Lithium-ion Batteries

Rechargeable lithium-based technology currently provides the best performance for your Apple notebook computer, iPod, iPhone, or iPad. You can also find this standard battery technology in many other devices. Apple batteries share the characteristics common to lithium-based technology in other devices. Like other rechargeable batteries, these batteries may eventually require replacement.

Standard Technology

Lithium-ion polymer batteries have a high power density that gives you a long battery life in a light package. And you can recharge a lithium-ion polymer battery whenever convenient, without requiring a full charge or discharge cycle.

Lithium-ion Battery Charge Chart


Standard Charging

Most lithium-ion polymer batteries use a fast charge to charge your device to 80 per cent battery capacity, then switch to trickle charging. That's about two hours of charge time to power an iPod to 80 per cent capacity, then another two hours to fully charge it, if you are not using the iPod while charging. You can charge all lithium-ion batteries a large but finite number of times, as defined by the charge cycle.

Charge Cycle. Using and recharging 100% of battery capacity equals one full charge cycle.

A charge cycle means using all the battery's power, but that doesn't necessarily mean a single charge. For instance, you could listen to your iPod for a few hours one day, using half its power, and then recharge it fully. If you did the same thing the next day, it would count as one charge cycle, not two, so you may take several days to complete a cycle. Each time you complete a charge cycle, it diminishes battery capacity slightly, but you can put notebook, iPod, and iPhone batteries through many charge cycles before they will only hold 80 per cent of original battery capacity. As with other rechargeable batteries, you may eventually need to replace your battery.

How to Maximize Power Use

The length of time your battery will power your device depends on how you use it. For instance, watching a DVD will use up your notebook battery's power more quickly than simple word processing.

Battery Terms

Battery life means the time your Apple notebook, iPod, iPhone, or iPad will run before it must be recharged (also called playtime or runtime).

Battery lifespan means the total amount of time your battery will last before it must be replaced.

Hot Tip

If you use your iPod, iPhone, iPad, or notebook in temperatures higher than 35° C (95° F), you may permanently damage your battery’'s capacity. That is, your battery won’'t power your device as long on any given charge. You may damage it even more if you charge the device in these temperatures. Even storing a battery in a hot environment can damage it irreversibly.

Playing It Cool

You may find that playing an iPod or using an iPhone or iPad in a very cold environment decreases battery life. Unlike the effects of a hot environment, this is a temporary condition. Once molecules in the battery warm up, the battery will return to its previous capacity.

Exercise Your Machine

Lithium-ion polymer batteries need to be used for maximum performance. If you don't use your device often, make sure you complete a charge cycle at least once a month. Click the links below to add regular reminders to your iCal calendar.

Remind me to charge and discharge my iPod battery

Remind me to charge and discharge my notebook battery

Dispose Of Your Disposables

Apple rechargeable batteries provide a better solution for both your wallet and the planet. For instance, if your iPod were powered by four AA alkaline batteries and you used one pack a week (which is conservative), after two years, you would have spent well over the equivalent of $150 (buying in bulk) and piled up 400 dead batteries.