Why does my wife’s iPhone 4 speaker stop working after a full battery discharge?

Karl Robson May 17, 2013
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My wife has a horrible habit of allowing the battery in her iPhone 4 fully discharge. Just recently (in the last week or so) she has noticed that after charging the phone again the external speaker doesn’t work properly. Pre-installed tones work, but game sounds and music don’t. Also the volume slider doesn’t show when music is playing and volume keys wont work.

We have tried soft resets, erasing settings, changing settings and basically everything I can think of short of a full factory reset. The problem resolves it’s self after a few hours, but is annoying nonetheless. While the speaker isn’t working she can listen to music and other sounds by plugging headphones in.

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  1. Ashley
    August 5, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    I have the same problem with my 4s! It did the same exact thing, corrected itself after a week or 2. Last night my battery died and now it doesn't work again :| going to try a reset and see what happens I guess

  2. ha14
    May 18, 2013 at 8:02 am

    iPhone: Can't hear through the receiver or speakers
    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1630

    iPhone: Hardware troubleshooting
    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2802

  3. Tim Brookes
    May 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    A few things to run through:

    What version of iOS are you running, though this isn't known issue it could be related to an older version?
    Does it ever happen at any other time? Is there a possibility that something is stuck in the 3.5mm jack?
    Have you tried turning silent on/off a few times?
    If you never let the phone run out of battery, will it not happen?

    It's certainly a very odd problem, and particularly odd if it's a software issue. I think it's likely to be more related to the hardware, though how it ties in with a battery discharge I can't imagine. I'd certainly recommend a full restore in iTunes, at least so you can say you've tried it. I once had an issue with my iPhone 4 where the Camera Roll wouldn't load despite restarting/resetting and updating. So I had to full restore and I've never had a problem since. These things do happen, though they are quite rare.

    If this doesn't work consider buying a spare charger that your wife can keep in her bag/car at all times, so she can charge when it gets low. Alternatively you could buy a mobile battery for charging on the go, I got my girlfriend the Mophie Juice Pack for about $100ish, it provides two full iPhone charges at full capacity.

    While it's never a great idea to let the battery completely discharge, it certainly shouldn't cause anything like this. I'd go for the full restore (backup in iTunes first, make sure all the photos and other irreplaceables are safe) and see if it helps.

    Good luck.

    • Karl Robson
      May 18, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Hi Tim, thanks for you suggestions.

      iPhone is running iOS version 6.1.3.

      I cant see anything in the 3.5mm port and have given it a very liberal spray of compressed air just in case.

      The problem only occurs after a full discharge. Turning silent on/off doesn't do anything.
      I'm reluctant to spend money on a solution to this problem as she's due an upgrade soon.

      I think we're gonna have to try a factory reset and see where we go from there.

      Thanks.

    • Karl Robson
      May 18, 2013 at 8:17 am

      Having said that i will leave the question as unanswered for now in case anyone else has any ideas.

    • Tim Brookes
      May 21, 2013 at 2:42 am

      Hi Karl - did you have any success? I'd be interested in hearing if it could have been a software issue after all.

    • null
      May 21, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Hi Tim - We haven't gotten around to doing a full factory reset yet.
      I'm all in favor of it but the wife seems happy to carry on with things as they are since shes due an upgrade in a few weeks.

      Funny thing is this problem has only started occurring since she started looking at new phones. This iPhone must truly be a SMARTphone.

    • Karl Robson
      June 5, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      Full factory restore seems to have done the trick.
      For now....

    • Tim Brookes
      June 6, 2013 at 12:04 am

      Excellent, glad to hear it. Thanks for letting us know!

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