This might be the worst iPhone 12 bug since launch
  • iPhone 12 owners are reporting accelerated battery drain on their new phones, even while idling.
  • Hundreds of users on the Apple Communities forum say that the batteries on their iPhone 12 models are dying far too quickly even when they turn off 5G or activate Low Power Mode.
  • Apple has yet to address the issue, but it seems likely that it’s a software bug in iOS.

No product launch is complete without a bug or two, and according to hundreds of users on the Apple Communities forum, the new iPhone 12 models are experiencing a serious bug that is affecting battery life. As spotted by 9to5Mac, a user on the forum started a thread about the battery on their iPhone 12 Pro draining much more quickly than they’d expected on October 25th. In the weeks since, hundreds more have echoed this complaint.

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Here’s what user Master26A said in his original post about the accelerated battery drain on his iPhone 12 Pro:

Trying to work out if I have a defective unit I need to send back or if there’s a wider issue here. The iPhone 12 Pro is advertised as having a smaller battery than the iPhone 11 Pro so I expected to have slightly reduced battery life (which is fine as 11 Pro was excellent).

However 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).

No matter what I try, it seems to be going down oddly quick. Not to an [unusable] level or anything world ending, but I guess its sort of suspicious. I check the battery report, and it’s not showing any real culprit, just a rapid decline for no clear reason.

If anyone can share their idle battery with either 12 or 12 Pro I’d really appreciate it.

Accelerated battery drain can happen for any number of reasons, especially in the early days of owning a new iPhone as it downloads your data from the cloud and you spend more time checking out all the new features and functionality. That said, the fact that the user’s battery continued to drain at an accelerated rate when idling was abnormal.

A mobile engineer chimed in days after the thread was posted to share a chart illustrating the difference between the battery levels on an iPhone 12 and iPhone 11. The iPhone 12’s curve shows a rapid decline, even when Low Power Mode is activated (the yellow section). The iPhone 11’s curve looks far more typical:

iPhone 12 accelerated battery drain (top) vs. iPhone 11 battery drain (bottom). Image source: Odiebla/Apple Communities

As multiple users in the thread suggest, it’s likely that this is an iOS bug that Apple has yet to address. One user said that they spoke to Apple Support about the issue and after running diagnostics, they couldn’t find anything wrong with the hardware. iOS 14.3 is currently being beta tested — perhaps it will include a fix.

Jacob started covering video games and technology in college as a hobby, but it quickly became clear to him that this was what he wanted to do for a living. He currently resides in New York writing for BGR. His previously published work can be found on TechHive, VentureBeat and Game Rant.

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