sheet.

"My battery life was extremely poor - 10 percent drop in standby every hour. I noticed that the usage figure was roughly half that of standby, even when the phone was not being used, so I assumed something was crashing or running in the background," wrote one iPhone 4S user to the Guardian. "I switched off all the new features including Siri and location services, but it was still really poor. I also tried setting up a clean phone with no apps but it is still really poor."

So what's the official word? There isn't one just yet. Apple engineers have been contacting iPhone 4S users to inquire about their device use, even going so far as to have some users install diagnostics tools on their devices–the results of which will be sent back to Apple for analysis. But as for an official hint at what might be plaguing some users' smartphones, or even why some smartphones might be affected and some not, users will have to wait a little while longer for Apple to chime in.

That didn't sit very well with iPhone 4S owners, however: The support forum thread dedicated to iPhone 4S battery issues already has more than 140,000 views and 2,000 replies as of this article's writing.

This article, written by David Murphy, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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