iPhone 6: A big screen is nice, but the bigger battery is necessary

“Apple fans have been looking over at the big, beautiful screens of Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S5 for a long while now,” Mark Rogowsky reports for Forbes. “And while the continued sales success of the iPhone shows many are satisfied with what they’ve got, there is little doubt many are salivating at the prospect that next month’s iPhone 6 announcement will at last bring larger displays to Apple’s flagship product.”

“Indeed, rumors from the supply chain suggest the move to 4.7 and 5.5-inch screens will generate so much demand that Apple could sell 70-80 million before the year is out,” Rogowsky reports. “But could it be possible that the killer feature of the iPhone 6 isn’t the display itself, but something behind it? Yes, I’m talking about the battery.”

“I recently returned from some travels in New York and then up to Maine,” Rogowsky reports. “Between staying in touch, relying on GPS often and dropping in and out of coverage (blame the subways and the rugged terrain of Acadia National Park), the battery on my iPhone would not have made it through a single one of my 9 days away from home without help from a charger or an external booster.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote on Thursday:

Apple needs to do a better job explaining to users who might not be very technically inclined how their iPhones work and how to maximize battery life.

We’ve met people with iPhones who’ve never downloaded a single app, never updated any of the apps they do have, never updated their OS, never even restarted their iPhones, never removed photos and now have no more room left to snap another, never turned Bluetooth off/on, never increased their data-fetching interval, never turned off push email, leave their iPhones in hot car glove boxes for hours, have never disabled even a single push notification, never adjusted display brightness, allow every app access to location services, have never reduced their Auto-Lock interval, never deactivated Automatic Downloads, and grant every app the ability to Background App Refresh.

These people are the iPhone “users” who “hug walls” and constantly complain about their iPhone’s battery life. It’s like complaining about Congress, but never bothering to cast a vote.

Apple should include more than just a link to their website on the “instruction” card they put in each iPhone box. Apple’s in-package “instructions” take simplification to a ludicrous level; they are harming users, not helping them. Apple should include the same battery information they include on their website, how it works and how to maximize it, printed on a card, in every box. Maybe some of these cards will even get read.

Our iPhones last and last and last. And last. And last some more. Why? Because we RTFM and therefore know how to use them.

All that said, we’d welcome a bigger iPhone battery because, let’s face it, limiting your device’s capabilities in order to maximize battery life isn’t optimal. Obviously, Apple is leaving too much work for the user when it comes to battery management. We’d take a few millimeters thicker devices for longer battery life. When it comes to battery life, it’s better to err of the side of overkill than “just enough when managed properly by experienced users.”

Related articles:
More iPhone 6 images leaked, 5.5-inch model to feature 2,915 mAh battery – August 16, 2014
Samsung mocks iPhone users at airport power outlets – August 14, 2014
The ultimate guide to solving iOS battery drain – April 7, 2014

72 Comments

  1. Bigger isn’t better. Look at the Galaxy line or the Surface. Those are big, yet they are the jokes of the tech industry! I never want anyone to mistake me for a Samsung user. Besides, it just isn’t in Apple’s design language. All the “Big Screen, Big Battery, Big Whatever” people need to get a Droid. Not to mention being “Big on Viruses”.

    1. You were probably someone who told Mac users wanting better CPU performance that they “need to get a Windows PC… and viruses!” before WWDC 2005, when credible rumours were floating about that Macs might switch from PowerPC to Intel chips.

      1. I didn’t read / interpret, Christopher’s comment that way.
        First off he says, Big isn’t better. And states, Samsung is a joke.

        I for one would love Apple to produce a bigger iPhone or just simply make the iPad mini a Phablet. Not something in-between sizes as iPhone 6 sounds to be. iPhone, iPad Mini and iPad express enough range in sizes of most users… Apple just make phone calling a possibility on iPad. And instantly Apple has three iPhone sizes to offer. Also, add a blue tooth ear bud to the iPad mini and no one needs to be made fun of holding a massive block to their head when making a call.

