Reports of a much thinner iPad 5 set to begin production in July have users worried that Apple will downgrade the tablet’s battery life.
The past two iPhone releases have not fared well in terms of battery life — issues began with the iPhone 4S, which did not feature a sizable battery upgrade from the iPhone 4, and problems have persisted with the iPhone 5. The main culprit with the iPhone 5 is that its thinner design led to a thinner rechargeable battery with less capacity.
Fortunately, the iPad has never had this issue: its beefy chassis has always had ample room to house its large battery, and for the most part, users have been happy with the iPad’s battery performance. However, steady reports indicating that the iPad 5 will be much thinner than its predecessors has users wondering: will a thinner iPad battery mean poorer battery life?
The question is a fair one, especially since, in addition to a possible chassis and form factor upgrade, the iPad 5 is slated to see its performance hardware improved upon as well. Rumors indicate that the iPad 5 is estimated to be 25% lighter and 15% thinner than the current iPad. The result — a 2 mm difference — could be enough to raise concerns about battery life.
Yet, PhonesReview appear to be unconcerned about the thinner iPad 5 chassis, citing Apple’s success with battery life on the iPad Mini:
. . .some might think the battery life will get worse because it has a thinner bezel, the iPad mini has a built-in 16.3-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery and provides up to 10 hours of general use. The iPad 4 has a built-in 42.5-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery and still provides up to 10 hours of general use.
So it does not matter how thin Apple makes the iPad 5 it will have around 10-hours battery life with general use, it could be possible to stretch it to 12 hours but we cannot see it going beyond that this year.
It seems absurd to say that “no matter how thin Apple makes the iPad 5 it will have around 10 hours of battery life,” considering that time and time again, we’ve seen how thinner mobile devices usually mean lower battery life. Instead of tackling the battery issue, however, it’s possible that Cupertino is looking instead to cut down on energy use for the iPad 5:
AppleInsider added to today’s report and claimed the next iPad would use only one LED light bar for backlighting – instead of the two typically found in Retina displays. The loss of an LED light bar could significantly improve the device’s battery life.
Considering that the display is by far the heaviest drain on any mobile device, it very well may be that Apple will simply balance out a thinner rechargeable battery pack with this LED array, which is turn will keep the device in the 10-hour battery life range after all.