A test from Opower (via CNET) found that it costs an estimated 41 cents per year to keep Apple's new iPhone 5 charged, a three cent bump from the legacy iPhone 4. Estimations were based on a once-a-day charging schedule.
The numbers are to be expected as the iPhone 5's 3.8V, 5.45WH battery holds only slightly more juice than the 3.7V, 5.3Wh found in the iPhone 4S. In comparison to the third-generation iPad, however, the yearly cost to charge the new iPhone is less than one third the price.
One interesting statistic puts the electricity used by all 170 million iPhone 5s expected to be sold over the next 12 months as enough to power all the homes in Cedar Rapids, IA for one year.
Going further, the iPhone 5's yearly charge cost is 12 cents under the 53 cents it takes to charge the competing Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone. That device has a huge 2,100mAh battery, most likely needed to power the unit's massive 4.8-inch display.
"The paramount point here though is not the difference between the two phones," Opower writes, "but rather their striking similarity: the energy consumption of a modern smartphone is minuscule."
According to Opower, the use of smartphones and tablets as replacements for computers can contribute to drastic energy savings.
"Put simply, a day spent web-surfing and facebooking on a smartphone or tablet is a much more energy-efficient day than doing the same on a traditional computer."