Earlier in the week, we reported that Apple was contacting iPhone 4S owners in a bid to solve problems relating to the battery on the handset. Well, the company has just gone public with the issue for the first time, although we're no clearer as to the specific problem or indeed the incoming solution.But an Apple fix is said to be on its way. The problem, essentially, is a dramatic drop in battery life – as much as 10% in standby power – each hour. It was widely thought to be an issue with location-based services, but that was only a guess based on isolated cases. That's the real problem here – it's not a consistent problem. The battery issue seems to vary, based on everything from usage patterns to the network iPhone owners are using.Apple has obviously looked at the problem for some time now, with engineers contacting customers to install monitoring software in an attempt to find that fix. That low-key approach might well have worked. In its first official statement on the subject, Apple told AllThingsD: 'We have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and we will release a software update to address those in a few weeks.'In the meantime, you'll just have to sit and wait for that official Apple fix, hoping it's a little quicker than three weeks off. There are plenty of potential fixes on the Apple Discussion Boards, but as ever, you might want to think carefully before you start altering and changing settings you don't fully understand. The solutions on there might just be pure guesswork or only temporary fixes that limit your phone's functionality.