My iBook battery is dying

by Volker Weber

And it's much worse than it looks. It drops from 100% to 75% in about 10 minutes, and then it shuts down the iBook hard. When you recharge it shows 0%. Buying an extended warranty does not help since AppleCare does not cover the battery.

I am very good with these batteries. The iBook is my first notebook that fails completely.


Oh, here's my usual rant.

Batteries are a disposable item. They usually last about two, rarely three years, then you will need a new one, no matter how well you take care of them. Manufacturers know this and use this to shorten the gadget's lifetime to two years, as well. That's on reason why many gadgets are now coming with non-standard or even non-replacable batteries.

Gadget batteries are priced at a premium - so that in you two years, you will buy the new upgraded version of the gadget at $250 instead of the $100 spare battery.

I finally want a standard laptop and gadget battery, for god's sake! Laptop manufacturers should sell laptops, MP3 player manufacturers should sell players... etc.

But batteries should be sold by battery manufacturers. I want a standard gadget battery in a standard form factor. Think of the AA battery. But instead, each new gadget comes with its own battery type - Digicams, MP3 players, laptops, PDAs, cell phones.

I don't want to pay a premium to Apple for the darned iPod-Battery, and I don't want to pay Asus a premium for the battery of my old, discontinued laptop (that's still doing fine, except for the battery, of course).

Hanno Müller, 2005-11-28

Your ibook battery has lasted much longer than my powerbook battery. As with any Lion battery I probably took it to 0% too many times which apparently reduces the lifespan substantially. CoconutBattery says I can get 1363mAh from the original 4200mAh with only 297 loadcycles. The powerbook is 23 months old. I'll order a new battery soon but I wish the batteries in the pb's would last 4-5 hours like the pentium m gear.

Ed Saipetch, 2005-11-28

558 loadcycles in less than three years (since you speak of AppleCare)? You are definitely more "mobile" than me. :) Does anyone know of some good (if any) 3rd party batteries for iBooks or PowerBooks?

Henning Störk, 2005-11-28

Ed: My PowerBook is 25 months old according to coconutBattery. I never took it to zero percent, maybe that's why it still has a capacity of 2773 of the 4200 mAh. I have had 276 loadcycles so far. And didn't your battery last 4 - 5 hours when it was new? Mine did, if I remember those good old times correctly.

Henning Störk, 2005-11-28

How are these load cycles meassured anyway?
Is it better to completly charge the battery and then unplug it until it is down to a low one digit percent number again and start over again? Or is it better to do that only occasionally and most of the time leave it plugged in, constantly recharging?
Ed, how did you get down to 0%? Left the pb too long in the sleep state, because otherwise it should power itself down before 0%, shouldn't it?

Mariano Kamp, 2005-11-28

According to Coconut, my battery is still doing fine:
245 loadcycles and 2783 of 4200 mAh capacity. 12" Powerbook lasts 2 hours with high performance setting.

There are lots of aftermarket vendors for these batteries on ebay, selling them for half the price... another option is newertech, they offer higher capacity ones



Tobias Pree, 2005-11-28

You can also get lucky with the battery like me:
My PowerBook battery is still at 90% after 20 month of use with 370 loadcycles.
And I still can use it for almost 4 hours on battery (depends what you are doing.).

Stefan Weigand, 2005-11-28

I am already on my second battery for my 2 year old 12'' PB. However, this one is doing great after 242 cycles with 92% capacity (4072mAh).

Sebastian Keil, 2005-11-28

> 12" Powerbook lasts 2 hours with high performance setting.
That's ridiculous, isn't it?

Martin Hiegl, 2005-11-28

Battery failure within AppleCare warranty is unacceptable.

I "convinced" them twice to replace PowerBook batteries,
display and casing a few years ago. Sometimes it's helpful
to "be a pain in their neck" or to "tell them who you are"...

Volker Barth, 2005-11-28

Is there any tool but coconut to get this kind of data? On my pb I am still on panther and coconut seems to require tiger.

Mariano Kamp, 2005-11-28

Should be in System Profiler. Look under Hardware/Power.

Volker Weber, 2005-11-28

You could use "capacity meter".

Sebastian Keil, 2005-11-28

What is so curious about 558 loadcycles in less than three years?

I load my ibook twice: In the morning and in the evening every day. I always thought notebooks are ment to be used without power cords. I use the ibook on the train (2 hours every day) and at work i keep moving it from desk to desk.

By the way: I wonder why my ibook sucks more energy if the lid is open (i have setup energy savings options to enable automatic sleep after some minutes) compared to when the lid is closed. Is there any other option to improve automatic energy saving settings whith open lid?

Christian Just, 2005-11-28

ive used my 12" ibook for 3 months and already i have 83 loadcycles, is that alot??

Eddie Zhang, 2005-12-19

Is it normal to have a current capacity of 20824mAh and original of 4200mAh, 47 cycles in 40 months, voltage of 11281 and amperage of -1204??

Adrian von Gegerfelt, 2006-01-03

After 266 charges my 13 months old battery (I had it new for 10 months really, the 3 others must be from factory) only lasts about 40 minutes wiht minimum energy settings. I upgraded the memory to 1.25 gb with a 1gb stick, other than that it's the original beast.

It all happened suddenly. I was getting about 4 hours when surfing the web or doing simple thing and then in about one month it started going downwards at an amazing pace. Now Coconut battery only report 890 mA of total capacity (as opposed to 4400 mA from factory). This is with 266 charges in less than a year.

I am lucky that this battery is considered defective. It is supposed to overheat but never did in a way that I could notice. I am entitled to a replacement from Apple (serial number within range). Let's hope that the new battery will last longer.

I am not sure if this is the problem but at some point I totally stopped turning off my computer. When I go to bed I just close it (sleep mode) and put in on the battery. I take it this way to my office (still sleeping) and about 1 hour later I plug it back. And same when coming home at night. Maybe letting it sleep for days and days uses the battery (even if it's plugged).

Jacques Lema, 2006-01-08

///s it normal to have a current capacity of 20824mAh and original of 4200mAh, 47 cycles in 40 months, voltage of 11281 and amperage of -1204??///

Mine is doing the same thing for a year or so. Don't remember what messed it up. I think it was one OS X update - not 100% sure.
The battery still holds charge for 3 hours of heavy HDD work.


Marko Bill, 2006-01-18

Well I have a nice Dell laptop, and my battery lasts about ten minutes tops now, but I heard that there is a method of freezing and unfreezing that refreshes a lithium Ion battery to somewhat near original capacity. Someone please verify.

Thomas McCarthy, 2006-05-18

This may work for DELL buyers. It certainly does not for Apple users. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2006-05-18

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