iPhone 12 battery filings reveal surprise drop in capacity

Fake iPhone 12 concept
Fake iPhone 12 concept (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore - iPhone 12 concept )

What you need to know

  • New filings have revealed batteries which seem to be for the upcoming iPhone 12.
  • If real, they could point to a downsizing of batteries in the iPhone 12 lineup.
  • But that doesn't necessarily mean a drop in performance.

New iPhone 12 battery filings spotted by MySmartPrice suggest the iPhone 12's battery capacity might be smaller than that of the iPhone 11 lineup.

According to the report:

Amidst news about the possibility that Apple might stop bundling chargers with this year's iPhone models, three new iPhone battery models have appeared on certification platforms UL Demko, Safety Korea, and 3C. Apart from these new batteries, we have also come across two new iPhone chargers on 3C. These include a new variant of the standard 5W charger and a brand new 20W charger – the latter with model number A2305. Now, if you happen to own an iPhone (or simply happen to be an Apple fanboy), you might probably be aware that the maximum charging speed supported by iPhones top out at 18W. Apple seems all set to bump that number to at least 20W with its iPhone 12 models when they launch the new devices in September 2020.

The three new batteries by model number are A2471, A2431, and A2466. Images of the batteries in the filing reveal that the capacity of each respectively is 2227mAh, 2775mAh, and 3687mAh.

MSP postulates that based on rumors that there will be four new iPhones in the iPhone 12 lineup, these batteries will feature as follows:

Apple iPhone 12 (5.4-inch) – A2471 – 2227mAh Apple iPhone 12 Max (6.1-inch) – A2431 – 2775mAh Apple iPhone 12 Pro (6.1-inch) – A2431 – 2775mAh Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (6.7-inch) – A2466 – 3687mAh

As noted, some of these batteries are smaller in capacity than their respective iPhone 11 predecessors. The 5.4-inch doesn't have a natural comparison, but for reference, the slightly larger (in total, not screen size) iPhone SE features a 1,821mAh battery. The iPhone 12 Max and iPhone 12 Pro (6.1-inch) both have a smaller battery than the iPhone 11 Pro (3190mAh). The iPhone 12 Pro Max, according to this, would have a battery slightly larger than the iPhone 11 Pro Max (3500mAh).

There is, of course, no guarantee that a smaller battery would equal diminished performance compared to this year's phones. Apple has shied away from battery specifications in recent iPhone models, rather emphasizing how well the battery of a new iPhone compares to an old one. For example, the iPhone 11's battery is listed in comparison to the iPhone XS on Apple's website, rather than in mAh. Reduced battery capacity could be an indicator of increased power efficiency, or perhaps space-saving needs driven by an increase in components elsewhere in the device.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

  • Without 120hz it doesn't need as much power.
  • Still has 5G which is a battery drain (more so than LTE)
  • 5G, higher refresh display and they lower the battery size. It is a shame it will be taking a step back from the iPhone 11/pro battery life which is pretty awesome.
  • I’ve been hearing for years that smaller batteries don’t mean less battery life. I have yet to see that play out in real life. It would be such a step back if the 12’s have less battery longevity than their predecessors.
  • When people start complaining about the battery life on the iPhone 12 series thanks to Apple's error in putting smaller batteries in the iPhone 12 series along with 5G plus the rumoured 230jz refresh rate it's a step backwards for the iPhone 12 series for battery life. It gives my decision to not want for the iPhone 12 series and getting the iPhone 11 Pro Max insteadz more validation.