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Apple seeks cure for iPhone battery woes

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Stung by a torrent of complaints about its iPhone 3.1 OS update, Apple has contacted some affected users and asked them for their help in tracking down one of its many problems: poor battery life.

As we reported last week, Apple's discussion boards - among other websites - have been alive with posts from users who have experienced a wide variety of problems, including iPhones inexplicably slipping into an unresponsive "Coma Mode", having trouble making and receiving calls, experiencing Wi-Fi troubles, having their tethering disabled on "legally" unlocked phones outside of the US, and more.

But the problem that Apple is now focusing on, according to The iPhone Blog, is poor battery life.

TiPB reports that Apple has contacted an "undisclosed number of users" who posted their troubles on Apple's discussion boards, asking them to answer 11 questions about their iPhone usage as it relates to battery drain.

According to TiPB, the note that Apple sent to the chosen few includes an attachment that installs a profile - a developer-level app-provisioning scheme - that allows the installation of an Apple-supplied Battery Life Logging utility.

This utility gathers battery-life data logs and syncs those logs to iTunes. Apple asks that those who have been provided with the utility then send those logs to Apple for diagnostic purposes.

The Reg is well pleased that Apple has taken this step to track down the cause of at least one of the many reported problems of iPhone OS 3.0. But we also agree with the many commenters to TiPB's report who express hope that Cupertino is also actively examining the more serious problem of "Coma Mode."

We have to admit, however, that these latest problems tempt us to pine nostalgically for the days of, say, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, when all a phone did was make calls. ®

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