There’s been no shortage of users reporting various problems with their new iPhone 12 devices this year, ranging from green-tinted screens to phones randomly losing cellular connectivity, and now another series of reports have added another problem to the mix: excessive battery drain.
Although we already know that the iPhone 12’s 5G speeds result in a pretty big hit on battery life, it appears that some users are experiencing significantly reduced battery life that has nothing to do with the use of 5G at all — in fact, most reports suggest that the iPhone is losing an unreasonable amount of power simply when it’s sitting idly in standby mode.
The issue seems to have first been brought up in a post by user Master26A on Apple’s Discussion Forums (via 9to5Mac), but while it seemed like it may have been an isolated problem at first, thousands of additional users have since chimed in, with the initial Apple Discussions thread growing to a staggering 57 pages, plus the same problems being reported in other Apple Discussions threads and on Reddit.
iPhone 12 Battery Draining on Standby
The original report, which concerned a new iPhone 12 Pro, saw it draining at a rate of about 4 percent per hour, which was significantly faster than the user’s previous iPhone 11 Pro. Disabling mobile data didn’t seem to make any difference, which isn’t surprising as the problem was occurring while the iPhone 12 Pro was connected to Wi-Fi anyway.
I’m noticing that the iPhone 12 Pro is draining when idle with almost no background activity at a rate of 4% which is much faster than my previous iPhone 11 Pro, and to be honest a faster idle drain than I can actually remember from a new iPhone. First instinct was to disable Mobile data to see if it was a 5G thing, but I actually don’t see any real difference from doing that (which makes sense as I’ve been on Wifi 98% of the time since I got it).
Although it’s not abnormal to see slightly higher power usage on a brand new iPhone — or even on an Apple Watch — especially after restoring from an iCloud backup since there’s still a lot of data that gets synced down in the background, for many users the problem persisted for days or even weeks, long after any initial syncing or battery calibration procedures should have finished doing their thing.
Instead, users are reporting seeing up to a 40 percent loss of battery overnight, during a time when their iPhone 12 devices are sitting completely idle, and none of the usual recommendations for improving battery life seem to have made a difference.
Another user in the Apple Discussions thread, ApplePears88, noted that they had Apple support run diagnostics on their iPhone 12, which determined that there were no apparent hardware issues causing the problem, however they also shared a screenshot of the battery graph from their iPhone, showing a clear loss of 40 percent of the battery charge while the iPhone clearly wasn’t doing anything.
While the overnight drain obviously isn’t a problem for most users, since that’s when the iPhone is most likely to be charging, that’s also not really the point, since it’s simply representative of how much power the iPhone 12 is losing for no discernible reason.
To be fair, we’re quite sure the vast majority of iPhone users are not experiencing many of these problems, but of course if you are, it can be fairly frustrating, especially when no fix is yet in sight. The good news, however, is that all of the evidence suggests that these battery drain problems are entirely an iOS-level software issue, meaning that Apple will hopefully find a way to fix it in an upcoming iOS update, which we can hope arrives sooner rather than later.