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Will Poor Battery Life Hurt Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 7 Sales?

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It’s only natural for the most anticipated phone of all time to be scrutinized through a fine lens.  Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) iPhone is the most popular phone on the market, and iterations of the product have been closely critiqued and examined after each release. 

The iPhone 7 has some neat new features like water resistance and stereo sound, but it is no stranger to scrutiny.  Many have been complaining about the latest iPhone lacking a headphone jack and physical home button, but there now seems to be something else folks can complain about.

Two tests conducted by Which? have revealed that the iPhone 7’s battery life doesn’t last as long as its 3 major competitors’ smart phones, which include the Samsung Galaxy S7, the HTC 10, and the LG G5.  One of the tests measured how long the phones would last making calls, and the other measured battery life when browsing the web.  The iPhone 7 was the poorest performer in both of these tests.

Does this stand to hurt Apple’s iPhone 7 sales?

The results need to be assessed before judging whether or not these findings can negatively impact the iPhone’s revenue potential.  The HTC 10, LG G5, and Samsung Galaxy S7 lasted about 31, 26.3, and 24.9 hours respectively.  The iPhone 7 performed much worse, logging in just 11.9 hours of call time on a full charge.  While its peers have greater longevity in this test, the iPhone 7 will still give more than enough battery life to most users who make lots of calls on a daily basis.  This test’s results shouldn’t be a deal breaker for most consumers who are thinking of buying an iPhone 7.  It also shouldn’t be a deal breaker for those who are considering offloading AAPL shares.

The next test showed is probably more important since it measured how long phones lasted while browsing the net.  The HTC 10, Galaxy S7, and LG G5 lasted 13.2, 11.3, and 10.7 hours respectively.  The iPhone 7 came in last place again, but it did so by a smaller margin.  The phone’s battery provided web browsing for about 10.2 hours.  The phones that logged second and third place didn’t beat the iPhone 7’s battery life by much more than an hour, so it seems like Apple’s flagship phone is still competent compared to its rival phones’ battery lives when using the internet. 

Bottom Line

BTIG Research believes that the iPhone 7’s sales will see higher than expected demand because of extended shipping dates which are longer than when the iPhone 6 was released.  The demand is high, and store checks across the globe have lead Citigroup to revise the number of iPhone 7s it expects Apple to sell in its first fiscal quarter.  The results of the battery life test are probably not what Apple would like to see, but battery life from the phone is still good enough for most users who are mulling over a potential purchase of the iPhone 7.

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