Apple Inc. is in discussion with some iPhone 4S owners to try and solve problems with battery life on the new device, after some people saw dramatic drops in longevity compared to previous models.

One user, who spoke to the Guardian, said that he was contacted by Apple and asked to install a monitoring program on his phone. Apple's engineers hope to be able to use the diagnostics to determine what is causing shorter battery life for some users, though the report said the problems are thus far unexplained. The person said they were contacted by a senior engineer at Apple who read a post they made online and indicated the company was contacting users to resolve the problem.

A number of users have similar complaints and say that their phones last just a few hours, even with minimal use and power-draining features disabled. The iPhone 4S incorporates a more powerful dual-core processor - the A5 - as compared to the iPhone 4 but offers the same amount of RAM.

The iPhone 4S launched two weeks ago in the U.S., Canada, the UK and several other countries. It will also be available at 22 additional countries, this weekend. According to the phone's technical specifications, it offers an extra hour of talk time, on 3G networks, compared to the iPhone 4. However, it also offers 100 fewer hours of standby time, based on Apple's own tests.

The problem has generated significant discussions on Apple's support boards. In some cases the short life has been blamed on corrupted contacts imported from Apple's MobileMe or iCloud services.