Smartphones Causing Battery Complaints to Quadruple

Its no secret that batteries lag behind pretty much every other bit of smartphone technology – and with Nokia and Motorola both pushing battery tech to the fore in their latest handset announcements, it seems like manufacturers are finally catching on.

But according to research from WDS, thats not the case in the market as it stands.

Based on analysis of 2m tech support calls to operators and menufacturers, 10 per cent of all hardware-related calls regard battery performance – a number that has quadruple since 2008.

“Poor battery life has become one of the most common complaints of smartphone users, and it’s not hard to see why,” said Tim Deluca-Smith, vice president of marketing at WDS, the customer experience management company that ran the study. “The majority of manufacturers simply publish stand-by and talk-time figures, which have the lowest drain on smartphone battery performance. This means that when consumers start using their smartphones in earnest – downloading and using apps and browsing the web – they often find their battery lasts less than they expected.”

Smartphone consumer information, meanwhile, isnt in line with how people actually use their devices, instead relying on 2G standby- and talk-time to indicate battery life.

Of the 50 top smartphone launched between August 2011 and August 2012, only two – the iPhone 4S and Nokia N9 – gave any info on expected battery life when browsing the mobile web. 13 specified battery life when playing videos, 28 when the phone is in standby with 3G turned on, and 32 talk-time over 3G networks.

“Battery life is not something that a consumer can gauge in-store,” said Deluca-Smith. “Simply stating that a device has a 1700mAh battery is meaningless; performance data needs to be in line with real-world use.”