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Why is Apple reluctant to increase battery capacity when the iPhone has a short lifetime?

via:网易科技     time:2019/9/9 18:01:44     readed:128


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New features offset battery performance improvement dividends

Every year, Apple will launch a new iPhone, and the consumer is also interested in theseMobile phoneIt is hoped that they will eventually run for two to three days with full electricity. But lithium-ion battery experts believe,The likelihood that Apple will increase the power supply to extend the battery life of the iPhone is almost nil.

Distrander (Dee Strand), chief science officer of Wildcat Discovery Technology, a battery research firm, says smartphone battery performance is improving rapidly every year. The problem is that the new features are always offsetting the dividends of battery performance improvements. Asked when the battery would last for many days, Strand said: "the answer is never."

That doesn't sound like good news for those who want the iPhone battery to last longer. "With every improvement in battery performance, mobile phone companies want to add more features, such as larger screens, brighter displays, more applications, touch screen functions and so on," Strand said. Batteries will get better and better, but mobile phones will also have more and more functions.

In essence, batteries are always improving like CPUs, but they are not enough to meet the growing demand for electricity. With the advent of the ultra-high-speed 5G data era, the iPhone may have larger screens and its power demand will grow exponentially in the future.

This will require new batteries to sustain the power supply for several days. Apple is also working on other types of iPhone batteries, including fuel cells that burn clean energy. However, most of the alternatives that extend the battery life of the iPhone have some serious drawbacks.

Apple could add a thicker lithium-ion battery to the iPhone, but that would affect its never-ending quest for a thinner iPhone.

Sacrifice thickness for larger batteries? Apple disdains it

Over the years, many users and technology media have found that although iPhone is getting thinner and thinner, battery life has not been significantly extended. Thin phones make people feel sexier, but availability and durability are equally important. Many people prefer thicker phones with larger batteries so that they can run for three or four days without charging.

This is a very reasonable requirement, after all, power exhaustion has become a daily concern for most people. Surveys show that longer battery life is becoming the most desirable feature for Smartphone users. Apple's goal for the battery life of the iPhone is to enable users to use it regularly all day long when it's fully charged. But crowds around airport charging stations and power outlets show that the needs of many heavy users are still difficult to meet.

However, "making phones thinner" does not appear on the list of smartphone features that users are eager to improve. Since the launch of the iPhone more than a decade ago, smartphones have become so lighter and thinner that so far most users may have nothing else to ask for the size of their phones. The more urgent need now is to hold the phone for a long time, and making the phone thinner a few millimeters does not improve that.

Although the iPhone, which sacrifices thickness for larger batteries, seems to be popular with consumers, Apple is unlikely to do so because it has many ways to extend battery life without expanding the battery size. In addition, as we move towards real wireless charging, the charging mode may be changing.

If Apple can't provide users with a iPhone, that lasts for days, why don't they switch to Android?

The biggest selling point of Android phones is the variety, which provides users with a large number of choices to meet their priority needs. Over the years, users have been demanding larger batteries that can last for many days, so some companies should try to launch large, thick Android phones and win the undisputed title of "King of Battery Continuity".

But looking at the list of Android phones with the best battery life, we can see that the largest battery capacity seems to be only 5,000 mA. Its goal is to support heavy users to use it all day instead of not charging it for many days. Why is that? Is it because people who claim they want longer battery life lie? Or does the smartphone industry choose to ignore a seemingly large customer base?

Take the Power 5, a domestic manufacturer, which is equipped with a 13000 Ma battery, can be charged for 7 to 10 days, can also be used as an external battery to charge other devices, and can be fully charged in only 2.5 hours. However, the Power 5 is more than three times the size of iPhone8 and more than twice the weight of the latter. We can imagine: if you go to bed at 3: 00 in the morning and find that your phone still has 58% of its power, are you really not going to charge it?

Sometimes people don't really want what they think they want. For example, mobile phone manufacturers may have good reasons why they don't try to produce larger batteries.

