It seems that the Battery Drain problems for Apple impacting more iPhone owners with the iOS 5.0.1 fix is not the only problem they are facing right now. It seems that for some iPhone owners, the phone just shuts itself down and it seems that it is a non-functioning phone at that point.
The only way to revive the phone is to do a hard reset by “holding both the power button (top) and the home button (bottom of screen) down at the same time for at least 10 seconds until the Apple logo appears” and that brings the phone back to life. Searching for “apple iphone shut down problem” returns a long list of hits and indicates that this is a problem that is going on and has been for years. If you look at only those associated with the “Apple Support Forum”, the list is very long. For some, it is because the power button has gotten stuck in the down position, but for others the fix to the problem is not that simple.
We started to look into this because of a comment from Zack where he said
“Another emerging problem is the iPhone 4s have a glitch and will turn off randomly and a hard reset must be performed to turn it back on. Apple says its a hardware issue with iOS 5.0.1″.
Reports of iPhone 3GS problems seem to show a random shut down for some people when the battery got down to the 60% range. For some, just replacing the battery on an iPHone 3GS phone seem to correct the problem earlier this year. But there are others who have upgraded to iOS 5 and started having the random shutdown issues which seem to indicate a problem with iOS 5. Others were having the problem prior to the most recent iOS update.
There are reports of iPhone 4 random shut downs where the phone just went dark on them and required a hard reset to get it to come back on. Most of these are prior to September and under iOS 4, so this has nothing to do with iOS 5 battery drain issues. It seems that in a number of the situations, Apple just replaced the iPhone 4, but there are still people out there with the problem. For others, the problem continues where the phone just shuts itself down.
There are reports of random shutdowns for iPhone 4S owners that sounds very similar to other models where the owners are experiencing problems. Reports of this happening to iPhone 4S owners when the battery is at least half charged are showing up in the Apple Support Community and these are for new iPhones, not ones that have been in use for years. Since this is looking like it could be a common thread between the models, it is surprising that it has not become a bigger issue.
This appears to be a very quiet problem for iPhone owners and is not being reported much. It seems that the vast majority of reports are coming from the Apple Support Community. It could be assumed that this is a hardware problem, but if that was the case, Apple would just be replacing the phones to eliminate the problem and keep customers happy. If we make the assumption that this is a software problem and it could be given that is seems to happen as battery availability approaches the 50 – 60% range, then an update to the iOS could resolve this problem. Since it appears that Apple is going to skip iOS 5.0.2 for the battery drain problem and jump to iOS 5.1 which is currently released to developers, one wonders if there is a fix for this reported problem.
Given the iOS 5.0.1 fix for the battery drain issues, the auto shutdown of iPhones many be another incremental fix to the problem and elusive to correct.