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iOS upgrade swells iPhone battery-suckage grief

'It gets WORST :('

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If you've experienced runaway battery suckage on your brand-spanking-new iPhone 4S, you won't be alone if you're still cursing your Cupertian smartphone after updating to Apple's supposed battery-fixing iOS 5.0.1.

Apple admitted battery-life problems with the iPhone 4S and the new iOS 5 earlier this month, and released the iOS 5.0.1 update on Thursday.

Many users, however, report that the fix either didn't help or made matters worse. Witness, for example, discussion threads on Apple's support forums with titles such as "5.0.1 update--even worse battery life", "iOS 5.1 - Made my iPhone 4S battery performance worse!", and the rather ungrammatical "Not so Happy with the iOS 5.01 Upgrade! It gets WORST :(".

Even the thread entitled "iOS 5.01 fixes battery issues" contains comments such as "Yesterday I upgraded to 5.0.1 and now battery life is SIGNIFICANTLY WORSE," "is there any way to go back to IOS5.0.0??!!!," and "I'd highly recommend that anyone who has acceptable battery life not upgrade."

The fact that some iPhone 4S users presumably had their battery problems fixed by the iOS 5.0.1 upgrade, some have not, and some report that their problems have become worse, points to the possibility that the problem may be more hardware-related – which would, of course, be a far more expensive problem for Apple to address than a simple iOS upgrade.

But remembering how Apple dismissed the iPhone 4's "Antennagate" controversy, we don't see a mass recall in the offing – and to be fair, the fact that millions of iPhone 4S users are not complaining would argue that a user-by-user replacement program would make far better business sense.

In support of a user-by-user march on Apple, the mother of all of the support forum's battery-suckage threads – "iPhone 4s Battery Life?", which passed 4,400 postings on Friday morning Cupertino time – includes one post with a quite reasonable suggestion: "If every single person posting to this forum started calling Apple, then they would be forced to do something about this total screw up of a release." ®

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