Do I need to fully charge my new iPhone before using it?

Although it is highly recommended, it is not necessary for brand new iPhones to be fully recharged before you can use it.

Every brand-new iPhone comes partially charged

To decrease their aging they are intended to be stored at 40% charge. This means when you receive your phone it should be at 40% charge, otherwise they will have aged your battery for you. (you are probably used to the effects of aging, like a 2 year old phone seeming to have very short battery life). When you get your phone you can use it until it is discharged, but they normally say ‘charge it’ because people will not notice the partial charge.

Avoid making batteries go 0%

You should not fully worry about fully discharging, this is superstition to earlier battery technologies. Fully discharging a lithium battery is one of the best ways to make it fail. Below a certain charge they will have their overcharge protection circuitry fail and you cannot charge it at all. I have seen studies that show that this makes up more than 75% of “failed” lithium batteries.

iphone battery recharging

Lithium battery have “finite” cycles

Lithium batteries have a set number of charge discharge cycles before they fail. This might be a number like 500 cycles. You actually get more like 1000 cycles if you only discharge to 50% before recharge. Lithiums really do not like a deep discharge, I cannot stress this enough.

If you would like more information about lithium battery technology let me know, I can get you many links, just drop me a comment. I have a few answers on the electronics and robotics stack exchange about it.

Can I leave it plugged in all the time?

Yes, and no. This is very dependent on whom makes your device.

For example, my Lenovo laptop will not apply a charge to the battery unless it is under 97%. When it does charge the battery it charges directly to 100%, then stops until the battery sags below 97%. Many laptops did not do this, on most just applying charge if it is not 100%. This would put the battery through thousands of charge cycles in a week when you are not using the battery. This ages a battery quickly.

If your phone maker took the time and paid the extra cash then your phone will stop charging once it reaches full charge and just power the system from the wall outlet. It is significantly more likely that your phone is charging your battery on a short cycle and aging it thoroughly.

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