Apple’s Amazing New iPad Battery Tech Could Lead To All-Day MacBooks And LTE iPhones

Apple’s Amazing New iPad Battery Tech Could Lead To All-Day MacBooks And LTE iPhones

The new iPad isn’t just faster than ever, it has four times as many pixels, a power-hungry new mobile broadband technology, twice the RAM, and more.

All of these things add up to the new iPad being the best iPad yet, but it comes at a cost: they’re all more battery hungry than their predecessors. How, then, did Apple manage to get 10 hours of battery life — the same as before — out of the new iPad, while keeping it roughly the same weight and thickness?

Easy… and by easy, we mean “insanely difficult.” They increased the battery capacity by 70%… then densely packed it to fit the iPad 3’s case.

According to ZDNet, the new iPad’s battery is a massive 11,666mAh, compared to the iPad 2’s 6994mAH. And considering the fact that the iPad 2 was almost all battery anyway, the only way they could fit that much battery into the device is by quietly revolutionizing battery density.

All this points to something very significant. It suggests that Apple has managed to increase significantly the power density of the Li-ion cells that it uses. In an industry that has seemed stagnant for some time now, this is quite an achievement and goes to show that Apple’s battery research labs and manufacturing plants have been hard at work. There’s no doubt that we’re going to be seeing the fruits of this labor in other Apple products soon.

That means that Apple’s work in battery density is not only going to open the door to an LTE iPhone 5, but could give us all-day MacBooks sooner rather than later.

Incredible. The only question I have is what this will end up meaning for charging. Will charging the iPad LTE take almost twice as long, or has Apple figured something out there too?

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  • markrlangston

    This is amazing news and with Apple having purchased their own flash memory company it shows that they’re more invested in ensuring that their products operate at optimum efficiency rather than rely on off-the-shelf components. 

  • John Stram

    I could imagine this new ipad getting VERY hot. my ipad 2 and 4S get pretty damn warm, how will this thing tolerate the heat?

  • munpip214

    Now if they put this in an iPad 2 that could give 17 hrs battery!

  • Radtech51

    I saw an article a-while back about Apple using a type of solar panel behind the display for charging the battery. It will be neat to see what Apple come up with next, we live in a very exciting times.

  • Solowalker

    Dunno about you, but I think I would take 4x graphics performance (well, really, compared to my iPhone 4 about 10x or more) and the same or longer battery life in exchange for a little bit warmer device when playing Infinity Blade. Heck yes.

  • macfoxpro

    My iPad 1 and 2 never get even warm really. Might wanna get yours checked out.

  • Mike Rathjen

    You sure Apple makes their own batteries? They have always outsourced this in the past, but even as recently as late 2011.

  • Dilbert A

    Same here. Your iPad is busted John.

  • Fefe Roeschdale

    You’re the first person I’ve come across that’s ever described the iPad as getting warm. My iPads have remained cool as a cucumber no matter what I’m doing or for how long.

  • Porkbamboo

    Even if they can’t do it as part of the display, they could put it around the edges maybe.

  • Tobias Hofmann

    Is there really still someone who believes that “the new iPhone” will be called iPhone 5?

  • trifero

    You can be sure nobody´s gonna call it “the new Iphone”. 

  • Kerim Pirliyev

    I’m sure the stock charger will give like 2000mA/h. That would be the solution for charging

  • darwiniandude

    The current iPad charger already does 2100 mAh

  • Al

    Never mind personal electronics, what does this mean for electric vehicles? If you put a few hundred of these in a car, we’re looking at comparable figures to gasoline.

  • The King

    I think the packed in power all to support the RETINA display is unnecessary . We all could have used more RAM, storage, faster processor for real multitasking, lighter, thinner iPad 3
    than giving all this just to have a crisp display to the already very beautiful display we have

  • darwiniandude

    My 4S gets warm if good reader is zipping files, iMovie is exporting video, and I’m using GPS and google maps over 3G… But I suppose that’s to be expected.

  • darwiniandude

    I half agree with you, but if you compare reading on the iPhone retina display to the iPad, the iPad is fuzzy and blocky, there is a huge difference. So I think it’s worth it, except maybe not for games. I think games are going to struggle pushing good frame rates at those resolutions. Most PS3 and XBOX games run at 720p, not even 1080p, due to framerate. Having to display everything at 2048×1536 is troubling. But that’s why they’ve gone quad core GPU and big battery.

    They have doubled the ram to 1GB, which is plenty for either big game textures or real multitasking.

  • walk0080

     They should just call it the iPhone (3rd gen, 4th gen, etc.) as they will with the iPad and already do with the iPod, MacBook Air, etc.

  • walk0080

    Hope that this battery tech makes it into the future 3rd gen MacBook Air 13″ by the time I decide to buy one late this year!!

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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