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What is the battery life of the original iPhone? Can you replace the battery? If so, how do you replace the battery?
Please note that this Q&A refers to the original iPhone. The original iPhone was replaced by the iPhone 3G on June 9, 2008.
Upon its unveiling on January 9, 2007, Apple reported that the iPhone was to provide "up to" 16 hours of audio playback and "up to" 5 hours of "talk, video, and browsing".
On June 18, 2007, Apple boosted these numbers to "up to" 8 hours of talk time, 24 hours of audio playback, 7 hours of video playback, and 6 hours of web browsing. Apple also revealed that the original iPhone provides "up to" 250 hours of standby time.
Third-Party Battery Life Test Result
If you're not the type of person to just take official estimates at face value, a respected third-party test result can be quite valuable.
We ran the battery down to 10% with just shy of nine hours of usage. (iPhone tracks "usage", which is all the time it spends not in standby since its last complete charge.) A majority of that time was spent using Internet via WiFi, with some EDGE, occasional photo taking, and about an hour and a half of phone calls.
Apple claims up to 6 hours of Internet use, or up to 8 hours of talk time. We didn't measure closely, but our first day appears to bear out these claims. It will take a few weeks of use to get a sense of how long the battery lasts with typical a day to day usage, but we guess that we'll be charging it every two or three days as we drop to less frequent use.
Official Battery Replacement Info
Unlike the majority of mobile phones which have a battery that is easy for an end user to replace, the iPhone does not compromise the sleek design with a battery "bay" or a "sliding" rear cover.
Officially, after the one year warranty (long since expired for all original iPhone models), the end-user is supposed to ship the iPhone to Apple for battery replacement. Apple can replace the battery for US$79 plus US$6.95 for shipping. The service takes three business days and a "loaner" iPhone is offered for US$29 while the battery replacement is in progress.
Unofficial Battery Replacement Instructions
When the iPhone was first announced, EveryiPhone.com was optimistic that it would be possible for a technically minded end user to replace the iPhone battery -- without resorting to soldering -- in the same way many "full size" iPod, iPod mini, and iPod nano batteries can be replaced with a good deal of effort, but unfortunately, upon disassembly, iFixit discovered that the battery is soldered to the logicboard.
Nevertheless, for the patient and highly technically inclined, it still is possible to replace the battery in the iPhone, but as it is for any task that involves soldering, it is not for the inexperienced.
This straightforward step-by-step video from site sponsor Other World Computing covers the battery replacement procedure for the original iPhone:
After watching the video, it is hoped that you will be able to decide whether or not you feel confident replacing the battery yourself or if you would prefer to hire a professional. Professional installation is highly recommended.
In addition to providing installation videos, Other World Computing sells replacement iPhone batteries and offers a battery replacement by mail service as well. Mission Repair also offers a replacement by mail service for the original iPhone battery.