    2. Christopher, a couple examples of need:

      1. People with poor eyes: very very common and probably half the people over age 45 (prime income & need demographic)

      2. People who use the iPhone as their only mobile device or only computer: These are more common than we might think.

      3. Women/Men who keep the iPhone in a case or purse and use a BT earpiece 95% of the time: This includes me.

        1. You are correct – #3 does not necessitate a larger iOS device. But carrying the larger device in a purse or a case means that it does not have to fit in a pocket – one of the primary objections raised against phablets.

          Apple has the resources to expand its iOS offerings into the phablet space. Buying trends show that a significant percentage of customers are interested in larger form factors, so it makes sense for Apple to compete with Samsung and other Android vendors.

    3. You can use whatever device you want. But damn man. “I never want anyone to mistake me for a Samsung user.” Really? That speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. Especially whenever well, the Note 3 costs about $200 MORE than the current iPhone, has a quad core CPU, and a full 1080p HD screen. There’s a difference between knocking off a product and being inspired by it. But that’s beside the point.

      Apple does a great job making a phone that everyone can use right out of the box while most Androids have to be flashed with a custom ROM before you can get any sort of enjoyability out of them. I’ll admit that. But just because you prefer one device over the other doesn’t make you a better person.

      1. How is it possible to misunderstand so badly, Christopher’s words? You are way off “dracoazule” in your judgment.

        Suggestion: Read comments more carefully.

  2. MDN’s take is a bull’s eye shot! – “We’d take a few millimeters thicker devices for longer battery life. When it comes to battery life, it’s better to err of the side of overkill than “just enough when managed properly by experienced users.”

    Never have understood the obsession with thin. Never.

            1. Well said Mike. And, my observation as well here.

              Those who love to “name others as trolls” are in fact the instigators – the trouble makers – the troll themselves, hoping to spur a verbal conflict – for simple reasons of one’s free will to express thought — yes they need to grow up.

              People its ok to disagree here, but to kick another post in the virtual teeth board… ouch. Stop it.

    1. “Design” is an exercise in compromise. Make the battery too small, not enough power storage capacity, but better for weight and thinness. Make the battery too large, plenty of power, but too cumbersome and unwieldy. It’s NOT better to “err” on either side… The point of designing (and testing) is to find the ideal balance.

      Apple does a VERY good job of balancing the various consequences of design, so that iPhone works best for most customers.

      1. \Ken1w, well spoken. For those who need more battery life, there are a number of case makers which have a battery inside. Charge one, get both charged and double your battery life.

        We do not need a thicker iPhone, there are cases for that, we need an optimized iPhone… Apple does that. 🙂

        1. 1. The issue raised by the author is not specific to iPhone.

          2. The author did not specify his mode of travel to/from/around NY and Maine. Presumably some, a number, or even many of the 9 days of his itinerary were spent in cars. Car travelers can easily charge-up their device via 12v adapter. Most power users know this.

          3. Best way to save juice, particularly in remote areas: power down unless/until the device is truly needed. In my experience, GPS is largely wasted in remote areas; it is better to rely on your own reckoning skills. In tourist areas, there are plenty of people to ask directions from. And if traveling/sightseeing/hiking/relaxing or whatever, you don’t really need your device running, anyway: turn it off until you are ready to look at it.

    2. I feel for the people who need more battery life, but I’m not one of them. I turned off most if the things suggested in the document that made the rounds a few months ago, and I don’t use FB which is a battery killer.

      What is the difference between getting an iPhone with a larger battery and getting a case with a battery in it? Don’t they charge simultaneously? Can’t you change the external battery if it goes bad? Seems like an obvious solution. You need a case anyway. Why not get one with a battery in it?

  3. “Mark Rogowsky reports for Forbes” that he’s a idiot! Apple fans do not look at “big, beautiful screens” on android. Apple fans see a crippled android product that needs all sorts of room for a huge battery so it won’t shut off after a couple of hours.

  4. I don’t think Apple wants everyone turning that stuff on. Battery drainers like Bluetooth, Location Services, etc. are beneficial to the company. The more users with it enabled the better, as far as Apple’s concerned, battery life be damned.

