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There are three things that are guaranteed in life: death, taxes, and a new iPhone suffering poor battery life.

Reports of less than stellar iPhone 4S battery life have been circulating for the last couple of weeks now, with early adopters once again acting like guinea pigs for those clever enough to hold of buying the latest and greatest tech toys.

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We at Redmond Pie clearly aren’t all that bright either – one team member even queued up at stupid o’clock to get his iPhone 4S. *cough* It was me! *cough*.

Owners of the iPhone 4S have been tweeting, posting to Facebook and generally telling anyone who will listen that their new smartphone is chewing through battery power quicker than their old iPhone, and not just a little bit quicker.

According to one Guardian reader, their iPhone was working its way through 10% of battery every hour, even when just in standby.

My battery life was extremely poor – 10% drop in standby every hour. I noticed that the usage figure was roughly half that of standby, even when the phone was not being used, so I assumed something was crashing or running in the background. I switched off all the new features including Siri and location services, but it was still really poor. I also tried setting up a clean phone with no apps but it is still really poor.

That’s a story that has been echoed the web-over, though this particular one gets a little more interesting.

According to the same person, Apple then got in touch with him via phone, where an engineer admitted that the company is aware of a potential issue and that, worryingly, they are not close to a fix.

There are two things about that story that don’t quite add up. First, why did Apple get in touch with this one person? What was so special about them? The story doesn’t say that they got in touch with Apple first.

Secondly, it’s not like Apple to admit any kind of issue, especially if they don’t have a fix in the pipeline.

It is also debatable whether the issue really is the iPhone 4S, or the version of iOS it is running.

Many iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS owners have also reported decreased battery life since updating their phones to the latest software version, which does tend to point the finger at iOS 5, rather than the iPhone 4S specifically.

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We’ll have to see what Apple does moving forward, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see an incremental iOS update hitting iTunes soon.

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