iPhone battery FUD - "dead in 300 recharges" myth debunked


macrumors G5
Original poster
May 2, 2002
Anyone notice how the belief is spreading like wildfire that the iPhone can only be recharged 300 times (only 10 months of daily charges!?!) before it has 0% battery life left and needs an expensive replacement available only from Apple?

Wow! Apple is REALLY evil! AND they hide that info in the fine print! :p

I've noticed a lot of comments around the web about this shocking "truth," and very little debunking of it. Look at the comments in Bob Sullivan's MSN article (part of a series on "corporate sneakiness and outright scam artists") that I found at Daring Fireball. (Or don't look--he'll only get ad revenue.) You'll see that even Apple "fans" believe this dead-in-300-recharges falsehood:


Luckily, there are 5 significant (and easily-found) facts being concealed or glossed over in this FUD--and Bob Sullivan surely is hiding some of these intentionally (and the rest out of amazing ignorance and inability to read the info he is relaying to his readers?):

1. Apple says 400 cycles... not 300, not a range of 300-400

2. Apple says the device has 80% of its life, not 0% after 400 cycles

3. A "full charge and discharge cycle" means MORE than one recharge: a "cycle" is enough recharges to equal approximately 100% of the battery (so, say, five 20% recharges)

4. An iPhone gets 8 hours talk time (as verified by reviewers--and some even got much better life than Apple's own claims) so 400 cycles on an iPhone lasts a lot longer than 400 cycles on other smartphones; one cycle on an iPhone could easily take days to complete

5. 400 cycles is typical of other companies' batteries, as is the replacement cost--even though those other phones' batteries don't last close to Apple's 8 hours! (and it's a very safe bet that Apple will not be the only source of iPhone battery replacements, judging by the iPod)

In short, do the math and you could easily go many years before your iPhone is dead. Not the 10 months that people are starting to believe. Recharge 25% per day (that's 2 hours talk time average--some days more, some days less, and not counting talk time while plugged into a wall or car) and your iPhone will take over 4 years to reach 400 cycles, at which point it will still have about 6.5 hours talk time left! How many more years before your talk time is intolerably low? How many years until the iPhone's talk time drops to the level that many other phones have when brand new? :p

But Apple's deceiving people and ripping people off, are they? ;)



(Reminds me of all the cries that the iPhone costs too much, when so many other, lesser phones cost more after 2 years--FAR more after 3+ years. But those cries seem to have largely evaporated except for some trolling. Consumers commenting online seem to actually grasp that the iPhone costs less than many competitors. Will they catch on regarding the 300-400 cycle battery myth as well?)


macrumors G5
Original poster
May 2, 2002
Not to get too complex, but here's a hypothetical MULTI-use scenario, since the iPhone does more than voice:

You could use half the charge every day (400 cycles = 800 days = 2.2 years before hitting 80% capacity) and do the following every day on average (some days more, some days less):

Talk for 2 hours
+ Watch an hour-long TV show (45 min. without ads)
+ Use the Internet for half an hour
+ Listen to an hour and a half of music
+ Whatever you do while plugged in (which doesn't drain the battery)

(That uses only HALF your battery, so you could double the above when needed, on a brand new iPhone.)

After 2.2 years of that, your battery capacity would reach 80% and then keep dropping gradually. But until it hit 50% you could KEEP doing all of the above every day. You'd just be charging more than half each night. Eventually what used to take half a charge would take a full charge, and then as battery capacity kept dropping below 50% (in other words, below what most smartphones get brand new) you would have to change your habits or buy a battery. But a lot of time will have passed getting you to that stage, compared to other smartphones that start OUT with that kind of battery life.

Now, removable batteries have their benefits for sure, and some people would appreciate that more than the iPhone's small size. Plus people have all kinds of different usage habits. One solution does not fit all. But this should put the "iPhone battery problem" into perspective.

( The above comes from Apple's figures, which have been borne out in user testing:
Talk time: Up to 8 hours
Standby time: Up to 250 hours
Internet use: Up to 6 hours
Video playback: Up to 7 hours
Audio playback: Up to 24 hours )


macrumors 68000
Mar 28, 2006
West Plains, MO USA Earth
from the Apple site

iPhone Owners

Your one-year warranty includes replacement coverage for a defective battery. You can extend your coverage to two years from the date of your iPhone purchase with the AppleCare Protection Plan for iPhone, which is expected to be available in summer 2007. During the plan’s coverage period, Apple will replace the battery if it drops below 50% of its original capacity. If it is out of warranty, Apple offers a battery replacement for $79, plus $6.95 shipping, subject to local tax. Apple disposes of your battery in an environmentally friendly manner.


macrumors 65816
Jun 22, 2007
I think the key point is the battery doesn't die, it just no longer hold a full charge.

Apple is just covering its ass here so that in a year, people w/ heavy use can't file lawsuits. They're already starting at launch. I think it's a smart move by Apple because it will sell quite a few AppleCare warranties. I'm considering getting one.