  5. What a joke your “take” is. I know so many people who could rtfm and still not know any more than they did before. Just because you and the people you know in life can figure it out doesn’t mean everyone can. This site is soooo off the mark.

    Long ago IE:panther days and maybe tiger, this site was great to come to and get apple news but these days it is a cesspool of hate towards all things not apple or not technically in the know.

    keep drinking you fools, one day you will grow up.

    PS, to all you troops out there. I’m a die hard Apple fan and user but that doesn’t make me a moron.

    1. “cesspool of hate towards all things not apple or not technically in the know.”

      this is one of the very few sites left which promotes the positive of Apple and cuts through the fudge and B.S out there.

      Most tech sites make so much more money (really MORE!) from rival product advertising and reviewing and writing about the dozens of Android, Windows etc devices (you can’t live off ONE iPhone review a year) that that bend over backwards to exaggerate the positives of Apple rivals minimize their faults (like NEVER factoring no OS updates, malware in in their ‘5 star ratings’ for shitty android phones) because it’s IN THEIR FINANCIAL SELF INTEREST TO KEEP THOSE SYSTEMS (windows, android etc) ALIVE and the SLANT their coverage accordingly .

      (B.S? one statistically survey found one prominent reviewer his iPad review spent one third of his words on criticisms but only 10% in his review of the way inferior Xoom tablet )
      This is so prominent and obvious in tech reviews that Gruber has coined the term ‘Grading on the Curve’ for apple vs rival reviews and news items.

      Although not always perfect (nothing ever is) MDN is one of the few sites left that try to give support to Apple and its fans.

      1. What tech sites do you read? Almost every review I have read favours Apple. If there is any bias in the press, it is without doubt in Apples favour , especially in regard to the iPhone.

        Just because more and more tech sites are now at last admitting the weaknesses of the iPhone does not mean they are biased.

        1. when I flipped through consumer reports some years ago they had two dozen plus android phones ranked higher than the iPhone!

          then the iPhone 5 came out and consumer reports say it was a big improvement over the iPhone 4. (remembering the derision they got for their idiotic iP4 ranking they tried to be ‘fairer’ … )
          LOL they ‘only’ had about 10 android phones higher!, including several Razr models from MOTOROLA! (you know the company that loses money hand over fist , motorola broke sold to google – and EVEN WITH GOOGLE’S BACKING IT CAN’T SELL SHIT – then losing money sold to lenovo … )

          BGR and business Insider on the Consumer Reports findings, I cut and paste:
          “Apple’s iPhone 5 has been ranked the worst top smartphone at each of the three U.S. carriers that sell the device.” !!!!
          (“biased in apple’s favour” ?????)

          does even the most rabid most stupid crack smoke apple hater idiot REALLY believe that the iPhone is the worst top smartphone on 3 carriers and that at one point several dozen rival phones were better?

          Bias to Apple’s favour?
          ‘Tech reporters’ are like reviewers who give 3 stars to Michelin rated restaurant (Apple) and 3 stars to a hotdog stand (android) located next to a gutter.

        2. Depends on the press; there are newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic who never miss an opportunity to publish articles that in some way or other criticise Apple and it’s products, in one case actually employing a tech writer who is quite blatant about his bias towards Android and Samsung devices.

        3. had another reply to colin but it’s not appearing so posting again…

          More info on Apple reporting

          Colin: ” it is without doubt in Apples favour , especially in regard to the iPhone.”
          REALLY???

          Marketwatch on iPhone launch 2007

          “Apple can play the fashion game as well as any company, there is no evidence that it can play it fast enough. These phones go in and out of style so fast …. There is no likelihood that Apple can be successful…. Apple risks here is its reputation. If it’s smart it will call the iPhone a “reference design” and pass it to some suckers to build with someone else’s marketing budget. Then it can wash its hands of any marketplace failures. It should do that immediately before it’s too late. ”

          another example:
          Computerworld:
          “Motorola Xoom versus the iPad 2 — the Xoom is a clear winner … the Xoom is far superior to the original iPad And now that the iPad 2 has been announced, it’s clear that the Xoom is superior to the new iPad, for almost all of the same reasons…. the Xoom a better tablet than the iPad….”
          etc.

