After Apple missed iPhone sales expectations by as many as 4 million in the company’s last financial report to Wall Street, the company — and CEO Tim Cook in particular — could ill afford to suffer another setback for their popular yet increasingly embattled mobile device line-ups. And yet, with the launch of the recent version of iOS 7, users are reporting a bevy of negative side effects that could further erode people’s confidence in Cupertino’s iDevices.
ZDNet recently reported that the latest iOS 7 update was downloaded by the largest number of users in such a short amount of time ever — already, 22% of iDevice users have downloaded and are using the new update. Unfortunately, along with the new update has come several glitches, including the most concerning one: widespread complaints of accelerated battery drainage. Battery life, of course, has been a persistent problem for iPhone users in particular. The first major issue with the battery came on the iPhone 4S, when Apple significantly increased the performance of several hardware components, but did not commensurately upgrade the battery. Battery reliability stabilized with the iPhone 5, but this new iOS snafu threatens to bring the issue back into focus.
Because the update is so new, there is currently no scientific study that really quantifies how many people have been impacted by the potential battery issues. However, users are anecdotally reporting that iPhone batteries are draining as soon as the devices are taken off charge — even if users leave them idle.
With the iPhone 4S, Apple was largely unwilling to take any blame for the battery performance, so it will be interesting to see if the company once again washes its hands of the issue. However, there is enough circumstantial evidence to suggest that there is a cause/effect between the new iOS 7 update and battery performance issues.
In addition to the battery, users have also reported other quirks, such as contact lists that are getting wiped clean and flipped-around keyboards. Given the fact that contact lists live in the cloud, the hope is that these glitches can be repairs. However, it’s galling to think that, after all of the beta testing done with this new iOS 7 update, that it could have been released the public, only to cause so many problems. Considering that quality has always been the hallmark of Apple products, the mediocrity of this new update is indeed concerning. Tim Cook recently remarks to stock investors that Apple does “a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive,” and that the company wants “to leave the world better than we found it.” If that really is Cupertino’s goal, then they better get back to figuring out to their winning ways of years past, or they won’t have the resources to do all the do-gooding they claim to want to go for the world.