A new report out of Asia claims that only 30% of the batteries that Apple has been producing meet Cupertino’s quality standards. Given the high-performance rumored components expected on the iPhone 5, what does this mean for the iPhone 5 release date?
It seems as if every Apple product has one nagging issue to deal with. In 2010, the iPhone 4 suffered from the infamous “antennagate.” And in spite of record sales of the iPhone 4S in 2010-2011, the fifth-generation iPhone dogged with complaints from users about its battery life. Apple sought to rectify the situation through software upgrades to iOS 5, but now it would appear that the battery issues on the iPhone 4S were part of a bigger batter problem plaguing Cupertino.
According to analyst Brian White, of Topeka Capital Markets, Apple is having battery quality issues that are purportedly endemic. TechRadar reports:
“White went on to reveal that just 30% of batteries produced for Apple were meeting the firm’s high standards, which he believes puts the August date in doubt. ‘If there is a battery challenge, we trust that Apple will be able to figure it out in time for a September launch,’ said White.”
The prevailing belief in explaining the 4S’s battery problems had been hardware-related: Apple added in new, higher-performing hardware components, such as the A5 processor, but didn’t upgrade the battery. As a result, the 4Ss battery life could not live up to the same perforce of the lesser-powered iPhone 4. It would now appear that iPhone 4S users with low battery life might in actuality be suffering from defective batteries, instead.
And given the anticipation of an iPhone 5 with an even bigger processor, larger display, LTE, and NFC, the need for a beefy, reliable battery pack on the iPhone 5 is even more critical to its success.
Recent reports have suggested that Apple might be looking to announce the iPhone 5 in September or even August, well ahead of the October iPhone 4S announcement in 2011. However, if White’s report is accurate, some are suggesting that Apple’s need to possibly re-manufacture some 70% of the batteries needed for the iPhone 5 could make the late summer iPhone 5 release date an impossibility, considering the fact that Cupertino could not afford yet another battery disaster on the highly-anticipated sixth-generation iPhone.
My feeling is that this news could be potentially devastating for the iPhone 5 being released in 2012 at all.
Given the fact that the iPhone 5 will be a complete overhaul of the iPhone design, Apple has to get the battery right — they cannot stand pat with the battery technology as they did on the 4S. Since we do not know what the exact nature of these battery problems — are they design issues, or manufacturing issues? — the effect could be major. If Apple has to go back to the drawing board to redesign the battery for the iPhone 5, what would the production delay look like?
If Apple was originally shooting for another early November release, is it hard to imagine that a setback like this could lead to the iPhone 5′s official release being sometime in earl 2013? Last year, we witnessed Apple delay the iPhone 4S’s release well past its usual 12-month lifecycle. Why shouldn’t believe that they would be willing to do it again, and possibly release the iPhone 5 in January or February of 2013?
By Michael Nace