It turns out Samsung is not the only company facing problems with their latest generation of smartphones. Reports of problems with the batteries in the iPhone 6 first surfaced in China in October and since then a number of users around the world have complained about the issue.
Granted, everyone has a problem with the iPhone’s battery life. But in this case, the complaints include erratic battery level readings, batteries overheating, and even fires. Whilst the latter has not been independently confirmed, videos of iPhones catching fire have appeared online. Users have also complained about power-saving measures, which often kill apps when they are most needed.
It should be noted that Apple is currently running a battery replacement program for some owners of iPhone 6 and 6s models. This program is tied to batches of phones, which were believed to have its batteries improperly handled during the manufacturing process.
However, this program does not apply to most users and the complaints about the iPhone battery continue unabated. This means that most iPhone users will have to cope with unexpected shutdowns and other issues with the phone’s low-power mode.
Given that Apple’s phones have not faced the same level of scrutiny as Samsung’s aborted Galaxy S7 it is likely that Apple will be slow to improve their battery anytime soon. While this might make fiscal sense, the reality is that the smartphone market is shifting. Google’s Pixel phone is beating pre-release sales estimates and several players have found a niche in the high-end smartphone segment.
Consequently, the Apple/Samsung duopoly of previous years may be coming to an end and this is something that Apple might want to consider as they plan the release of their iPhone 7S in late-2017 and the iPhone 8 in 2018.
Added battery stability will prove to be an important asset especially as Virtual Reality (VR) will become an increasingly important use for smartphone. VR-enabled apps allow users to plug their smartphones into a headset to enjoy the experience. While such applications remain limited, they are likely to increase over time – a development which could bring battery life into focus.