Apple's iPhone battery replacement program has come under scrutiny and has many customers angry. The iPhone battery life problem is bigger than you think. iPhone uses Pentalobe screws (see above) on the phone which makes it difficult for iPhone owners to open the phone and replace the battery without professional assistance. Pentabobe screwdrivers are not very easy to find and thus makes it difficult for users to avoid the $79 fee. This seems right in line with Apple's philosophy of maintaining control over its products and charging you for every little thing that you need.
Poor batter life is one of the reasons I think the smartphone business may suffer as a result of the tablet business taking off. Tablets can hold about batteries that are 3 to 5 times larger thus increasing the battery life up to sometimes 12+ hours and a few days. Smartphones on the other hand can barely work for 3 to 4 hours without needing a charge. So, its going to be interesting to see how users begin consuming content on tablets instead of smartphones because the battery life is so much better.
One of the biggest issues with the iPhone is the poor battery life and what contributes to this? Poor AT&T cell phone reception. The biggest contributor to battery drain is when the cell phone is continuously searching for a mobile network indoors or in a dead zone. The battery also gets drained if you are using a lot of data services on WiFi as well or the 3G network is congested.
It is disappointing to see such a large company convince its customer base that they are responsible for replacing the batter it the product is not warrantied. I have had several phones in my lifetime and all of the batteries need replacement after about a year. I often take two batteries when I am on the road and will not be able to charge the phone for several hours. So, once again it becomes a hassle for iPhone customers to actually use their phone when the battery life is so short. I think carriers should do the right thing and simply replace all batteries at not extra charge since their congested networks are responsible for the batter drain.