Apple’s Batterygate: iPad 3 Continues to Charge Even at 100% Battery Power

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bill-swift - March 27, 2012

It seems Apple has some fixing (or explaining) to do when it comes to the new iPad's battery. First of all, there was word about a battery overheating problem which was pointed out by a reviewer from Consumer Reports.

During our tests, I held the new iPad in my hands. When it was at its hottest, it felt very warm but not especially uncomfortable if held for a brief period. 

-- Donna Tapellini, Reviewer

This claim was backed by a number of other iPad users, who noticed the same thing and voiced their complaints on Apple's support page. And it seems like another battery-related problem for the iPad 3 has recently surfaced: the battery continue to charge for another 2 hours and 10 minutes--even though the menu bar icon shows that it's already 100% full!

You can understand why this would be an issue, because aside from rendering the icon useless and inaccurate, users wouldn't be able to have any means to gauge the amount of power that their table might (or might not have) left.

This was revealed by DisplayMate Technologies Corporation's President, Ray Soneira, who did some tests to figure out just how long it really takes to get the new iPad's battery to be fully charged. Before presenting his results, Ray explained how charge indicators on most devices worked.

The charge indicator on all mobile devices is based on a mathematical model of the charge rates, discharge rates, and recent discharge history of the battery. It uses this information to estimate how much running time is left. It's actually rather difficult to do because most batteries degrade slowly as they discharge and then tend to surprise with a precipitous decline near the end.

-- Ray Soneira, President of DisplayMate Technologies Corporation

Ray then asserted that Apple must have done something wrong with the battery charge model they were using, which made the device show a "100%" fully charged icon when it wasn't done charging up yet.

It should not say 100% until it stops recharging and goes from the full recharging rate of about 10 watts to a trickle charging rate of about 1 watt. Otherwise the user will not get the maximum running time that the iPad is capable of delivering.

At 2:00 hours after reporting 100% charge the new iPad hardware started to reduce the charging power. At 2:10 the recharging cycle fully terminated with a sharp decrease in power. The new iPad battery is truly fully recharged 2 hours and 10 minutes after prematurely reporting on screen that it was fully charged.

-- Ray Soneira, President of DisplayMate Technologies Corporation

Article by Hazel Chua
Gigadgetry: Cool Gadgets, Tech News, Quirky Devices 

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