Calibrating an iPhone Battery

by Matt Milano

Thanks to its lithium-ion battery, the iPhone 4S has up to eight hours of 3G talk time and up to 200 hours standby time. However, the battery life can degrade with use, resulting in shorter operating periods. This may be the result of the battery's capacity degrading, or the battery meter may be incorrectly reading the amount of energy remaining. A simple recalibration may result in a more accurate battery gauge and improve battery life.

Advantages of Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are low maintenance. Unlike other battery chemistries, lithium-ion batteries do not require extensive conditioning prior to use. Nor do they require scheduled discharges, although periodically cycling them can keep the battery's electrons moving. Because they have no memory, they can be charged and discharged as needed without reducing their capacity.

Disadvantages of Lithium-Ion Batteries

Aging is one of the biggest drawbacks to the lithium-ion chemistry. Over time, the battery's capacity gradually deteriorates, regardless of whether it is being actively used. In many cases, this deterioration may be noticeable after a single year's use. Excessive heat, such as from being left in a vehicle, speeds up this deterioration. Even some iPhone cases may trap in excess heat while an iPhone is charging, negatively affecting the battery.

Battery Meter

Over time the meter that keeps track of the battery's capacity becomes increasingly inaccurate. This can lead to early low-battery warnings and even cause the iPhone to shut off before the battery is drained.


To maximize the benefits of the iPhone's lithium-ion battery, lessen its disadvantages and keep the battery meter accurate, calibrate your iPhone every month or so by allowing it to fully discharge. After the iPhone shuts off, recharge it without interruption until it reaches 100 percent of charge. This keeps the battery's electrons moving, increasing its overall health, and recalibrates the battery meter to accurately display the charge.

About the Author

Writing professionally since 1999, Matt Milano has authored news articles, marketing and website copy, blogs, press releases and product documentation. He has worked with a wide variety of clients, ranging from small one-man shops to major corporations and universities. An expert speechwriter, Milano has drafted speeches that have been delivered to audiences ranging from 30 to 1,700.

Photo Credits

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