Fifth generation of iPhone. Repair of this device is straightforward, and requires screwdrivers, prying tools, and patience. GSM/CDMA / 16, 32, or 64 GB / Black or White.

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Replacement battery from iFixit for iPhone 4S has short lifespan

I replaced the battery in an iPhone 4S using an iFixit replacement around April 2015. And it worked decently for a while although it never lasted more than a day and a half when unplugged from the charging cable, even with no usage of the iPhone (it's a backup device that usually remains constantly charging except for the occasional field test). But that replaced battery no longer holds a charge beyond 4 hours from a fully-charged state as early as June 2016 (a lifespan of just over a year). Is this normal? The iPhone 4S is undamaged--no drops, no water damage, nothing. It's fully working and nearly pristine. It's just that battery needs to be charged every 4 hours now. Also, all background updates and refreshes are disabled in iOS for this device.

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Probably just a bad battery. Overall, I have been happy with my iFixit batteries (small sample size though) but you always have to remember that we are always buying aftermarket or refurbished parts at some level. Only Apple has truly original parts.

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I had not known that iFixit was buying aftermarket or refurbished parts where batteries are concerned. I had thought they had sourced them as new (because a particular model of battery can also be used for other, non-Apple phones and manufacturers occasionally have overstock). Furthermore, a consumable with a definite lifetime such as a Li-ion battery usually cannot be refurbished or it isn't cost-effective to refurbish it. Perhaps iFixit can comment on this claim?

In any case, back to my original question: What is "normal" for a replacement battery to last when used as I describe in my original question?

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Hard to tell since you've used the battery fine for a year and it's extremely hard to find a good replacement battery for iPhones anyway.

Most at the moment circulating around are just repackaged refurbished lithium ion batteries with the gas gauge boards replaced to reset the battery information so that the battery looks brand new when in reality it is 60-70% actual capacity.

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I should nuance my answer here...there are no new Apple original parts for sale anywhere except for Apple stores or authorized service centres. I did not mean to imply that iFixit is selling used or refurbished parts as "new". As @benjamen50 says, there are a lot of low quality parts out there. The iFixit batteries have a very good reputation. Apple pays top dollar for it's original batteries and most of the aftermarket ones are probably a notch or two below.

The same applies in aftermarket automotive parts. You can buy genuine parts, high quality aftermarket, low cost aftermarket, refurbished or used. Everything has a price and associated quality level and you buy whatever you feel is the best value for your needs. The problem with iPhone third party repair is that people think (or are told) that they are buying genuine/original parts and it's just not true. Some people think they are getting ripped off because you charge more than a mall kiosks. The hard truth is you are not getting the same quality.

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