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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending July 18

John Cox | July 21, 2014
Apple iPhone 6 scuttlebutt includes: Delay by bottleneck(s), or not, happy haptics, battery woes.

Matei wasn't alone in confusing the issue. NowhereElse.fr on Thursday, July 17, published photos purporting to be of the new battery for the iPhone 6, and then 24 hours later, published photos of a completely different battery, also purporting to be for the iPhone 6. BGR's regurgitation called this "intriguing."

Last April, Matei repeated an unsourced and unauthenticable rumor, that Apple's battery suppliers were running into various "manufacturing difficulties" in creating a battery thin enough and powerful enough to fit the allegedly much thinner design of the iPhone 6.

This week, citing yet another vague Chinese-language post, Matei concludes that "the iPhone 6 battery design bottleneck has been allegedly solved" because Apple found a new supplier, Simplo. Our Google translation of the original Chinese post at UDN.com doesn't cite any source, and simply asserts that Simplo "successfully solving the bottleneck thin design process."

But that leaves open the "problem" of how well the battery in the new phone will perform. Matei believes that bigger is better: he notes that even the 2500 mAh battery for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 falls short of the 3000 mAh battery for the 5.5-inch LG G3 and the 3200 mAh for the 5.7 inch Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

The problem with all this is that mAh is only one part of the battery picture. "The problem with this method is that it doesn't give a complete picture of the total energy stored," according to a post at GoalZero. "It is easy to find cases where two different batteries with the same number of amp-hours will have completely different amounts of total energy."

This is evident in the AnandTech's review of the iPhone 5C. The review included a series of battery benchmarks tests, comparing the iPhone 5c and 5s with the iPhone 5 and several Android rivals. Among other things, the post gave a more complete picture of the iPhone batteries: it noted that the 5c battery is 1507 mAh, 3.8V [volts], and 5.73 Whr (watt-hours); and the 5s battery is 1570 mAh, 3.8V, and 5.96 Whr.

In one benchmark test, a demanding one for web browsing over Wi-Fi, the 5c and 5s delivered, respectively, 9.7 and 8.9 hours — somewhat less battery life than the iPhone 5, but more than most its Android rivals. In particular, the Samsung Galaxy S 4 — with battery specs of 2600 mAh, 3.8 volts, 9.88 Whr was near the bottom, with 6.5 hours.

A second benchmark measured web browsing over LTE: the 5s was first, followed closely by the 5c and 5, and all three far surpassed Android rivals, including the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Yet in terms of a third benchmark, cellular talk time, all three Apple phones were closer to the bottom of the phones tested.

Android phones have larger batteries than the iPhone because they need larger batteries. The mAh simply doesn't tell us anything substantive about how the iPhone 6 will perform in terms of battery life.

Bottom line: don't panic. 

 

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