Apple has four reasons for its poor battery life

1. Maintain a continuous and unified design style

Usually, as the battery capacity increases, the thickness of the phone will also increase, which may also make the Apple phone thicker, which is not conducive to Apple to maintain its continuous uniform design style of the iPhone. For this reason, Apple chose to continue increasing battery capacity each time it upgraded, rather than immediately replacing small battery capacity with large battery capacity, because this would lead to a dramatic change in the shape of the iPhone, and gradual change would not make users feel too abrupt. In view of this, Apple did not immediately increase its battery capacity.

two。 Do not take battery endurance as the only selling point

Apple's goal is to build it for usersesthetical Experience, while other companies are looking for a variety of selling points, of which ultra-long durations are the most common, but Apple is not uncommon. Apple pursues system optimization and overall fluency. As long as these two advantages dominate the competition with Android phones, it doesn't need to focus too much on continuity. You know, there are many factors that affect the performance of mobile phones, such as operating system, processor, endurance and so on, but most people may pay more attention to the first two.

3. There is a bonus in the optimization of one's own system.

Although the battery life of Apple's iPhone is really not good, but through the optimization of the system, the power consumption of the mobile phone can be well controlled to some extent. For example, although Android phones have the same battery capacity as Apple phones, because the system is optimized differently and the iPhone lasts longer, there is no need for Apple to excessively pursue larger batteries than Android phones.

4. Control production cost and selling price

Apple has always been very strict about cost control, because higher costs mean higher cell phone prices. For this reason, when battery life can meet the needs of the vast majority of users, of course, Apple is reluctant to increase battery capacity, resulting in increased production costs of mobile phones, which in turn leads to high prices to scare away consumers. In view of this, although the user has been tucking away iPhone battery life for many years, apple still insists on not making too much difference, not because Apple has no such strength, but because it is unwilling to do so.

Misunderstanding of the complete charging and discharging cycle of the iPhone battery

The iPhone's battery is non-detachable, which means it will eventually run out of storage capacity and need to be replaced. "Apple's battery can be recharged 400 times, about two years," tech media said at the beginning of its birth.

Apple estimates that the iPhone battery will lose 20 per cent of its storage capacity after 400 complete charge-discharge cycles. (Greg Joswiak), Apple's vice president of marketing, is not sure what went wrong, and the New York Times's initial evaluation of iPhone mentioned the battery problem: "Apple says the battery starts to lose capacity after 300 or 400 charges."

However, things change when they are told. Subsequent reports began to claim that the iPhone would be scrapped after 300 to 400 charges. "After 400 complete cycles of charging and discharging, the battery of the iPhone still has 80% charging capacity," Josviak explained. What I'm talking about is the complete charging cycle, that is, the complete depletion and recharge of electricity, which is the complete chemical cycle. In other words, using a small amount of batteries and charging the iPhone is not a complete cycle. If you use a quarter of the power and charge it, that means you don't waste the entire charging cycle, says Josviak.

Apple's iPhone Battery Page explains the rated battery life of the iPhone and provides many useful tips on how to extend battery life. For example, the page suggests "to maintain lithium batteries properly, make sure that a full charging cycle is at least once a month."

So let's look at this objectively: if you completely exhaust the power of the iPhone every day, your battery will only hold 80% of the current power for about 13 months. Or in other words, battery usage varies from person to person, but in general, even after two years, the iPhone can still provide good battery life for all users other than heavy users. Most iPhone users will realize, as most do.That way, they don't need to replace the batteries immediately.

To sum up, the battery of the iPhone, like all batteries, will lose its ability to maintain power over time. Although the claim that the iPhone battery will be scrapped in two years is totally wrong, the fact is that sooner or later the battery will run out of storage power. But the good news is that it won't come true at least in a short time.

Cut off the charging line,Change the traditional charging mode

In addition to these reasons, Apple is not in a hurry to improve battery life and the emerging charging technology is not mature.

The current charging mode still follows the model of the beginning of the mobile phone, that is, to plug in wires before sleeping, so that they can be charged at night for use during the day. This is a pattern we are all used to, because it does not cause much inconvenience and is considered to be the privilege of carrying a pocket supercomputer with us. The Qi wireless induction charging technology was used in Apple's iPhone launched in 2017, but that hasn't changed the charging mode significantly.

