iOS 5.1 beta fails to fix complex iPhone battery issues

The Cupertino company released the first beta of iOS 5.1 for developers on Monday, which many expected to include a fix for the battery problem.

However, according to preliminary analysis of this new version, while some users acknowledge an improvement to the battery life, others reported no change, with some even claiming the problem was now worse.

The site ArsTechica spoke with two analysts to try to understand the cause of the battery drain problem and the reason could be due to the complexity of smartphones.

ABI Research’s Michael Morgan told the site that software is more likely to cause the issue than hardware.

“iOS 5 may simply be using more data transmission or running more background processes to support its new features,” Morgan told Ars. “There is also some potential impact of iCloud services.”

Battery-related issues, or any “undefined glitch,” are a “massive problem” for Apple, Morgan said, noting that it can sometimes be hard to get a solution to the problem with complex software such as iOS 5.

“We tore down the 4S and tested some of the major components, including the new A5 processor,” he added. “Nothing that we tested was significantly different from the iPhone 4, and power draw was right where we expected it to be.”

Given that the current iOS 5.1 is still in beta, this may mean that Apple could still be working on some issues in the software and that the battery problems might get a solution in an upcoming beta or in the final version.