iPhone 4S Battery Problems May Be A Bug With iOS Location Services

iPhone 4S Battery Problems May Be A Bug With iOS Location Services

British news site The Guardian reports that a large number of people have found that the Setting Time Zone update is operating even when there is no chance the user would have moved to a different time zone. If true, this could explain the poor battery life of the iPhone 4S.

As we covered on Friday, Apple is investigating battery life problem claims for the iPhone 4S. If the automatic time zone updating bug is correct The Guardian states it could be the culprit as,

Location services can prompt large drains on any smartphone’s battery: they use a combination of the Wi-Fi network name, where available, plus mobile mast data and GPS sensor input, to calculate the phone’s position. The mobile mast data, for example, is usually calculated by comparing the strength of signals from the three nearest phone masts and triangulating against them. However if such a calculation is made too often, by polling the masts, it will begin to use battery power unnecessarily.

The solution for now seems to be manually switching off the automatic time zone updates located at Settings -> Location Services -> scroll to bottom to System Services -> Setting Time Zone. Expect more conclusive results in the coming weeks.

iPhone 4S battery life problems: bug in location services supspected [The Guardian]


  • Hmm… I just checked in my settings and “Setting Time Zone” was displayed as purple! So it might be the culprit.

    I honestly think that it should only check when you turn your phone on, or like once a day at most!

  • This is happening with iPhone 4 on iOS 5 as well.
    The frequency with which it’s checking the GPS position is too high for a time-zone check. Clearly a bug.

  • The problem is also with the 3S iphone. The problem is with ios5. Not the 4s phone.

    I have turned off every location feature (including advanced), notifications are off, email is manual etc.

    I will now see how I go. Pre ios5 I could get up to two days on the one charge and factoring in say 10-12 calls a day of say 3-5 minutes each, along with email download / sending.

  • Yeah this is the problem for sure. Normally by mod morning from light activity i’d be on 90% from full charge. After turning that off, I’m still on 100%!

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