Will they fix the battery issue? Or do I return my MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by *Tom*, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. *Tom* macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2009

    Bit of a dilemma at the moment. My new MPB TB 13 is lovely except for the battery life. I timed it today and got 4 hrs from 100% to empty with some light internet use (on Chrome) and Spotify playing. I did nothing I would consider intensive.

    For me this isn't good enough. Considering returning it and buying an older model.

    Do you think that this is a software issue that can be resolved or vastly improved with future updates, or is it a hardware issue that will only worsen with time? If the consensus is the latter, I'm not sticking with it!


  2. jjjoseph, Jan 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017

    jjjoseph macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2013
    No one really knows. Apple is such a secretive company, if they don't find a software fix they might just ignore the problem all together and pretend like it never happened. New MacOS Macbook pro users might never even know how long the battery is lasting.. I had a 2016 13" 16GB Ram 512SSD and I returned it. Battery life was too inconsistent. Apple has some smart software engineers, my feeling is if their was a real software fix, it would already be implemented. It makes me think it is hardware and I returned it out of frustration. If people return the laptops Apple will hopefully admit it is hardware.
  3. thesaint024 macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2016
    suspension waiting room
    Not trying to decide for you, but I'm guessing you have a 15". Spotify activates dGPU and Chrome can drain battery significantly. If you want a baseline, don't use Spotify and try Safari or Opera or just add adblockers to whichever browser you choose. If you still get bad battery, make a decision then. I am suggesting that software inefficiencies are causing your particular battery drain, but you obviously shouldn't be the one to have to figure it out. That's on Apple.
  4. deany, Jan 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017

    deany macrumors 68030


    Sep 16, 2012
    North Wales
    Apple knows there is a problem.
    If they are not prepared to issue a statement and extend the return period until after the issue is resolved I personally - 100% would return the nrMBP

    These things are expensive for most folk and everyone deserves better.

    Granted Phil Schiller has issued a twitter statement to say apple are working with CR but when will the reply be? a week a month a year?

    If statement by Schiller and or official Apple inc does not occur before your return period ends.

    I sincerely hope apple find a solution to this problem sooner rather than later.
  5. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    I'd look at it this way:

    If you would be dissatisfied with the computer if the problem were never fixed, then return it.

    You can't assume that the problem will be fixed. And your return window is short.

    You can always purchase the computer again later if a real fix is provided later. But you can't return it if you wait too long hoping for a repair.
  6. Maurier macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2010
    I don't think It's an hardware issue per se.
    Small form factor , powerful hardware , touch bar and a very bright screen all play a role.
    It just needs a slightly bigger battery.
    I doubt a software update will make a huge impact on battery life.
    Battery life really shows our limitiations in the ability to properly interact with portable tech.
    This major tech companies need to do more research on solar energy and use solar panels on modern day laptops.
    It might not be able to completely charge it under heavy use, but it will certanly help on duration.
    I still think it's a great laptop just a little ahead of its time.
  7. deany, Jan 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017

    deany macrumors 68030


    Sep 16, 2012
    North Wales
    "I still think it's a great laptop just a little ahead of its time."

    Rushed to market for the all important holiday season if the Bloomberg report is correct.

    "In the run-up to the MacBook Pro's planned debut this year, the new battery failed a key test, according to a person familiar with the situation."


    Meantime 'Joe Public' are mis-sold by Schiller's keynote and apple still have $150B+ cash reserve.

    If Bloomberg's report is incorrect apple should request a written apology for wrongfully informing the public.
    If that apology is not forthcoming apple should sue for defamation.
    Apple does not appear to have a problem with sueing companies if their patents and or reputation are being damaged.
  8. Turpentine222 macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2016
    The battery drains at about the same pace or slower that my 2011 MBA, so I'm not expecting any miracles on the software side. My take is that the battery is just smaller than optimal and the Bloomberg report supports this theory.

    I don't have to rely too much on the battery, so I'm fine with it. But at this point, the only hope I see on the horizon is that once the new battery is ready, first-generation owners can swap their current batteries for it. Wouldn't hold my breath though.
  9. Maurier macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2010
    I'm concerned that if they release a 2017 model with a new design and improved battery , what happens with 2016 models?
    It will go down to history for being the worst mac ever being released and we loose a lot of money on the resale value.
    I hope this article is not 100% spot on. I doubt the battery failed a test so close to the release of the laptop.
    I'm sure this laptop was in the works for longer then that.
    If next gen comes out early and with a new re-designed battery then something is wrong at Apple.
  10. Turpentine222 macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2016
    If you are thinking in terms of resale value, then yeah, I'd be concerned. I never resell my laptops so that does not bother me too much, but I could see the uncertainty being a big deal.

    That being said, the only significant change I see in the short/medium term is the battery. It's the #1 issue with the 2016 MBP. That and the price. As far as most are concerned, the rest is mostly fine (it certainly is for me).
  11. matram macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2011
    Battery on 2016 15" is 76 Wh, 2015 had maximum allowed 100 Wh.

    If you have 4 h now the maximum you could get would be 5,2 h with a 100 Wh batteri.

    The explanation has to be relaterad to current drawn.

    I see roughly:
    4 W - idle with 50% brightness on screen
    6 - 8 W - light usage, Office and Safari
    8 - 10 W - Windows in VMware Fusion
    10 - 12 W - Lightroom with dGPU

    15" / 2.9 / 460 / 16GB / 2TB running 10.12.2.

