Quick! If Apple CEO Tim Cook knocked on your door and asked you what you wanted to see in the next iPhone, what would be your response?

See also : High-performance storage: From flash drives to server hard drives [1]

When I've asked people this question in previous years I used to get a list of predictable replies:

  • Better performance
  • Smaller/thinner/lighter
  • Better camera
  • More storage
  • Better battery life

Pretty predictable stuff, and the areas where we've seen the most development in the smartphone market.

Well, all except one area. Better battery life.

Better battery life has been something that smartphone users have been asking for since the dawn of smartphones and yet it's one of those areas where we've seen the least overall progress. Sure, what the iPhone of 2018 can do with its battery is light years ahead of what the iPhone of 2007 could do with a battery that physically - and chemically - didn't look that different.

But much of that progress has been made thanks to increased efficiency, especially on the display and processor front. And Apple's shift to even more efficient processors this year - shrinking the architecture down from 10-nanometers to 7-nanometers - will no doubt bring with it greater power efficiencies, but these will likely be swallowed up by new features.

What efficiencies give, overall progress takes away.

The original 2007 iPhone contained a 1400mAh lithium-ion battery, while the iPhone 8 contains an 1821mAh lithium-ion battery. Even the iPhone X, which features a twin-cell arrangement[2], has a battery capacity of a little under double that of the original iPhone.

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