When Apple unveiled the new iPhone XR at its Gather Round tournament in Cupertino Wednesday, an aspect of the phone's specifications stood out. Phil Schiller said on stage that XR would have 1
iPhone XR Specification List Talk Time Up To 25 Hours, Internet Usage Up To 15 Hours, Video Playback (Wireless) Up To 16 Hours And Audio Playback (Wireless) Up To 65 Hours.
By comparison, iPhone XS claims call time of up to 20 hours and Internet usage of up to 12 while iPhone XS Max claims 25 hours of talk time, but only 13 hours of internet time.
However, these numbers dwarf the specifications listed for older iPhones.
iPhone Battery Life Through History
Apple has claimed a lot of different battery life on launch for iPhone during the product history. Of course, battery life at launch and a year or two later is often very different, and can also vary wildly from iPhone to iPhone.
When the original iPhone was launched in 2007, Apple claimed 8 hours of talk time, 6 hours of internet usage, 7 hours of video playback or 24 hours of audio playback. This came in a press release from June 2007, which said that the device would offer "significantly longer battery life when shipped June 29th than it was originally estimated when the iPhone was unveiled in January."
iPhone 3G, the following year, actually downgraded the announced battery life.
"iPhone 3G offers up to 5 hours talk time on 3G, 10 hours talk time at 2G, 1.5 hours Internet usage on 3G2, 6 hours Internet usage on Wi-Fi, 7 hours video playback, 24 hours full-time audio playback at original capacity, the company said in a press release in June 2008. The decline in battery life was part of the price to pay for upgrade in connection.
iPhone 3GS in 2009 spun "longer battery life." Its specifications listed up to 5 hours on 3G, but up to 12 hours at 2G. For Internet use, the iPhone 3GS battery offered 5 hours on 3G, but 9 hours on Wi-Fi.
iPhone 4, which arrived in 2010, also spewed "long battery life "while there is also a disclaimer that" battery life depends on device settings, usage, and other factors. The actual results vary. "The device's official specifications claimed up to 7 hours talk time on 3G, a number that doubled to 14 on 2G for the GSM model. It offered 6 hours of battery life for 3G and 10-hour internet usage on Wi-Fi, with 10 hours of video playback and 40 hours of audio playback.
Apple's iPhone 4S, in 2011, spewed up to 8 hours of talk time on 3G and up to 14 hours at 2G, while offering up to 6 hours of internet usage on 3G and up to 9 hours on Wi- Fi. Playback times, as the predecessor, were up to 10 hours for video and 40 for audio.
The following year, iPhone 5 held the announced talk time to 8 hours on 3G while the upgrade of Internet usage to 8 hours on both 3G and LTE , but up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi. Playback times, again, remain for up to 10 and 40 hours for video and audio.
iPhone 5S, in 2013, upgraded up to 10 hours of talk time on 3G, but Internet usage remains 8 hours on 3G, and moves up to 10 hours each for LTE and Wi-Fi. Video and audio playback stays up to 10 and 40 hours.
At the same time, 5C, also that year, has recorded up to 10 hours of talk time on 3G, 8 hours of internet usage on 3G, upgraded to 10 each on LTE and Wi-Fi, and video and audio playback that stays up to 10 and 40 hours.
Big leap forward
iPhone 6, released in 2014, saw a big jump to up to 14 hours 3G talk time. Internet usage was up to 10 hours on 3G, up to 10 hours on LTE, up to 11 hours on WiFi. Video playback was recorded as up to 11 hours, with audio playback of up to 50 hours.
But 6 Plus, released the same autumn, reached a new level, and announced up to 24 hours on 3G. Internet usage up to 12 hours for 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi. Apple announced up to 14 hours of HD video playback and audio playback in up to 80 hours.
When Apple released the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus in the fall of 2015, it did not adjust the talk time, and again offered up to 14 hours 3G talk time for the smaller model and up to 24 hours 3G Talk time for the larger. Internet usage numbers were also the same.
By the end of 2017, Apple issued a statement about worn batteries in some older models, including iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE, which led to unexpected closures. They claimed they had solved the problem iOS 10.2.1 a year earlier, but some issues were persistent, which caused Apple to reduce the cost of replacing the iPhone battery to $ 29, and launched another iOS software update.
Apple had to admit that later, the iOS 10.2.1 update had temporarily lubricated iPhones with depleted battery cells.
In 2016, when Apple released iPhone 7, Apple claimed that it lasts "up to 2 hours longer than the iPhone 6s," while the concurrent iPhone 7 Plus "lasts up to 1 hour longer than the iPhone 6s Plus. "IPhone 7-listed talk time on 3G up to 14 hours and 7 Plus touting up to 21 hours on 3G. The 7 offered up to 12 hours of internet usage on 3G and LTE, and up to 14 on Wi-Fi, while 7 Plus raised these numbers to 13, 13 and 15.
iPhone SE, released at the same time, offered 14 hours of talk time on 3G, up to 12 hours of internet usage on 3G and 14 each on LTE and Wi-Fi. It offers up to 13 hours of video playbook and 50 hours of audio playback.
When the 2017 models arrived, Apple ate the battery life in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus as "about the same" as 7 and 7 Plus.
But iPhone X announced its battery as lasting "up to 2 hours longer than iPhone 7." This meant talk time of up to 21 hours, Internet usage up to 12 hours, and video and audio playback of 13 and 60 hours respectively.
The life of a battery
Battery life, again, does not necessarily always come to its promise, especially as one device gets older. While battery life has sometimes taken a backseat for other aesthetic and functional considerations through Apple's history, it is certainly something that is important to customers on a daily basis.
And that's also something, slowly, Apple has found a way to improve over time.