    Cheers M
  12. Turpentine222 macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2016
    Good info, these are facts we can build on. These numbers look similar to those from my 13" tMBP.

    As I mentioned in another thread, what would be very useful now is to have similar numbers for older MBP models. My concern is that power draw is very similar on 2015 Retina MBPs, and what we are seeing on these threads is selection bias with "grass is greener" syndrome: 2016 owners are super sensitive to the issue and tend to focus on their "worst" cycles, while remembering the best cycles from their previous laptops.

    In the end, if battery drains at about the same rate on all MBPs, then as you said, there cannot be anything that special about battery life on the 2016 models.
  13. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    The problem stems from Apple using long battery life to market the computers.

    If they used real world numbers and said that they average 3 to 4 hours of battery life, there wouldn't be a problem.

    Instead, they used an estimate based on the most unlikely and improbable use scenario.
  14. aevan, Jan 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017

    aevan macrumors 68030


    Feb 5, 2015
    First of all, let me answer - no, I don't think there will be a dramatic "fix" for the battery. But I do think the problem is not, well, anything new or specific to this MBP - and that people - and media - are now really focused, so they are suddenly discovering the fact that battery life sucks. Not MBP battery life - every battery life. Even my iPhone can't do more than a few hours of demanding stuff, the only reason I can sometimes go even 2 days without charging it is because I don't use it for demanding stuff most of the time. And especially for Intel-based computers, battery life is really bad.

    Battery tech is developing really slowly. And not because companies are not trying - it's just a very difficult problem to solve. Energy, in general, is one of mankind's biggest challenges - but let's not get sidetracked here.

    The thing is - people are really focused on Apple products. And often times the "first impression" is what dictates the attitude. A new MBP design in years, the fact that Apple didn't update its Mac lines, the fact that it's the most valuable tech company - etc. - "MBP battery life issues" makes good (clickbait) headlines. What headlines should be is "Even in the 21. century, battery life still sucks" - but no one would read that.

    With all that said, it is a bit strange that you're getting 4 hours and not more. The new MBP has a 25% smaller battery than the previous models (supposedly offset by more efficient hardware). But let's imagine Apple used the same battery as before. 25% is 1h, so instead of 4, with your usage, you would get 5. Not 10, 5.

    This is what I find a bit strange with people reporting 4-5 hours of battery life - no, the 25% reduction of battery is not the reason why you get half the battery life than before. I think it has more to do with perception and paying attention to that battery meter, than to realistic issues. Even with the battery smaller, there is no reason to get such a dramatic decrease compared to the 2015. model. TB does not use that much power, everything else is more efficient (the screen, one of the largest power spenders, is 25% less power demanding, for example) - so there is no way that a 25% smaller battery results in 50% smaller battery life.

    So, what's the explanation?

    I have a feeling people are now just paying attention. You could always drain the battery REALLY fast on a MacBook, or any other laptop. It depends on the software running in background. For example, I just discovered that my Wacom drivers are the SECOND biggest energy spender on my MBP. They spend more battery than a fully loaded Safari! Desktop OSes, like macOS or Windows, are complex, demanding systems, running A LOT of stuff in the background. It is much harder to estimate battery life in macOS or Windows than on iOS, for example.

    So, what I'm saying is - I think people are getting less than advertised 10 hours, much less, but this was always the case. As soon as you load your apps, your backgroun processes, etc. - you start to get much less. Same with every laptop. Some people squeeze out that 10 hours, sure, but most people don't. Basically - I am not sure you would get a much better battery life on previous MacBook Pros or PC laptops. I could be mistaken, I do not want to defend Apple here or be "the fanboy" - but do some research before getting a replacement computer or risk getting disapointed.

    BTW, I would switch to Safari when using the battery. CMD+Q Chrome whenever you're not plugged in.

    Hope this helps.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 6, 2017 ---
    True. However, all companies do this. This is.... well - capitalism, really. It's - not to insult anyone - as "American" as it gets.

    "Up to" when presenting something good and "as low as/starting at" when presenting costs - is typical. Companies advertise the most powerful computers in most optimum scenarios and entry level costs.

    Every laptop out there claims 10 hours or more, and it's never 10 hours in regular use.

    With all that said, I was hoping Apple would squeeze in more battery life than before. What I'm getting is, more or less, the same as what I had 3 years ago.
  15. thesaint024 macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2016
    suspension waiting room
    I would think that this is actually the most LIKELY scenario. Browsing websites, watching a streaming video, email background, coding, that's what people do on laptops. Running VM's or 4k editing is much more improbable, especially while on battery power. Granted there are strange things causing battery draw, but that seems more like software glitches. There is no reason Safari or Spotify should draw massive battery, but that's what people with poor battery are reporting. If you think about usage, the tests that Apple ran are not far from reality.
  16. Wakey87433 macrumors member


    Jun 1, 2016
    With the US defamation laws its nigh on impossible for Apple to sue even if its false. They would have to be able to prove that Bloomberg knew beyond reasonable doubt that what they were writing was false. In most other countries thats not the case which results in much better fact checking happening before publsihing because an incorrect story there will get them sued even if they thought it was true BUT in the US that doesn't happen so being first to a story becomes more important than ensuring its right
  17. russ99 macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2009
    The best thing they can do to increase the battery efficiency, IMO is let us control touch bar brightness.

    I suspect the next OSX update will have some battery-related fixes, since the December update was already on Beta when the MBP was released and many of the battery drain issues had not come to light.

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