I’ve been tempted to upgrade to a Smartphone like the iPhone 3GS or Droid because of the rich set of features and I want to appear hip.

Doing some research on each of these phones reveals a common weakness – short battery life. The Droid or iPhone battery can last a mere 4 hours with just a few emails, phone calls and minutes of web surfing.

Being a real enthusiast for efficiency I’ve decided to pass on getting one of these phones for right now however the question remains – why is the battery life so short?

It could be just a case of the marketing department adding too many features that all consume power:

  • Huge screens
  • WiFi
  • Navigation
  • Music
  • Video
  • Email
  • Web browsing
  • Bluetooth

Some people think that the power issue will be resolved with the next release of the operating system, so that it auto detects how you are using the Smartphone and aggressively manages power to keep the device running for the maximum time.

I’m wondering if these phone companies did any high-level simulations of power consumption?

Are there EDA simulators that would predict power consumption on a complete consumer electronic device like the Droid or iPhone?

Did the marketing departments ignore the battery life issue?

How will engineering produce a longer living Smartphone?

EDA could add some real value here in helping the system-level designers of Smartphones to get extended life out of a single battery charge.

Even the foundries could add some value by offering a process with lower leakage currents, and lower switching power.