3 reasons why a smaller iPhone 6S battery shouldn't worry you
With leaks emerging about the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus ahead of next week's Apple announcement, business users may have nothing to worry about when it comes to the smartphone's battery life.
However, battery size alone is only part of the problem. Apple isn't selling you a commodity, in the form of a replaceable battery. Instead, the company is selling you an experience, and when packaged together with its software, latest processing technology and other improvements, a smaller battery may not necessarily result in degraded battery life.
The iPhone 6S is expected to have an 1,715 mAh battery, down from the 1,810mAh pack on the iPhone 6, while the larger smartphone will have a 2,750mAh battery compared to the 2,910mAh battery on the current generation model.
This represents a 5.3% physical drop in battery capacity for the iPhone 6S and 5.5% for the iPhone 6S Plus.
The only unfortunate thing about this scenario is that leaked specifications for the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus indicate that these models will have a larger chassis than the phones that they'll replace, despite having a smaller battery. With new, stronger metals and the Force Touch screen technology rumored, the iPhone models will grow slightly taller, slightly wider and slightly thicker.
1. Power-sipping iOS 9
Hardware alone is only part of the iPhone 6S story. Apple has historically played up its tight integration in creating its own hardware and software, and the story should be no different on the iPhone 6.
When it debuted iOS 9 earlier this summer, Apple promised that system-wide improvements compared to the current generation iOS 8 software should lead to about an hour of extra battery life.
The new operating system also comes with a Low Power mode, similar to Android phones from HTC, Samsung and Sony, that allows owners to squeeze even more battery life on a single charge by turning off idle processes and radios when they're not in use. With Low Power mode on, you can get up to three extra hours on current generation hardware.
These software improvements may go a long way to helping the iPhone 6s and the 6s Plus conserve battery life, despite having a smaller battery.
2. Better brains
Even though ARM chips are used on the iPhone and iPad, Apple makes tweaks to the processor design to help them deliver more power in a more efficient manner.
In terms of battery life, we can expect Apple's rumored A-series processor to be even more efficient this year. Apple released the A8 processor on last year's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, so we can likely expect an A8x or A9 processor on this year's release.
A more powerful, but energy efficient processor can help bring faster performance and longer battery life at the same time. On the desktop, Intel is proving this with the recent release of Skylake, which brings better processing, graphics and battery life numbers.
3. Packing power
We'll still have to wait for the release of these new handsets to compare battery life against the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but if you're still concerned, you can buy external batteries to get you through a long work day.
Even though Apple doesn't bless the iPhone with a removable battery, third-party case manufacturers have integrated batteries into the case design, bringing a compact solution that delivers the protection of a case and the power of an extended battery.
Incipio creates an offGRID battery case, and rival Mophie has a line of popular JuicePack cases that are designed for each iPhone model.
Given the slightly thicker, wider and taller dimensions leaked for the new Apple smartphone models, you may not be able to re-use your existing Mophie, Incipio or third-party battery case, but likely new models will come to accommodate your powerful new phone.
You can also carry a battery pack, if you want to preserve the handset's slim design and not have the bulk of an extended battery on your phone at all times, and plug your phone into the power pack as needed.