          Where the F– is the Xoom now?

      2. I apologize for the numerous typos in the above post…
        when I think about how unfair Apple reporting has been for years (antenna gate iPhone 4 had about a 1% return rate from users from Apple Care stats ) it makes my fingers quiver with rage… ! 🙂

          1. Bizarrely enough Apple is a company that focuses on PRODUCTS first and the profits come!
            As Steve Jobs said in shareholder meeting , Apple focuses on products and the bottom line will take care of itself. (I doubt any other CEO would have the balls to say that to shareholders)

            Apple makes so much money because apple thinks about consumers, products (quality, service) much more than rivals. Rivals don’t care what the crap they put out to make a buck (see netbooks, see cheapo android phones).

            Jobs worked at apple for $1 a year and he stopped taking stock options from 2003 on, i. e he worked for free! On his second stint at apple he didn’t even sell a share of apple stock. His net worth was about 10% Bill Gates (see who was focused on profits) and most of it from selling Pixar to Disney. You can see where his love and focus was, apple and its products not money (Jobs was very aware of money, he was a great businessman but profits to him were a TOOL to make better products. He spent a million bucks or more on each glass staircase in Apple stores, … )

            “You need to get a life! ”
            — aapl has made me hundreds of thousands in profit. It has helped me to semi retire years ago to an island. Woke up at 11 am today, will go walk the dog and look at the cruise ships…
            — I focus on Apple as a designer i know it makes great products. WHY do android, PC fans etc spend their time worshipping crap? And spend their time spewing hate HERE on an APPLE fan site? those are better questions!

    1. The wording of that paragraph gives no indication that he *didn’t* rely on a charger plugged into the DC port, in fact just the opposite (emphasis mine):

      would not have made it through a single one of my 9 days away from home without help from a charger or an external booster.”

  6. BlackBerry Z30 nailed it perfectly hence why it is now winning several awards. Super Amoled, efficient OS, and exceptional battery life. I use my iPhone 5S as an iPod and use the Z30 as my daily driver. Imagine going hard at it all day and still have 50% battery life at the end of the day and no dropped calls.

    Love my Apple tech but there are other great options that cannot be overlooked because it does not sport an Apple logo.

    1. That’s fine, if you want a BlackBetty whatever… But customers who want an iPhone (and the benefits of “iOS world”) want an iPhone. No way to “nail it perfectly” with a BlackBerry.

      1. No doubt a blind and ignorant comment as you probably have never even experienced BB10. Idiots like you are the type who still cannot simply attach any type of file to an email and still think that this is OK.

        iPhone users are always looking for a power outlet and drop more call than any other mobile phone platform.

        Move on and live your Apple exclusive vanilla tech life.

        1. Regardless if it’s socially engineered or not, a rectangular display has proven time and time again to be the most practical. Turn the phone sideways, you have a widescreen display for watching widescreen format movies and TV shows. Which, by the way, is something us modern smartphone users do here in the year 2014. How’s life back in 2007 when Blackberry was still, you know, relevant?

      1. BlackBerry is not going anywhere idiot! They are just fine and are regaining their mojo without much attention paid the toy using consumer. I love the fact that that they will challenge the social engineered acceptance of a rectangle being the only acceptable form factor with their new Passport smartphone.

        BlackBerry will never be as large as Apple but keep your eyes open on how they are overwhelmingly being selected as the device manufacturer of choice for security minded consumers and corporate clients. Their QNX BB10 OS is so superior to iOS that it is not even funny and the public is taking notice.

        1. Are you serious ? I had a bb phone in 2006, and frankly it was the most useless piece of garbage I’d ever been required to use by my job and I’m including pagers.

          I have looked at the bb10 (had one for 2 weeks as a trial ) and although some things were nice and I admire them for not directly copying Apple (android) but it is just too little too late.

          I’d love to see BB and MS grow to be viable completion with Apple but both seem critically incapable of reinventing themselves in the new world order of mobile.

          I find Android clunky and messy compared to iOS much like the old Mac/windows. Windows – messy, complicated & flakey and apple’s OSX – elegant, simple and stable.

