Apple’s new iPad’s most revolutionary feature is… its battery?

“The iPad’s most revolutionary feature isn’t the 2048×1536 Retina display LCD panel, or the 4G LTE connectivity. It’s something that you can’t see,” Adrian Kingsley-Hughes reports for ZDNet. “It’s the battery.”

“Apple’s put a lot of cool, but power-hungry technology into the new iPad. That Retina display screen, the quad-core graphics processor and the LTE modem all put pressure on the battery, yet Apple has managed to keep the iPad’s battery life at 10 hours,” Kingsley-Hughes reports. “How has Apple managed this?”

Kingsley-Hughes reports, “Between the release of the iPad 2 last year and the announcement of the new iPad yesterday, Apple has nearly doubled the capacity of the battery, taking it from 25Wh to a massive 42Wh. Measured in milliamps this boosts the battery from 6944 mAh to a monstrous 11,666 mAh.”

“The obvious way to boost the battery’s capacity would be to double the battery size, but given that the new iPad is only fractionally thicker and heavier than the iPad 2, it’s highly unlikely that the battery is significantly bigger than the one in the iPad 2,” Kingsley-Hughes reports. “All this points to something very significant. It suggests that Apple has managed to increase significantly the power density of the Li-ion cells that it uses. In an industry that has seemed stagnant for some time now, this is quite an achievement and goes to show that Apple’s battery research labs and manufacturing plants have been hard at work. There’s no doubt that we’re going to be seeing the fruits of this labor in other Apple products soon.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: While some progress has likely been made, other reports says that Apple did indeed significantly increase the size of the battery in the new iPad. That said, patent activity shows that Cupertino is working on battery technology, so they can utilize as many cubic millimeters as possible inside devices. See related articles below.

[Attribution: Cult of Mac. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple’s new iPad is almost all battery with 42.5-watt-hours capacity – March 8, 2012
Apple patent application reveals redesigned batteries for thinner devices – January 20, 2012


    1. 1) The weight of iPad grew only like 40 grams.
      2) The screen got 0.5 thicker because the circuits were pushed out of liquid crystals’ plane. So the screen is certainly not lighter than before (possibly somewhat heavier).
      3) Considering that metal case did not became narrower, shorter or thinner in any dimension, it did not become lighter, too.
      4) The mainboard would barely become much lighter even though Apple probably cut the number of places for Flash memory thanks to that density progress.

      So nothing much changed about the weight of iPad components besides battery. iPad 2 batteries (there are two) together weigh about 150 grams. So adding about 40 grams to that gives 70% increase of battery capacity, instead of just 30% as it would do if the effectiveness was the same as last year. For stagnant industry, this is indeed great achievement.

      So while size of batteries certainly increased, this increase might be not that big as others would speculate. The batteries are super heavy things, and if Apple would just make it almost as big as iPad itself – as some rumors say – it would make iPad weigh even more than original iPad.

  1. And all the wannabes will be shipping power hungry displays, new chips, Flash capable tablets… With the same off the shelf battery they’ve already been using.

      1. “no tablet will ever have flash… Adobe made sure of that..”

        It was Apple that made sure of that, Adobe eventually had to cave in and give up on a bad job.

        Prior to Apple pointing out just how crappy Flash actually was, other manufacturers regarded Flash support as an essential feature.

  2. Maybe this has something to do with liquid metal technology? If I recall correctly, I read about apple planning to use it in their batteries…

    Also, if this is true, I think we can expect to see some macbook pros and airs with amazing battery life coming soon. Assuming those batteries are used in these devices, along with ivy bridge, we could see 20 hours of battery life 😀

  3. I remember articles complaining about the poor battery life of iOS devices, which never made sense to me. I always wonder what they are being compared to. A simple cell with a tiny screen?

    1. They were being compared (inappropriately) to dumb phones (not even feature phones) which could last a week with daily calls and had a standby of a month.

      Of course, those weren’t capable of doing jack all besides talking and texting, and had a crappy mono LCD screen.

  4. MDN, battery capacity increased from 25Wh to 42Wh, or 68%. Either Apple carved out a lot of weight from everything else in the new iPad, or the energy density of the battery pack had to increase significantly to avoid a substantial increase in the weight of the iPad. I doubt that Apple was able to remove much weight from the new display, aluminum case, or circuit boards of the new iPad.

    Therefore, I take exception to the MDN Take. Someone made a lot of progress in the battery design for the new iPad.

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