However, as giants like Apple rapidly increase awareness, demand and popularity of wireless charging, coupled with a sharp drop in prices, the number and types of wireless chargers are exploding, and this trend will undoubtedly continue, because the future of the iPhone will use Qi charging, and other smartphone manufacturers will. As consumers scramble to join, they will upgrade their mobile phones. Like many iPhone users who have Lightning charging lines in their homes, we will soon have cheap Qi charging plates.

At that time, the charging mode will begin to change and no longer need a larger battery. Because if your smartphone can be recharged several times a day, you don't need a bigger battery. With cheap enough Qi chargers, our daily charging habits will change in the future. Because when you put your phone on your desk, look.televisionWhen you're on the phone, put youCoffeeOn the table, put the phone on the kitchen cabinet while cooking, or put the phone on the nightstand before you go to bed. It can be recharged automatically. Charging will change from remembering what you have to do to something you can do without extra effort and thinking. Most of the time your phone is not in your hand, pocket or bag.

Today's AirPods already has such functionality. AirPods can use five hours for a single charge, but if you put the battery in the charging box, it can actually use 24 hours. Without using AirPods, we can put them in boxes and keep them always full of electricity. With that in mind, we seldom hear about complaints about the need for larger batteries in AirPods itself. Imagine a smartphone. It doesn't need a charging cartridge, it needs a charging board, and you can have several of these charging boards at home.

Environmental wireless charging will be in the future

Indeed, the current wireless charging technology and the use of wire charging are not far apart, but the change of mentality is more important. When real wireless charging becomes a fashionable technology with good quality and low price, the change of charging mode will become more obvious.

This transformation will be completed with the development of environment wireless charging technology. Ambient wireless charging can charge all devices in your home just as WiFi transmits the Internet to any accessible device. UBeam, a startup, has launched a prototype of environmental wireless charging, but there still seem to be many doubts about its survivability, limitations and acceptability.

Obviously, we charge devices because they need energy to work, but that doesn't explain all our charging habits. An informal survey found that more than half of smartphone users charge their phones only once a day. But a fully charged cell phone makes people feel ready to deal with any emergency, such as power failure or a sudden run-out from home.

For many people, making smartphones, a tool that can be used almost infinitely as a lifeline to themselves and friends, family and the world, is always recharged and ready to use for a few hours, has become a necessary survival function for modern adults. Fully charged mobile phones can help us start the day with confidence and relax our brains, because it is simply unacceptable when we find that the phone is running out of power.

However, even if the iPhone can be used for two days, we will still see people sitting on the floor next to the airport charging station at the airport. Even though mobile phones can be used without charging for several days, there are still some people who are worried about the lack of electricity. Maybe the problem is not the batteries, but ourselves. Making charging easier is a good way to extend battery life. We no longer need to always carry more batteries with us than we normally need until environmental charging technology makes charging really easy.

Until then, don't expect Apple to produce products that require more electricity than they reasonably need. Increasing the physical size of batteries may be the least elegant and least creative way to extend battery life, and Apple's goal is to remain elegant and creative. Apple's preferred approach on its mobile devices is to reduce power consumption through faster processors that don't need to run longer or hotter. The system uses an energy-efficient core on a chip to handle less demanding tasks and turns to less power-consuming display technologies, such as those on the iPhone X.OLEDScreens, promote their own battery technology, and use artificial intelligence and machine learning in the operating system to actively find ways to save power.

Apple has done so well in improving battery efficiency that the batteries of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are 7% and 8% smaller than those of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, respectively, while the battery life remains the same.

Apple's design philosophy is that their products tend to be smaller, lighter, and thinner over time, and it is certain that if an apple's design team is able to find a way to make the iPhone as thin as we see in the science fiction program, At the same time, the battery can still use the "all day", and they will certainly do it at all costs. When the environmental charging technology becomes a reality, the ultra-thin mobile phone will become more likely because the battery may become very small, and if the cell phone is able to acquire power from the air as it receives data through LTE and WiFi, the battery may become even unnecessary.

Although users don't require smartphones to be thinner, people really like the way they look thinner. Apple critics have described the slimmer iPhone as "sexier", but it's becoming increasingly impractical, especially if it limits battery life.

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