How long can you leave your iphone turned on without damaging it?
August 25, 2009 7:22 PM   Subscribe

I've taken to using one of the apps available in the iphone app store as a desk clock. It sits on its dock, charging, with the display on all day. At the end of the day when I leave work, it feels warm. Am I doing it damage by keeping it on for so long every day?
posted by leemajors to Technology (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My iPhone is very warm when I leave it plugged in (but not doing anything in particular) all day long. I'd bet that it's not being "on" so much as trickle charging the battery that's causing the heat.
posted by onshi at 8:16 PM on August 25, 2009

from here, which is talking about laptops, Apple recommends not leaving it plugged in all the time. So it's not the heat, which is the trickle charge as onshi said, but the leaving it plugged in when charged.

Can you get through the day with it unplugged, charging it at night? Or remove it halfway through the day?

Please note I'm not positive the warning holds for iphones like it does for laptops, I'm even less sure that your usage pattern is bad enough to worry about (they're concerned with people who never move their laptop or discharge it), nor do I fully understand the physics behind the recommendation.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:31 PM on August 25, 2009

My guess is that the heat is from the backlight/LCD and/or CPU running all the time if the app is poorly written. My iPhone usually sits plugged into a PC all day (but locked) and is only warm while charging and cools once charged. Overcharging a LiIon battery is so catastrophically bad (they go bang) that there's a certain amount of protection in the charging circuitry and I wouldn't worry about overcharging.

Burning an image onto the LCD might be possible though if we're talking 8 hours/day for many days.
posted by polyglot at 8:41 PM on August 25, 2009

I think the recommendation to not leave your laptops constantly plugged in has more to do with the chargers catching fire.
posted by Dysk at 5:11 AM on August 26, 2009

I don't know that it's horribly bad for it, but it's surely more "wear and tear" (on LCD, battery, etc.) than is strictly necessary. Pretty expensive desk clock, I'd think.
posted by cj_ at 7:39 PM on August 26, 2009

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