Apple uprising brewing?

iPhone 4S users flock to Apple support thread to complain about failed battery fix

An update Thursday to Apple's iOS 5 has failed to fix the battery-drain problem afflicting the new iPhone 4S, many owners of the smartphone are complaining on a company support thread.

Almost immediately after the iPhone 4S was released in mid-October, owners began posting messages to an Apple support thread expressing alarm and dismay over how fast their iPhone 4S batteries were draining, even when the device was idle.

Apple, in its typical way, publicly ignored the complaints and growing press coverage for two weeks before acknowledging the problem, blaming it on some bugs in iOS 5, and promising to issue a fix "in a few weeks."

Well, a lot of iPhone 4S owners have downloaded the iOS 5 update to their devices, and many of them report that the fix didn't fix anything.

"Lost 15% in 45 mins and I didn't even use the phone. What happened? This update is no help. In facts, it drains te battery even quicker. Help me Apple! Please. You can even monitor my phone if that helps to solve the problem. Seriously! Help!"

"New update is no help at all.

I opened the safari and lost 2 % just by opening the safari browser...This really *****"

"Is there any way to revert to the previous version. I'm bleeding like a stuck pig."

"Looking forward to hearing anything positive. These jokers just put this out to calm the restless? It's gonna get ugly if this thing doesn't pan out."

That last comment, to me, raises an interesting question. As I wrote recently:

Consumers generally cut Apple a lot more slack than Microsoft when it comes to product snafus. In part that's because of each company's respective track records and reputations. The general belief -- and this is backed up by numerous surveys -- is that Apple puts out better products.

But I'd argue that the Apple cult also was fueled by a reverence for and innate trust in co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs. To many devoted Apple fans, Jobs was someone who was sincerely interested in product quality and customer satisfaction. Even when Jobs acted like a jerk -- as he did last year when consumers complained about reception problems in the iPhone -- some fanboys would rush to his defense, attributing his petulance and stubbornness to Steve's passion.

Indeed, based on the prolonged emotional reaction to Jobs's death on Oct. 5, not to mention the near-fetishizing of Walter Isaacson's biography of the Apple co-founder, it's clear that Jobs was an icon/hero/visionary/god to much of the Apple faithful.

Well, now the icon is gone, and you have to wonder whether some of Apple's magic aura went with him. Once run by an eccentric, driven and chronically difficult genius, Apple now is headed by an "operations" guy. Even if it continues to produce popular products, the company in the post-Jobs era may be seen as just that -- a company.

But if problems such as the iPhone 4S battery drain persist...well, without Jobs's calming influence over the faithful, it may be a matter of time before things are "gonna get ugly."

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