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The iPhone battery can support hundreds of charge cycles in its lifespan. This article provides tips that can extend iPhone battery lifespan.
An iPhone’s battery can go through 300-500 full charge cycles before it degrades. After this point, the battery still functions, but can only hold about 80% of its original capacity. Over time, the battery continues to lose its ability to recharge and must be replaced. This is as inevitable as human aging. Much like aging, with proper care, you can extend your iPhone battery’s lifespan and enjoy years of optimal battery performance.
I own an iPhone 4 that’s almost 5 years old. I still use it every day to play Spotify music. Even though this phone is an ancient relic, I managed to preserve the battery capacity by following some simple practices. The tips in this article are based on personal experience, Apple’s product information and research from Electropaedia and Battery University. Let’s take a look at how to extend iPhone battery lifespan.
Heat Damages the iPhone Battery
Lithium-ion batteries lose their ability to hold a charge when exposed to heat. Too much heat can cause a runaway thermal reaction, which damages components in the battery. There are different stages to a runaway thermal reaction. Each stage causes more damage to the battery.
A runaway thermal reaction is an extreme case of heat causing damage. The damage starts to occur when the battery is at 158º F. Even though this is the temperature inside the battery, such a high temperature would make the iPhone untouchable.
It is unlikely that you will experience a runaway thermal reaction if your iPhone is charged properly. However, if you leave your iPhone charging in a hot car, such a reaction is possible. It could even result in an explosion or fire. Never leave your iPhone in a hot car.
Lithium-ion batteries can slowly degrade from exposure to lower temperatures. Consistent exposure to warm climatic temperatures stresses the battery and diminishes life. According to Battery University, if your battery gets over 86º F, it will stress the materials and diminish its lifespan. This means that even if your iPhone is turned off, if you live in a warm climate, this may reduce the lifespan of your battery.
Aside from moving, there are a few ways to extend the lifespan of your iPhone’s battery in a warm climate. Avoid taking your iPhone outside on warm days. This may not be possible, however, you may want to turn the device off when it’s not being used. This will minimize the temperature increase inside the lithium-ion battery. Don’t charge your iPhone in a warm environment. Wait until you get indoors, in an air-conditioned room.
Optimal, an upcoming thermal protection case, is designed to keep your iPhone at the ideal temperature. This new case has not yet been released, but it promises to deliver advanced thermal protection for the iPhone. The case uses two micro-fans and a thermal conductive plate to keep the iPhone cool. The Optimal case also features heating coils to keep your iPhone warm on cold days.
Cold Damages the iPhone Battery
Lithium ion batteries also degrade when they are consistently exposed to cold temperatures. When the battery operates below 50º F, reactions are slowed, resulting in poor performance. This makes it more difficult for lithium ions to be inserted into the intercalation layers. Electrodes are prevented from handling the current flow, resulting in lithium plating. Lithium plating of electrodes permanently damages the battery’s capacity.
Fortunately, it’s easy to keep an iPhone warm. Simply put the device in a pocket near your body. The heat from your body will keep your iPhone warm. Avoid taking your iPhone out of your pocket until you reach a warmer environment. If your iPhone has been exposed to cold temperatures, wait for it to come up to room temperature before turning it on, in order to prevent condensation. For more information on using an iPhone in cold climates, check out “iPhone Tips for Cold Weather”. (continue…)