Will Apple Learn From iPhone 3.1 Battery Life Backlash?

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Apple hasn't always been the most receptive technology giant -- especially when it comes to product criticism of its beloved iPhone. But now that it's clear battery life is an issue for many iPhone users who have upgraded to iPhone OS 3.1, will Apple take OS 3.1 concerns to heart, especially when it comes time to update the OS again?

It's a question worth asking as Apple reaches out to disgruntled iPhone users about the apparently battery-busting iPhone 3.1 OS software upgrade. According to many users who have brought their concerns to Apple's discussion forums, the problems with 3.1 don't exactly stop at batteries, either.

The iPhone Blog first reported over the weekend that some iPhone users were contacted by Apple and that AppleCare representatives had sent them a list of 11 follow-questions about their iPhone battery life, requesting information on push notifications, Bluetooth and other potential battery-drainers, including whether the battery life indicator itself was a problem.

AppleCare also sent select iPhone users a battery life logger that syncs to iTunes so that Apple can receive information on that phone's battery behavior. The user can then send log files to Apple via e-mail or through Apple's bugreport.apple.com portal. It would do Apple good to provide more detail on how that information is being used and how it will be applied to future iPhone OS upgrades.

Apple first unveiled iPhone OS 3.1 during its Sept. 8 event in San Francisco. It's a free download for iPhone and iPod Touch users and sports such new features as ringtones from major record labels and a "Genius" program that recommends applications from Apple's App Store.

Battery life isn't the only problem Apple users have brought to the attention of Apple's always-buzzing discussion boards. Many of the bugs described in detail by the CRN Test Center are frequent topics of conversation, as are quibbles over sound distortion and screwed-up iTunes libraries.

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