iPhone Battery: Life Span

Tech Tips

The Lithium-ion life span issue is somewhat subjective and is an issue that manufacturers have often avoided to discuss. What is known, is that the iPhone battery lasts for only a finite number of cycles. Apple claims that “A properly maintained iPhone battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 400 full charge and discharge cycles.” However, this claim is based on ideal scenarios with proper maintenance.  In reality, the effective life of the iPhone battery falls somewhere between 300 and 500 full cycles.  A full battery cycle is defined as a complete charge and discharge of the battery.  Therefore,  discharging the battery to 50% and recharging it equals a half cycle and repeating the process would make one full cycle.

The fact that remains relatively unknown about the lithium ion batteries found in the iPhone is how much power  the battery retains,  regardless of whether it is in use or not. This means that even if your iPhone sits in a closet for a year without use, odds are the battery capacity has deteriorated to some extent.

So how much does an iPhone battery deteriorate over time?  The exact number is widely debated, but some estimates claim as high as a 25% capacity loss per year and others  as low as 10%.  According to batteryuniversity.com regarding the lithium ion battery,  “Some capacity deterioration is noticeable after one year, whether the battery is in use or not. The battery frequently fails after two or three years.” The bottom line is that the  iPhone battery does not last forever, and if your battery is more than a year old and showing signs of reduced capacity, you may need a battery replacement.

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