Would you trade iPhone thinness for longer battery life? [Poll]

When it comes to the next generation iPhone, is thinner always better, or would you trade a couple of extra millimeters for longer battery life? Rumors went around last week about Apple potentially changing screen technology to something that would let them make the iPhone 5 thinner than the current iPhone 4S. There was also some talk about Android maker HTC running internal polls about thinner phones vs. longer battery life. Apple, however, made the new iPad slightly thicker last time, in part to make sure they could add a Retina display and LTE radio and still off the same battery life.

If the iPhone casing gets even slightly bigger, then the battery can spread out more and maybe the next generation iPhone can be thinner and get the same or better battery life. If the iPhone 5 keeps the same overall casing size, however, something might have to give.

If you had the choice between a thinner new iPhone with shorter battery life, a same depth iPhone with the same battery life, and a slightly thicker new iPhone with longer battery life, which would you choose?

Vote in the poll up top and give me your reasons why in the comments below!

Would you trade iPhone thinness for longer battery life? [Poll]

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!


Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector, Review, and Isometric podcasts, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Dow.

More Posts



← Previously

Eddy Cue says Apple can't treat magazines differently than FarmVille when it comes to iBooks

Next up →

Forums: Weekly Photo Contest: Panoramas, Memorized email address in the email app

Reader comments

Would you trade iPhone thinness for longer battery life? [Poll]


The usual caveats apply - assuming a reasonable amount of thickness/heft
Thicker by a millimeter or 2.

Exactly. I would gladly trade a mm or two for some additional battery life or better yet the same battery life with a 4" screen and widgets.

Any thinner and I'm going to worry about it breaking in my pocket. Just don't see the need to get much thinnner, maybe just a tiny bit but not much at all.
Soon we'll all have a piece of glass in our pockets. Hmmm..

If it is just a little thicker than the 4S, as the New IPad is just a little thicker than the IPad 2.....I'd say yes, a little thicker, for better battery life.

There should have been a 4th poll option for:
"Hell yes! Do it now!"
I think this whole race for the thinnest device is absolute foolishness. Then, to make matters worse, the only way they're getting bigger batteries in devices is by make them larger in size... (Galaxy Note, Razr Maxxx, etc)
We can't continue this route, time to turn this car back around and head back towards bigger batteries that can last more than 8-10 hours.

To paraphrase an old saying, "You can never be too thin or have too much battery life." And if we had to pick only one, we'd prefer more battery life. Thinness will come over time.

Provided it was a huge jump, like double the battery life. If its just to keep it the same, like the new iPad, I'd be disappointed.

I voted for a thicker battery i can always use more battery life, also i would like the next iPhone to not be so slick! I had to put a case on my phone which i dislike because it was way too easy to drop.

Agreed. I added a case for the fist time ever until I changed the back out on mine to a wood one so it's just a bit grippier.

I think the question is a little off as of more recent rumors. I think the option is a thinner phone or same size that allows for a bigger battery based on a liquid metal backing with thinner glass with touch being built into the LCD...
I'm sure same size bigger battery would win over all....mind u...add lte data speed and that would leave one with...same size, more&faster features, same battery life....
Rumors r fun...

Not sure why people need to have a phone that last for more than a day. If I'm running or biking I have a juice pack to give me the battery life I want. For everything else the battery life is fine. I'd much prefer a thinner device with the same battery life. I'm hoping for iPod touch thin in the next iPhone.

People are way to obsessed with thing devices. I've never broken my iPT2g, but I've seen way to many people who have...

How about a bigger screen, thinner but wider, and better battery life. Battery tech has improved, the reports of thinner phone were with equal battery space so make it wider and add more battery and still be thinner.

What i truly don't understand is how is it that technology has advanced so greatly. How is it that my iphone 4 is more powerful than all supercomputers from the year 2000 and previous ( there are tests that prove that). How is it that i have such a gorgeous display which challenges what i see in real life...
And yet batteries haven't advanced since 2000..... pure foolishness

That is so true. There was a lot of research in battery size at one time. Statements were made that a car battery will be a micro chip, but as you state, not much change in batteries for a time. The technology is there, just guess the they people do not want to use it right now for whatever reason. Makes no sense at all. "pure foolishness" is so right.

Especially in comparison with a bulk of Android phones, I think the iPhone already has exceptional battery life. I think the thickness of the phone is fine as is, but anything more than that will take away some of the sleek awesomeness...
I think a thicker iPhone 5 would feel like going from an iPod Nano to the 1st Generation iPod.
Thus, same battery, same size!!

Lithium polymer...chances r more expensive and exotic materials with more stringent handling precautions, costs, and class action suits would b required to advance battery tech...and recycling tech
Fusion anyone?

Love the design of my 4S. No necessity requires my phone to be any slimmer than it already is. I COULD however use an extra few hours of battery life in my day. I have to use either 1)my mophie juice pack or 2) car charger during lunch every. single. day. as it stands. Most days it's fine, but if I have a day where I have an extraordinary amount of downtime at work then I am stuck doing both the car charger during lunch AND using my juicepack later in the afternoon. Rediculous if you ask me.

The current models are plenty thin, I don't have any desire for a thinner iPhone. A bigger battery would be amazing though :)

I believe with all the hype and Tim cook bring Apple to the future. We will see a new design for sure probably like the iPad2 I hope because I love my iPad2 just like it is. Tim is a stickler for tradition and I hope he keeps the traditions.

I think that the companies should develop a thinner phone with extra battery life!!! Come on, I can't believe they cannot do it... If I have to chose I chose battery life, as my Iphone 4s (work) battery is riduculous compared with my samsung galaxy sII (personal). But I can't belueve apple and the rest don't come up with a good solution...

Someone shared a concern over a phone being "too thin". I concur. Long time ago I had a Sky Page pager that was nearly credit card size. I returned it because I was afraid it would snap in half in my pocket. Others commented "I carry a juice pack" or similar "extra battery". Why? If I'm hiking or biking, why would I would want an extra device to carry?

Thinner is not always better. I concure with a lot of the other posters in that the iPhone being much thinner would also be fragile. I have no problem with charging my phone at/over night. However since upgrading to the 4s I have had days with, albeit heavier than normal use, that I must charge before the day is gone. As a user of many apple products I LOVED my iPhone 4 due to my average 2 day use before charge cycle. Understanding that as the devices can do more and run faster will effect drain times I was overly pleased and completely understanding in the thicker iPad (3rd gen). I am however displeased with the 4s(I've already returned one to apple for poor battery performance). I'm sure most people would agree that there is little glory in showing off a very asthetic but DEAD iPhone. "your heading to grandmas for the weekend, oh sh** you forgot to grab your charger, oh well your new iPhone will last just fine over the weekend and you can top off Sunday night after you get home." That's the phone I want to carry.

iPhone 4s battery life is great as is. If they add LTE in this next version, which they almost definitely will, they'll pretty much HAVE to increase battery life to compensate, much as they did with the new iPad.

I don't care whether it is thinner or not. The battery NEEDS to last longer than it does. Frankly, I certainly want to see I new design of iPhone, but it doesn't necessarily have to be thinner. I was somewhat disappointed when the new iPad LOOKED exactly like the old one. I want people to be able to know which one I have, without having to ask me.

This is a dumb argument. The phone as is is way to fragile for its' own good. Make it thinner, claim to have the thinnest, then we all have to go stick in an "Otter Box" just to walk out of the house. I have this great phone wrapped up in so much plastic you can hardly tell what it is. And if it is thinner next time, I will carry it the same way.