Why Apple won't put bigger batteries in the iPhone even though it improves battery life

Jony IveGetty Images/Michael KovacApple design boss Jony Ive.

People are fed up with short battery life on their devices. 73% of respondents to a recent poll said they’d rather have a thicker smartphone if it meant they could have longer-lasting batteries. But Apple isn’t buying it.

In a new interview with Nick Foulkes from the Financial Times, Apple design chief Jony Ive has defended the company’s ever-thinner designs, even when they come at the expense of increased battery life. He says that the company won’t introduce a larger battery because it’d make the devices more “cumbersome” and less “compelling”:

“When the issue of the frequent need to charge the iPhone is raised,” Foulkes writes, “[Ive] answers that it’s because it’s so thin and light that we use it so much and therefore deplete the battery.”

(Talking of performance, when the issue of the frequent need to recharge the iPhone is raised, he answers that it’s because it’s so light and thin that we use it so much and therefore deplete the battery. With a bigger battery it would be heavier, more cumbersome, less “compelling”.)

That said, battery life is clearly a serious concern for Apple. Developers we’ve spoken to say that Apple is limiting the functionality of apps for the Apple Watch in order to maintain battery life. “Sensors take up a lot of battery, and they don’t want every app out there on the Apple Watch using these sensors because of all of a sudden this watch will only give you four hours of battery life,” developer Sumit Mehra said.

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