          I don’t hate or love any tech. They are inanimate objects. I like what works and doesn’t demand that I fiddle with stuff I don’t care about.

          Apple gives me devices (MBP, iPad Air, iPhone 5) don’t need endless pissing about making it do what I want. I have devices to do things not arseing about with the OS.

          Apple gives me this, no one else does.

    2. Jim, it is no longer “about the phone, alone!” Those days are past. Now it is what do you do to make my whole computing day better.

      From day one mid-2007, when I simply walked into the Apple Store on the first day they were on sale, late in the day and walked out 20 minutes later, it was about cooperating nicely with my Mac Book Pro and it has only gotten better since then.

      My Mac Book Pro is my engineering office and the iPhone is its trusted companion along with iCloud and the vast number of high quality solid Apps I use to get high quality work done fast & ultra-reliably.

      I simply don’t remember a time in the last5 years they have let me down. Consumers recognize these advantages and the stupid slam ads from some competitors are falling on dead ears.

      Even people who can’t pay “full tilt” for brand new iPhones and MacBook Pros can & do still get the same benefit by buying one year old equipment for a serious discount which make their high performance cost less than buying new Lenovos or Samsungs or whatever. 4 & 5 year lifetimes for Apple equipment is normal at a minimum from my experience.

      Given the sales numbers for PCs and phones over the last couple years, it is obvious that Apple is being recognized by consumers for these advantages. TCO and device integration is the key.

      1. I can safely say that your are a bit delusional in your attempt to convey your points. Typical of Apple users on this site. Lenovo rules the PC space, Android rules the smartphone space and MFST still has 1.4 billion users worldwide. I use a lot of Apple tech and it does what it does well as does my Surface 3, by BB Z30 and Q10 and my gaming Dell 8700 desktop.

        1. LOL

          in the phone space: iPhone takes 60% of the world’s phone profits

          in the PC space: Macs take 40-50% of the world’s PC profits

          i.e in Phones iPhone make more than all the Android, Win, BB and Dumbphones COMBINED.
          in Macs it makes near equal all the PC companies in the world.
          i.e it makes as much as Acer, Lenovo , Sony, Dell, HP etc COMBINED

          (by by the way Dell got sold, IBM stopped making PCs, Balmer got fired, Compaq gone, Gateway gone, HP debating whether to stop making PCs at all, Motorola losing money, HTC losing money… meanwhile Apple hums along)

          TO GIVE YOU A BETTER IDEA:

          Last quarter Lenovo made: 214 Million profit
          Apple made: 7700 million (7.7 billion)
          i.e Apple made 37 Lenovos!
          (You said “Lenovo rules the PC ” WELL SAID because PCs are a dud!)

          I ASK YOU A SIMPLE QUESTION IF YOU HAD A CHOICE DO YOU WANT 214 MILLION OR 7700 MILLION?
          do you want to be apple or the ‘Ruling’ Lenovo?

          LOL! 🙂

          1. You are a perfect example of why greed tanks companies in the US. All you did is celebrate Apple’s profits and nothing else. Let me me teach you something little fellow… Marketshare promotes sustainability and relevance within the masses. Enjoy your profits and continue to live your life promoting Apple’s ridiculous margins which are generated on your back and the backs of other unsuspecting consumers..

            1. LOL

              (I didn’t want to write all the other stuff because of space but since you brought it up… ! 🙂 )

              “Marketshare promotes sustainability and relevance within the masses.”
              LOL I JUST GAVE YOU A WHOLE SLEW OF EXAMPLES!
              Macs still around!
              IBM PC gone, Ballmer gone, Gateway gone, Compaq Gone, HP thinking of stopping PC production, Dell sales down, profits down SOLD.
              Who is sustainable NOW?. Every quarter Macs are INCREASING year over year, 33 quarters of growth with one negative (due to iMac delay).

              People like you are the reason why companies fail because you don’t understand PROFITS. I sure hope for its’ shareholders you don’t help run any company!

