Do MacBook Air Batteries Really Last 5 Years?????


Mac Convert for Life
Quoted from Apple's support website:

"The built-in battery of your MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air is designed to deliver up to 1000 full charge and discharge cycles before it reaches 80 percent of its original capacity.
In addition, Adaptive Charging reduces the wear and tear on the battery giving it a lifespan of up to 5 years."

Really? Five years? Is there anyone with a MBA who can actually confirm this via personal experience? That seems like a looooooong time! My old iBook G4 battery had to be replaced about every 2 years. I have a 2011 model MBA now, for reference. If I use it every day (just for Internet surfing, no major programs), can I still expect the battery life span to last 5 years?
Apple significantly changed the batteries in all their laptops 2 to 2 years ago.
First, you will notice that Apple before would use the figure of 300 full charge cycles, as an estimate of the life of the battery. Using a rough guess of 100 full charge cycles a year, then it's easy to see 2 or 3 years as a potential expected battery life (something like your experience)
The number that Apple uses NOW is 1,000 full charge cycles. So - in simple numbers, that's something like 3 times as long. I think the longer time possible really complicates how to decide what that really means, because age/heat/etc may not mean 3 times longer, but something less. It's reasonable to say, then, that instead of about 3 years on the older batteries, you should _expect_ at least 5 years.
Then, you have real time - no one at the consumer level has had one of Apple's new batteries for 5 years yet. There's a couple of years before the real-time reports would be available.
Shorter life means that you charge your MBA up completely, then use it off charger until it runs completely down each day. And, you can use your MBA for quite a while longer, per charge, than you could ever do with your old iBook G4. So, the battery not only gives you more use (battery time), it also lasts longer (battery life)
Check back in 2016, to see how that goes :D
My guess is that many Apple laptops will _never_ replace the battery, before they replace the laptop with new, or the laptop becomes unreliable/needs repair for some other reason.
Delta, thank you! You always reply to my posts! :) And you explain it so well. Thanks for the reply. I'll be sure to check back in 2016. LOL

Just 2 quick questions:
1. What exactly does Apple mean by "adaptive charging"?
2. You said this: "Shorter life means that you charge your MBA up completely, then use it off charger until it runs completely down each day." I thought it was the opposite. I thought if you used your battery and kept the ions moving and drained it down until it goes to sleep, then fully charge it, that gives it LONGER life??? Did I misunderstand?
1. The batteries charge cells more evenly, distributing wear and tear across all cells in the battery, as opposed to the old battery technology, which always charged them in the same order -- which caused a few cells to go bad quicker than others, hence why the "best practice" for those batteries was to charge 100%, then use the charge up before recharging again... This caused all cells to drain and charge equally (more or less).

2. The new batteries aren't so much affected by staying charged constantly anymore, so it's ok to keep your computer plugged in for days and only use the battery once or twice a week. The total battery life is much more driven by the number of charge/discharge cycles, not how much "maintenance" and battery "calibration" you do.

My MacBook Air is approaching two years old and reports a maximum capacity of 95% or more.
Scroll about half way down the page for some info about adaptive charging.

2. No, I really wanted to say that your battery's life will be shorter - when you always use it off the charger, until it runs completely down, every day, every time you use it. Charge it overnight (or just till charged), and you will accumulate LOTS of full charge cycles more quickly.
The battery still lasts just as long (remember the 1,000 charge cycles), but the 1,000 number will come much more quickly, eh?
For example, the MacBook battery I am using right now, is about 2.5 years old, and shows 75 charge cycles. I use it on battery only a couple of times a week, and run it down completely every month or two. It's the older style, with the 300 cycle design life.
BTW, keep in mind that the 1,000 number for YOUR battery is NOT set in stone (where the battery suddenly, catastrophically fails when reaching that "magic" 1,000 charge cycles! Not gonna happen.) It's just a guide to let you know something about where you might be in the battery's total life cycle.

And, bottom line is: you use a laptop the way you want, and you want to be mobile, so just do what you do, and remember that the battery _eventually_ will wear out. Your own method for extending that life will be just fine - for you. I would expect that your battery should last until WELL beyond the warranty for the rest of your MBA, and you should expect that, too.
Thank you both so much! I have the iStat Nano widget and it currently shows this info about my battery:
Cycles: 601
Health: 87%
My MBA is just over a year old. So I guess this iStat Nano reading is "average/normal" for someone who uses it a lot every day?
Note: I HAVE noticed the health % jumps up a little (to around 90%) after I have fully discharged and charged my battery, so I guess it's good to calibrate and helps the battery health?
It's then possible that you may have 2,500 Charge cycles by 5 years of computer life.
That's doing a really good job of "keeping those ions moving", eh?
Might be nice to know if, despite your fairly heavy charge use, that your battery really does get more than the 2 years or so that your older iBook used to get....
I know it's not 2016 yet LOL but I've just returned to rep/thank you both. :)
My Macbook Air is mid-2011. I use my Mac every single day, for hours on end. The battery alert only yesterday (2/20/18) let me know that my battery is "Condition: Replace Soon." So------yes. The batteries last for 5 years or more.
Well, you need to have an extra care to your batteries. It is true that it can last 5 years since it is designed with a lifespan of up to 5 years but, extra care is also needed. Do not leave your Macbook plugged in all the time, because it was designed to be plugged and unplugged to allow the battery to discharge and recharge on a normal cycle. Also, it is recommended that you charge and discharge the battery at least once per month.