Wondering how long iPhone batteries actually last? You’ve come to the right place!
The iPhone is a magnificent device that is capable of staggering capabilities. We can use an iPhone to watch 4K movies at will, shoot amazing panoramic photos, and play hundreds of thousands of games. But despite all its amazing capabilities, the iPhone’s most important piece of tech is its most basic: the battery.
This is because, without a battery, your iPhone is simply a really expensive piece of glass and aluminum. With the battery, the screen won’t turn on, the Wi-Fi won’t connect, and you won’t be able to take a single picture. Without the battery, the iPhone is a very weak door stop.
That’s why so many people wonder how long do iPhone batteries actually last? We’ll tackle that question first. But it’s a question that many people conflate with the similar “how long do iPhones last?” We’ll also answer that for clarity.
How Long Do iPhone Batteries Actually Last?
The original battery in your iPhone can last a very, very long time. I know people with iPhones that are over five years old and their iPhones STILL have their original batteries. However, the big caveat here is those iPhones no longer last 12-20 hours on a single charge. An iPhone with a five-year-old battery might only be able to go six to eight hours before needing a recharge.
This isn’t Apple’s fault. Though Apple is one of the most technologically advanced companies on the planet, the iPhone maker still has to obey the laws of psychics and chemistry. Apple’s iPhones do use the latest stable battery technology–the lithium ion battery–however, lithium ion batteries still rely on chemical processes that naturally degrade over time.
As these lithium ion batteries degrade over time, they are capably of holding fewer full charges. This is why your battery life of an iPhone (and ANY computing device, including Android phones) lessen over time. A battery becoming less able to hold as long of a charge is just a naturally accusing process the battery technology we rely on has.
So how long does an iPhone battery actually last? An here by “actually” we mean, how long can you expect an iPhone’s battery to be capably of retaining a “like-new” charge? That answer also depends on just how aggressively you use and charge your iPhone, but for all practical purposes an iPhone battery will have “like new” charge capabilities for about two years.
After two years, your iPhone’s battery health will decline (as according to physical laws–not some nefarious plan by Apple). Past this two year mark, your iPhone battery will be by no means “dead” but it just won’t hold as much of a charge as it used to. However, most iPhone users probably won’t have to think about replacing their iPhone battery until the 4-year mark. And by that time it just takes sense to buy a new iPhone anyway.
How Long Do iPhones Last?
If you’re wondering how long an iPhone lasts–much longer than the battery. I know people who are still rocking an iPhone 4, which will be almost a decade old soon. Of course, their old iPhone no longer gets iOS updates, but the phone still works.
iPhones usually are still perfectly capable smartphones for at least 5-6 years after you buy one. But they can last for a decade or more. However, once you get past the 4-year mark, your iPhone battery will take a big hit, which means you will likely need to get an iPhone battery replacement at that time if you do not want to upgrade to a new iPhone.
If you want to learn more about your iPhone battery, check out our tips on how to improve your iPhone battery life, learn about the history of iPhone battery sizes, learn about the newest iPhone battery tech, and check out these iPhone battery cases.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long do iPhone batteries typically last?
It depends on how you use your iPhone, but typically an iPhone battery will be “like new” for about 2 years. They can go about 4 years before you really need to have them replaced.
Q: What are the signs of a bad iPhone battery?
Signs of a bad iPhone battery include:
- Your iPhone holds a charge for fewer than 12 hours.
- Your iPhone swells (this could mean the iPhone battery is swelling–this is dangerous).
- Your iPhone automatically shuts off when it still has a 20-40% charge left.
Q: How many years should an iPhone Last?
An iPhone can last at least 5 years and still get software updates. But even iPhones that no longer receive current software updates can still be used for years after.
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.