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If you’re not aware of the iPhone battery issues that have been doing the rounds online for the last few weeks, then it’s fair to say that you’ve either been on a manned mission to Mars, or living under a rather large and particularly solid rock.

For those that do fall into either of those two categories though, here’s a little update.

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Since the iPhone 4S went on sale last month, many have been reporting extremely poor battery life from their new handsets. The reports spread to iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS owners, too, as they began to install iOS 5 en-masse. The issue manifests itself with iPhones struggling to last the day on a single charge, with at least one member of the Redmond Pie staff finding it hard to get an iPhone 4S through until lunchtime on occasion.

Now, ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has come up with a startling observation, with a little help from a developer friend of his. His observation? Apparently, and I do hope you’re sat down for this, the battery issues are not, repeat not, hardware related.

Kingsley-Hughes comes up with the rather blindingly obvious observation after his guinea pig of a developer noticed that one of his new iPhone 4S handsets was suffering a severe loss of battery power, but one was not. He then decided to take matters into his own hands to see whether the problem could be ‘moved’ to the other handset by backing both iPhones up, and then restoring them using each other’s backup. Crafty indeed.

Shock-horror, the issue followed the backup to the previously OK iPhone, which anyone with more than a passing interest in these things could possibly have deduced by, oh, reading the umpteen posts, news articles and forum writings that suggest the issue is present on existing iPhone 4 and 3GS handsets. Did those develop hardware faults at the same time iOS 5 was installed? No, probably not.

So, we’re now left with the same conclusion that 99% of us, INCLUDING APPLE have already come to – there is a bug or ten currently residing in Apple’s iOS 5 which is causing premature battery drain. Thankfully, Apple is already working on it and has as such released iOS 5.0.1, the company’s first salvo in an attempt to get our iPhones lasting longer than lunch time.

Now, we’re off to just make sure the world is still round, and that fire is hot.

We’ll report back.

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