I have the iPhone 3G for close to a year now. In the recent past, my battery had become a pain in the ass! I would charge it in the morning (say 7am) and then by 1pm I would need to charge it again. It was really killing me to carry a charger wherever I went. I was cursing Apple for this reason. I however love the iPhone on all other counts and was doing my best to put up with this "curse".
However, I recently upgraded my firmware from 3.0 to 3.1.2 and the battery issue just disappeared! Brilliant! I din't know that a firmware update could improve battery life so drastically. It now lasts me more than 15 hours! So for those of you facing the same issue as I was, you should upgrade your firmware - even if yours is a jail-broken (unlocked) phone, it would make sense to upgrade and then again get your phone unlocked.
Another observation is how Apple has such a "Halo effect" with its followers and fans! A friend of mine whose a hardcore Apple fan (He was the reason as to why I bought the Macbook Pro too) would keep telling me that the battery issue was probably coz of my usage! When I told him that I had upgraded the firmware and the battery was fine, this was his response: "See, it was your fault all along. Why didn't you just do the upgrades as they came by"!
A classic example of the "Halo effect" in Branding and Consumer Behaviour going on to Cult Branding.
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