              The only way Apple’s no innovation rivals can sell anything is to sell below cost (to gain markets share! lol)…

              No profit, what happened to Palm? Kin phone? Motorola? (sold Twice), HTC losing money. etc.

              All the better apps (better quality, first) are on iOS because there’s where the developers make the money! Because iOS takes the CREAM their users are the best consumers of apps. GOOGLE itself makes TWICE as much money from iOS apps, services, search than ALL of android!

              AND the reason why apple is so profitable is NOT because it doesn’t give MAX for money (over and over again studies show Apple products give best return of investment), it is superior business skill.

              To give you an example to sell it’s shit, Samsung spends FOUR times Apple in advertising. it makes DOZENS of models of phones : so more production costs with slew of different parts, more packaging costs (they are packaged different), more inventory and warehousing , AND they have ALSO A GIANT UNSOLD AND RETURN RATE PROBLEM. The most (wrongly) lambasted iPhone the antenna gate iPhone 4 had a return rate of about 1%, the samsung smart watch according to analysts exceed 30%. The ‘flop’ iPhone 5C OUTSOLD the Galaxy s4 and the Galaxy S5.
              (A Samsung consumer is paying for all Samsung’s massive ad, production, returns, warehousing costs! That’s why the top Galaxy phones are made of Plastic so Samsung can save money… )

              Likewise Msft spends 3 times Apple in marketing, not counting all the marketing by it’s allies.

              ALSO if you a CONSUMER Apple devices hold their value longer , you can sell an iPhone on ebay for big money, a cheap android phone is worth nothing (go look at the crime reports from New York etc, even the criminals prefer iPhones!) . So you get to use a SUPERIOR Apple product and get a good price selling it to buy another.. Better return on investment.

              Dude you are lecturing me when you know nothing of business?

              ACTUALLY Apple is the company which FOCUSES MORE ON PLEASING THE CONSUMER than profits and that’s why strangely enough it makes so much money. Steve Jobs famously said in a shareholder meeting: Apple focuses on products and the bottom line (money) will take care of itself. Jobs worked for one dollar a year and took NO stock options from 2003 on (i.e he worked for years for free. Meanwhile Gates, Ballmer, Allen are among the richest men in the world. Jobs had about 10% of Gates wealth and most of that from selling Pixar to Disney).

              Personally I love apple making profits. I’ve made hundreds of thousands in profit in apple shares, helped me semi retire years ago in my thirties and live on an island. I woke up at 11 am today, and soon I will go walk my dog and look at the cruise ships. LOL,

    3. I won’t even bother to write a reply , I’ll let CNET do it:

      CNET BBz30 review:

      “Title : Black Berry’s Best Phone is Years Too Late
      “The Z30’s BlackBerry 10.2 software is bogged down with unnecessary eye candy. The BlackBerry platform still lags behind iOS and Android in both app number and quality. The Z30’s camera takes unimpressive pictures. The phone is only sold by Verizon.
      The Bottom Line The BlackBerry Z30 lives up the promise of a flagship phone, but it’s too little, too late for all but the most committed BlackBerry users.”

      1. You are kidding right? Opinions from Apple subsidized CNET are a farce! I make all iPhone users run for the hills when I take 5 minutes To show them what BB10 does and how simple it is to add an attachment to any email etc…

        Hang tight little Apple fans… Blackberry Passport is about to change all the rules made up by robots who think that a rectangle is the only acceptable form factor for a mobile phone.

        1. what proof do you have that CNET is apple subsidized?

          WE DO KNOW that apple rivals like Samsung have been convicted of astro TURFING (fined by Taiwanese government) and admitted it in a public apology, created fake blog reviews of rival products (sued by HTC), and have a reward program currently for the ‘best tech blogs’. Don’t see any news about apple like that.

        2. BB has one percent marketshare in USA (the most lucrative market) and shrinking fast.
          It’s even losing hold in it’s fortress markets of Indonesia and India….

  7. To educate a lot of these “analyst”, Apple should have a notification pop-up to tell a person when the iPhone is pinging excessively in weak to no coverage area and hen a link option to airplane mode.

    When it’s little transceiver is working it little buns off.

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