Higher Capacity Battery For iPad 3, iPhone 5
One of Apple’s favorite upgrades to its products is to put them on a diet. The ever-diminishing size and profile of Macbooks, iPhones, iPads, and iPods has become a mainstay for Cupertino’s R&D department, and it gets touted by the marketers as a leap forward in design: “now XX% thinner!” While thinner, smaller mobile devices have more curb appeal for the average Apple user, salt of the earth upgrades like battery life are really what define a great mobile device, and interestingly enough, gadget size and battery life are inextricably linked.
And for a first time in a long time, a rumor is surfacing in the Applesphere of a device getting larger, not smaller, in order to accommodate a larger battery and/or higher screen resolution.
9to5Mac has a nice piece out this week that outlines several new reports for the iPad 3, namely, a much bigger battery, improved display, and slightly thicker form factor. Citing DigiTimes, Seth Weintraub reports that “the next iPad will have a monster battery that will more than double the current 6579 mAH to a whopping 14,000 mAH. Apple currently uses battery suppliers Simplo Technology and Dynapack who both denied to comment on the report.” It doesn’t take a rechargeable battery expert to understand the significant increase here. As a comparison, the Kindle’s battery tops out at 1530 mAh, but allows the Kindles to run for an incredibly long amount of time, given the fact that they are lower profile performance-wise compared to the iPad. But it appears that Apple might be looking to give the iPad 3 the same kind of longevity as the Kindle devices while at the same time offering a much more feature-rich tablet.
But accompanying this rumor is the prospect of a thicker iPad 3.
DigiTimes is also reporting that the iPad 3 will indeed feature the higher QXGA resolution (1,536×2,048 pixels) and dual LED bars to increase brightness, all of which would require more battery juice. But because of this, “We have heard earlier reports that the next iPad would be significantly thicker and this might be a reason.” It would be an odd form factor reversal for Apple to feature a thicker iPad 3, after boasting a thinner iPad 2. But if the thickness brings with it lavish new features and performance, I doubt that users will sweat a few extra millimeters.
A Thicker iPhone 5 With Bigger Battery?
This isn’t an iPad 3 blog, and so we have to pivot this discussion into talking about how new battery technology, resolution, and form factors on the iPad 3 might impact the iPhone 5 as well. It is likely that any of the new battery technology deployed on the iPad 3 will find its way onto the iPhone 5 since, as we have already discussed, the iPhone 5 is going to sport a wave of new features that will require more battery capacity, namely, a larger screen, an A6 processor, LTE, a more intelligent Siri/Assistant, and who knows what else.
Rumors have persisted that the iPhone 5 would ultimately be a thinner device — some have even said that it would be as thin as a credit card. Our own source claims that the form factor will be thinner as well. But the thinness rumors and large screen/A6/LTE rumors are currently on a collision course. There’s no way we’re going to get an iPhone 5 with all the new features and have it be smaller and thinner. Why? Simply put, all this new gear will need a bulkier battery and larger form factor to house it — just like the iPad 3.
Would a slightly thicker iPhone 5 be a big problem for users? Well, the tech community is always looking for something to complain about, and if Apple manages to deliver an iPhone 5 with all of the above-mentioned landmark features — albeit with a slightly portly form factor — the geeks will just have to complain about that.
But my opinion is that the ever-shrinking mobile device is outmoded and obsolete.
Even the sub-9″ iPad rumor is (once again) faltering, as 9to5Mac reports: “The 7.85-inch display iPad that DigiTimes had originally rumored is no longer in the plans (or likely never was).” Ultra-small mobile devices were a fad, and once users started to see how smaller didn’t mean better, as a rule, most people are willing to scale up their smartphones a bit in order to improve battery life, performance, viewing, and typing.
My feeling is that Apple rather likes its screen sizes and form factor dimensions for the iPhone and iPad. I think that Steve Jobs would have been content to keep them as-is for the foreseeable future. Now that Tim Cook is at the helm, it remains to be seen how his ideologies on screen dimensions will diverge from that of his predecessor. But one thing’s for sure: Apple will be hard pressed to make the iPhone 5 the “wonder device” it is rumored to become and make it thinner.