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Why Apple needs a bigger iPhone

Written by on March 18, 2013 in AT&T, iPhone, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon - No comments

Apple finally gave the iPhone a bigger screen in the iPhone 5, the first size increase for the phone since the phone was introduced to the public.  However the battery did not get as much of a bump in storage capacity, with only a 10mah increase.
Why is Apple still using practically the same sized battery from the iPhone 4s in the iPhone 5?  Because that’s the biggest battery that Apple can shoehorn into the tight quarters of the phone.  There is only so much performance/battery life you can tweak out of a operating system, and the iPhone is maxed to the limit.
Everyone knows that Apple is going to release an iPhone 5s this year, and it is likely going to have an even faster CPU chip, and perhaps a higher MP camera, or similar upgrades to the hardware.  But will Apple still be able to claim the same performance expectations if the physical phone size does not increase to hold a larger battery (and a highly desired larger screen)?


As noted by Fast Company:

Apple has already pushed the iPhone’s battery tech up a notch by slightly incrementing the voltage of the battery used in its iPhone 5. Almost as soon as the phone went on sale, iFixit tore one apart to find that compared to the iPhone 4S the iPhone 5’s battery is rated as 3.8 volts and 1440 mAh versus 3.7 volts and 1432 mAh. The difference was enough to squeeze out another 225 hours of standby time, even though the battery is a similar physical size in each device. It’s also worth noting that despite the fact each generation of iPhone has had more features and more powerful chips inside, each of which changes could draw more current from the battery, the iPhone’s talk time and standby time have remained more or less the same or even improved slightly. Apple’s done this by tweaking battery parameters and exercising amazing control over how the iPhone’s circuitry and software work. This is the reason “full” multitasking isn’t supported.

Multi-tasking is a mystery for the iPhone.  It can multitask, but you really don’t know when an application that you just switched out of for a new app, is going to time out or get killed in the background, until you need to switch back to it and find out you got logged off, or have to restart the app again.

Phil Schiller was sure proud during the iPhone 5 release in September 2012 where he made the following statement:

It is really easy to make a new product that is bigger, everyone does that.  That’s not the challenge.  The challenge is to make it better, and smaller.

Well, Apple succeeded at that challenge with the iPhone 5.  The real question is, can they maintain customers expectation in battery life and keep making the phone faster every year?

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