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I've my iPhone set to "never auto-lock":

I am aware that this will mean I'll have to recharge the phone more frequently. But besides the inconvenience, will the "life" of the iPhone be affected in any way?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes - since the battery is not user-replaceable and it has limited charge cycles, anything that causes you to recharge the device more often than needed reduces the lifetime before it needs a battery service.

Now, it's quite easy to replace the battery on an iPhone for a technician and Apple offers their service if you want a warranty or feel uneasy with yourself or a local shop doing the work.

The rest of the device is likely to last years before aging causes the backlight to dim or the other parts to fail, so in that case I would say no - you can't really run out of the rest of the phone's life by preventing the screen from locking.

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Hmm.. I've been using the phone for quite some time and haven't ran into the battery issue. How long does a battery takes to die usually? –  Pacerier Jul 5 '12 at 22:11
    
I have a 4 year old phone that for testing purposes runs all day. It's a replacement for a 5 year old original iPhone but hasn't seen extended use for three years. Apple's lithium batteries generally last between 300 and 1000 full cycle charges. I'd guess iOS batteries are more on the low end, but don't have good data on it to back up my educated guess. –  bmike Jul 5 '12 at 23:37
    
By "full cycle charge", do you mean that if I charge from 50% to 60%, that is merely a 1/10 of a "full cycle charge"? Does "extended charging" after 100% count? –  Pacerier Jul 6 '12 at 3:19
    
Here's the bible of terms: apple.com/batteries –  bmike Jul 6 '12 at 12:25
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