Weird Battery Issue - Fluctuating Charge Indication

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Corsair2000, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. Corsair2000 macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2010

    I've searched for this issue but all I can find is information on battery capacity issues and advice on how to correctly charge your iPhone, but nothing on this problem...

    I received my iPhone 3GS 16GB last Tuesday. After registering it, I attached it to my laptop so that I could unbrick it on iTunes. I allowed it enough time to achieve a 100% battery charge and then unplugged it and went to bed.

    The next day I had some network issues connecting to the aps store so I decided to power my phone off & on. I'd been using it a little during the day so the battery was around 52%. I powered the phone down, left it off for around 3 minutes, then powered in on again.

    As soon as it powered on it gave me the 'below 20%' battery warning... and then about 20 seconds later it shot back up to 47% and seemed to be fine. I put this down a quirk, but this hadn't resolved my problem connecting to the aps store, so I then reset my network settings. As part of the process the phone rebooted itself to restore the settings. Once again, after the reboot, it gave me the 'below 20%' warning and then shot back up to 40 odd percent again.

    I do know a lot of people with the iPhone so I asked them if this was normal (I asked around 10 people) and almost all of them said no it never ever happens to them, but one person did say he has the same problem. He's had his for months and it's always happened, but he's had no other issues so he just puts up with it. I called Apple to ask about this problem and they never heard of it, but suggested I complete 4 full charging cycles from flat to full before I report it as an issue. I've now done this and I still have exactly the same problem. when my iPhone is off/on it always reports a lower battery level than it actually has, and then this shoots back up.

    Now, I don't plan on turning my phone off and on much anyhow, I've only been doing so to monitor this problem and see if it's still happening. Well it is still happening, but I could actually put up with it if I knew it was a minor glitch and didn't impact the phone in any other way. Seeing as I know at least one other person with the same problem, I figure that despite what Apple say, there must be more people out there who have or at least know someone who has had this issue. Does anyone have any information on how this could affect my phone long-term, if there's any fix (full-cycle charging doesn't fix it!), or any rock solid info on this being a fault?

    I'd appreciate any thoughts on this 'cos I'm pretty much clueless!
  2. shayneeric, Apr 25, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012

    shayneeric macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2010
  3. Corsair2000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2010
    Aside from connecting it to my laptop to use iTunes, I do only ever use the wall outlet to charge it up as I do think it's charges better just from past experience with other phone models and mains vs USB charging times.

    I think I must have the v3.1.3 update, as iTunes says my phone is fully upto-date. Frustrating!
  4. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    Mine does this on restart.

    Please calibrate your device properly.

    #1 - Buy the iPhone 3G. Do not use the iPhone 3G.
    #2 - Initially charge your iPhone for 3 hours. I've read conflicting statements about this. To be safe, don't use your phone before letting it charge for 3 hours. Also, use your wall charger (avoid the computer charger).
    #3 - Now it's time to calibrate your battery indicator. Let the iPhone's battery fully drain. Keep the iPhone off for five hours once drained, then fully charge your battery. Allow the battery to rest in the fully charged state for two hours. You may use your iPhone during this time as long as the iPhone is plugged in.
    #4 - Repeat step #3 a maximum of three times if you feel your battery indicator is inaccurate.
  5. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    Where did you come up with this procedure? First, there's no need to calibrate your battery when you first get it. Just use it normally. If there are meter issues, then calibrate it. The stuff about calibrating 3 times is just bunk. NOT a good idea and could ruin your battery.

    For the OP, if the battery continues to behave like this after a calibration, then get a new iPhone or a new battery.
  6. Corsair2000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2010
    I've read that letting these types of batteries run completely flat can damage them, leading to permanent capacity loss and, and in some cases, preventing them for accepting a charge.

    Nevertheless, when I rang the Apple care helpline they did ask me to try this 'calibration' (although that's not the word they used) by running flat and fully charging my battery 4 times. I've done this, and I still have the problem.

    Haven't noticed an issue with the battery life but I guess it's time for me to ask for a replacement phone anyway... don't want problems down the line when I'm not in as good a position with my warranty.

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