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What we really want: More Battery Life

Dear Apple,

Sometime this September, you are bound to unleash your next salvo of mobile devices that are destined to whet the appetites of countless fans and fanatics the world over. Likely, you’d be announcing the new iPhone 5S (let’s call it that for now), and even the much-rumored lower-priced iPhone 5C (again, let’s call it that for now).

And of course, to stoke interest for your products, you probably will announce quite a few new innovations to distinguish this year’s crop of goodies from last year’s.

Well, I just have one request, but it’s a big one.

If there’s one thing that you really really have to work on, and if there’s one thing that will get a whole host of people to switch to your newer models, then all you need is to focus on this:

Battery life.

Frankly, people are getting sick and tired of having to keep their smartphones tethered to a plug for the better part of the day, just so they don’t run out of juice at the most inopportune time. It’s the most common gripe and problem that people have with using a high-tech smartphone. And too few brands are doing anything about it.

Sure there are exceptions, such as the giant “slablets” that do over a day’s worth of heavy use, thanks to giant batteries fitting into their giant frames. But for the most part, battery life sucks for nearly all smartphones in the market today.

And sure you can always argue that this is what mobile power banks are for. But come on. Are you really comfortable tucking both a smartphone and a battery pack into your pocket so that the rig charges as you walk around? Admit it, part of you is worried that your pants might just catch fire or something.

And sure you can argue that most Android phones have replaceable battery packs. But that’s still an inconvenience right there. Plus, admit it Android users, the fact that your phone has a pop-open rear end makes it look leaps uglier than classier sealed-type units.

So yes, we need longer battery life. Not just from tweaked software hacks that help to prolong life by a mere two percent or so. No, what we need is a radically different, radically bold new battery strategy. Something that will allow an iPhone, for instance, to go for three days without having to charge, even with heavy use.

Make that happen, Apple. Because hey, we’re sniffing the air right now and sensing that for any other announced feature, whether the new iOS 7 look or more potent cameras or a Siri with a male voice or bigger memory, the interest could simply be lukewarm. That could ruinĀ  your sales momentum.

But extra long battery life? I bet even recent buyers of iPhone 5′s will want to upgrade, pronto.

So make it happen, Apple. What for are you sitting on your giant pile of cash if not to make this possible?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to charge my phone…



Art is a long-time editor for a number of technology publications. He is a Palanca-winning writer (he got lucky) whose day job is to try to be as serious as possible while being a management consultant and lecturer. His favorite noodles: chapchae.

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