This iPhone 17 Pro leak seems boring, but it’s great news for battery life

Battery life is a key factor when buying a new iPhone or any new smartphone, as is battery health. One way or another, iPhone battery life has been a hot topic in the past few weeks, and we’re about to look at another rumor teasing innovations that will help Apple extend battery life in future models. But this one is a seemingly boring report detailing internal iPhone changes that most buyers won’t care about.

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Apple is reportedly working on a big change for the logic boards it uses inside the iPhone that will let it free up additional space for larger batteries. That’s exciting, considering what has been happening with iPhones recently.

First, some iPhone 14 Pro owners complained their batteries degraded faster than previous models. Apple never really addressed the issue, and it turns out that it’s not a real problem.

Then, the iPhone 15 came out, and we discovered the Pro variants get the same battery life estimates as their predecessors. That means the iPhone 15 Pro Max has amazing battery life and will outlast the Galaxy S23 Ultra in real-life usage. But, more interestingly, the iPhone 15 Plus has even better battery life than its more expensive sibling.

Finally, the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max started overheating, including instances while the handsets were charging. That’s another issue that can impact the battery, but one that Apple has mostly fixed.

iPhone 15 Pro on a shelf.iPhone 15 Pro on a shelf. Image source: Jonathan Geller, BGR

Well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo penned a new blog post where he detailed a new resin-coated copper (RCC) material for logic boards. Here’s how he described it:

RCC can reduce the thickness of the mainboard (i.e., it can save internal space) and make the drilling process easier because it’s fiberglass-free. However, RCC will not be adopted in the 2024 iPhone 16 due to its fragile characteristics and inability to pass drop tests.

Kuo said that if Apple can improve RCC before the third quarter of 2024, the iPhone 17 Pro models might use it.

The iPhone 15 Pro indicates that Apple might have hit a wall when it comes to improving battery life. The Pro models feature the more efficient A17 Pro chip, which reduces power consumption. Also, the phones are 0.4 mm thicker than their predecessors. But the iPhone 15 Pro/Max estimates are the same as the iPhone 14 Pro/Max.

One way to improve battery size is to increase the overall size of the iPhone. And Apple will reportedly increase the size of the iPhone 16 Pro models next year. The main reason it’s doing that is apparently to accommodate a zoom lens inside the smaller model.

Another way to boost battery life is to change the battery technology. Rumors say iPhone 16 models might include new stacked battery designs. Adopting RCC to further reduce the thickness of the mainboard would be another way to increase the internal space available to the battery.

A combination of the ideas above could help Apple boost iPhone battery life in the coming years. None of these iPhone innovations are confirmed, however.

I speculate that a smaller logic board would allow Apple to employ better cooling methods in future iPhones. The iPhone 15 Pro overheating issue suggests that this is something Apple has to fix at the hardware level.




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