Mobile Phone Battery Life

Probably the greatest barrier to the development of mobile phones is the battery life. At one point the battery life on the phone was very good – look at the worlds best selling phone, the Nokia 1100. It had 140 hrs of standby time – nearly two weeks. Obviously batteries have not suddenly become weaker, its just that mobile computing power requirements have leapt up.
The current generations of smartphones – iphones and Blackberry’s – all suffer from a relatively short battery life. It is so poor, that when I got a G1, it came with instructions on how to conserve the battery life. They basically admitted that it wasn’t very good. Probably the worst thing is the screen itself, using around a third of the total power, but some apps, video, bluetooth and especially the GPS are all power hungry.
The problem from the point of view of mobile developers, and especially those brands who are looking to enhance their engagement through things like apps is that they assume people will always have enough battery life. Location services for example will assume that your GPS is always on. In reality many of us keep those ‘extras’ turned off to conserve power. So booting up a location app may be something that we think twice about. The experience is no longer seamless.
The good news is that battery life will get better, and hopefully soon. Some scientists for example are looking at ‘air cells’, where good ole, clean air becomes the battery re-agent rather than expensive chemicals. What it also means is that battery life increase by 10 fold. So it will be back to weekly rather than daily charging for smartphone users. The other side of thing is charging time. Rather than hours fully charge a battery, we are looking at seconds to do it.
Sadly, we don’t have it just yet, so all you iphone users will just have to keep running for the power socket!

There is a good article about mobile battery life from the Independent, here
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2 thoughts on “Mobile Phone Battery Life

  1. Pingback: Mobile Battery Life: your choice of mobile operator could be significant « The future of mobile and mobile marketing

  2. Pingback: Mobile Battery Life Problems: could they be a thing of the past? « The Future of Mobile and Mobile Marketing

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