iPhone 14 and Pro: Apple users say their phone batteries are running down unexpectedly quickly

Problem could be result of hot weather or other issues

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 16 August 2023 06:54 BST
Related: Emergency SOS Feature Tested On iPhone 14

Some iPhone users say that the latest models are losing power unexpectedly quickly.

The iPhone 14 and 14 Pro’s batteries are aging more quickly than those in previous versions of the iPhone, the affected users complain.

For years, Apple has offered the ability to see an iPhone’s “maximum capacity”. That is a measure of how much energy can be stored in the battery, and therefore indicates how long it will last on a single charge.

As with all lithium-ion batteries of the kind used in the iPhone, that battery will gradually lose their capacity over time. A number of factors will influence how quickly they do so, including the temperature and how often that battery has been used and recharged.

But owners of the new iPhone 14 and 14 Pro say that process has been happening more quickly. Some users say they have already lost 15 per cent or more of their capacity after less than a year of owning the phone.

Joanna Stern, a personal technology columnist at the Wall Street Journal, said that her phone had already reached 88 per cent battery capacity. She said that she had been told by the Apple Store that her heavy use of the iPhone meant that it had already hit 450 charge cycles – which would represent heavy use of the kind that Apple says can reduce the iPhone’s battery life.

But she also suggested the problem could be the result of “heat from fast charging”. But she also suggested that the problem could be the result of heat in the world: iPhones and other electronic devices can suffer when they reach high temperatures, and very hot summers in some part of the world could have degraded their performance.

Ms Stern was not alone in her complaint: on Twitter, a number of posts in response to hers and others suggested that other users were surprised by how quickly their battery’s capacity had declined. But others still indicated they were seeing performance in line with previous years, and so it is difficult to know whether there is a problem with this generation’s iPhones more generally.

Apple has a support page dedicated to the iPhone’s battery and how it relates to the performance of the phone more generally. There, it says that “a normal battery is designed to retain up to 80 per cent of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles when operating under normal conditions”.

The company also notes that defective batteries are covered by the one-year warranty with the phone. If the battery is out of warranty, then Apple will replace it for a charge – or it can also be done under the third-party and DIY repair programmes that the company has supported in recent years.

The iPhone 14 first went on sale on 16 September last year, meaning that owners who bought the new models soon after release will now be approaching the end of that one-year warranty period. Apple is expected to announce a new iPhone 15 and 15 Pro around the same time this year, with an increased battery life.

The maximum capacity of an iPhone’s battery can be found by opening up the Settings app, navigating to the “Battery” option and clicking “Battery health & charging”. That will show not only the “maximum capacity” of that battery, but also whether it is still operating at its peak performance and the option for “optimised battery charging”, which will control when the iPhone charges to try and protect it from ageing.

Apple added those options in iOS 11.3, as part of a broader set of battery tools that were a response to “batterygate”. That event saw users complain that their iPhones were slowing down because of tools that were added to protect iPhones from problems with ageing batteries – but sparked complaints from users that performance of their phone was being changed without their knowledge.

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