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Jony Ive defends iPhone battery life, not willing to compromise on design

Luke Johnson

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Jony Ive defends iPhone battery life, not willing to compromise on design

The style over substance debate surrounding Apple products continues, with Jony Ive defending the iPhone’s battery life.

While Apple has almost made it acceptable for a phone to last no more than a day on a single charge, this is a drawback of modern devices that still grates with many consumers.

According to Ive, however, bestowing the iPhone 6 with a longer battery life would have diminished the device’s overall design considerably.

The company’s design guru told the Financial Times that giving the iPhone the ability to go longer between charges would have made the handset fatter, heavier and ultimately less “compelling”.

The report adds he expressed that “it’s because it’s so light and thin that we use it so much and therefore deplete the battery.”

Discussing the design vs. performance trade-off, he added: “I see design as a way you look at the world and as a thought process.”

Related: iPhone 6S rumours

While the iPhone’s battery life is now an accepted issue for many, with the Apple Watch on the verge of release, the staying power of wearables has become the industry’s latest talking point.

Discussing the company’s first wearable, Ive has suggested that he is more concerned with creating a good product than launching a consumer hit.

“I’m much more concerned about how we can make them as good as possible than how many we’ll sell,” he stated. “We’re brutally self-critical and go through countless iterations of each product.”

Discussing how this self-critical processor continues as the product gets ready for market, he added: “Even now, when the design of the Apple Watch is incredibly mature and has gone through thousands and thousands of hours of evaluation and testing, we’re still working and improving.

“You are trying to keep everything fluid for as long as possible because everything is so interconnected. The best products are those where you have optimised each attribute while being very conscious of other parts of the product’s performance.”

Although part of this performance is battery life, recent reports have suggested the Apple Watch will last less than a full day on a single charge.

Apple is set to confirm all the Apple Watch ins and outs – including battery life and pricing – at a special launch event tomorrow, March 9.

Stay tuned to TrustedReviews for all the latest on the Apple Watch announcement.

AHYL88

March 8, 2015, 12:48 pm

I don't believe any word of it; an extra millimetre or two wouldn't exactly hurt the design that severely.

This whole obsession of making things as thin as possible has to stop; yes it's amazing, but at the same time you are more often compromising on the durability aspects of the device, especially on the bigger devices such as the iPad Air 2.

Everlast

March 8, 2015, 6:13 pm

they can surely keep the design for all models, but can make a second version of their most popular phone and double its thickness, scaling the semi-circular sides.
If they use the extra space to triple the existing battery capacity I am sure such phone would be very popular.
Same way they have different storage sizes 16/32/64 can have model with 3x battery.
Come on, Jon, make this phone.

Bugblatter

March 8, 2015, 7:36 pm

Phones have become so thin that they can be uncomfortable to hold. It's time to stop aiming for World's Thinnest and aim for World's Most Usable.

Guys at work with iPhones, first thing they do when they come in is plug their phone in. With my Note 4 I don't even think about the battery, which is how it should be.

BizarroHitler

March 8, 2015, 8:03 pm

I charge my iPhone 6 every other day. Which is fine by me. I could realistically go 3 days if I really wanted to, but by the end of the 2nd day its usually about 30% so why risk it?

Paul

March 8, 2015, 9:44 pm

You tell em jony lad

shnatiw

March 8, 2015, 10:09 pm

Style over substance?

ElectricSheep

March 9, 2015, 7:25 am

“it’s because it’s so light and thin that we use it so much and therefore deplete the battery.”

Good point, if if was 10g heavier and 1mm thicker, I would be embarrassed to use one in public owing to the 'considerably diminished overall design' . Thanks for telling me what's best Jony. In the iPhone 7, can we please remove the battery all together, that would make it the best iPhone ever, soooo light and thin! Wow! Thanks Jony.

mode11

March 9, 2015, 9:10 am

The iPhone 6's battery life is great - it's one of the most noticeable things on upgrading from an older iPhone. I often don't bother charging it at night, whereas my 4S was on its last legs by the end of the day.

John

March 9, 2015, 10:03 am

Weren't the batteries also faulty with Apply having to offer a replacement service?

Mark

March 9, 2015, 10:36 am

That's fascinating. What do you think of the iPhone 6 battery life??

v1nce

March 9, 2015, 12:49 pm

Glad to see that despite Jobs leaving us there's more than enough arrogance at Apple to go around.

AndyB

March 9, 2015, 1:17 pm

What a load of rubbish, and sadly it looks like Samsung are buying into this ethos given the S6 battery is smaller than the S5's and locked in! As far as I'm aware, most - if not all - smartphone manufacturers are producing phones with locked in batteries. For me, battery life is the biggest single issue with current smartphones, and by locking in the battery you are locking in the problem.

Also, I don't understand why Android manufacturers are following Apple rather than offering something better, or at least different. My last 3 phones have been Galaxy S models (2,3 & 5), and that is mainly due to the fact you can replace the battery (every phone I have ever owned has suffered from degrading battery performance after about a year - certainly within the usual 2-year contract length. I am a heavy user so this is a big issue for me. I even bought the official extended battery for the S3.

Given the choice between the thinnest and lightest phone (which is aesthetically pleasing) or one with a decent battery life (but a bit thicker and heavier and less aesthetically pleasing) I would take the battery over aesthetics every time. How much difference would a bigger battery make anyway? A few grammes heavier and a mm or two thicker? Oh that's so terrible! FIne by me if it means I'm not constantly wondering where the nearest power plug is - and of course if you struggle to get your phone to last a day, you have to carry around a charging cable or portable charger too - more than negating any benefits from having the thinnest and lightest phone. But at least it will still look pretty after the battery has died!

It seems to me that Mr Ive is prioritizing the aesthetics of the phone way more that the practicalities of owning and using it, whereas good design should be about covering both. There's no doubt that the iPhone is a fantastic-looking gadget - in this respect it wipes the floor with anything Samsung has produced - no doubt. On the other hand I've lost count of the number of time I've heard iPhone-using friends complain about crappy battery life whilst my ugly phone still has plenty of juice left.

If Apple want to prioritize aesthetics over practicality, that's fine - clearly enough people are happy with this. I just wish the other manufacturers weren't blindly following them. Whatever happened to differentiating your product vs competitors?

Think I'll hang on to my S5 for a while.

JP

March 9, 2015, 8:06 pm

Glad to see that despite Jobs leaving us there are more than enough critics on sites like these who think they know better.

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