So it seems that those members of my family that have been constantly complaining that their iPhone battery levels drop 20 percent in a few minutes are not crazy after all. And to think that I have been blaming their use of Snapchat or Facebook all this time.
Apple recently acknowledged that a select number of their iPhone 5's manufactured between September 2012 and January 2013 may have battery issues. The first step to find out if your iPhone has a faulty battery is to enter your phone's serial number on the Apple website.
In our family we have 4 iPhone 5's and of these, 2 were eligible. Both were 32gb models, one white and one black. Both were bought from Apple in the first 3 days of models launch. An appointment via the Genius Bar and were were booked in for 2 separate times over last weekend.
After getting caught in traffic we arrived about 5 minutes late of our booking time. The polite concierge said they normally allow 8 minutes grace but after that you are out of luck - you need to make a new appointment. We just scraped in. An Apple employee soon arrived and asked some general questions about the phone. As this first appointment was for my daughter, she had a slightly sticky power button and was hoping that it would be an exchange. She was asked if she had backed up her phone (she had) and her phone was then tested on the spot to see how the battery was performing. This is an important point. Other iPhone owners that have a serial number that is part of the program have reported that after testing, they are told their battery does NOT need replacing. Not what you want to hear if you think you have issues.
Back to our experience - We are told that the battery needs replacing and to come back in an our to pickup the phone. One hour later we return and she gets the same phone back. Battery level is at 30 percent. She is told to let it run down to zero before she recharges it, and then to recharge it to 100 percent. We leave the store with the only sign that the phone looks different is some small air bubbles under her screen protector? She is delighted that it takes 8 hours to run the phone down from 30 percent to zero. After an overnight charge, the phone runs all day going from 100 percent down to 62 percent. She says that she would have had to charge it twice normally. Smiles all round.
The second visit was for my wife. Things were much that same as the day before but this time the Apple Genius told my wife her battery was "running at 50 percent performance". She is told to come back in 2 hours and upon her return, also receives her own phone back with the battery level at 39 percent. No evidence anything has changed on the phone. She is also told about letting the phone's battery die before fully charging it.
It takes about 9 hours for it to go flat. An overnight charge and it only drops 55 percent after an entire day's use. Bigger smiles all around. The only casuality in all of this is 1 husband/father. The self-proclaimed tech expert's reputation took an 50 percent hit for blaming battery issues on the user and/or poor choice of apps. Thanks Apple!