Apple launches limited battery replacement program for iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Lightning charger

If you currently own an iPhone 5 and are having difficulties keeping the battery charged, have we got news for you: Apple just launched a replacement program for iPhone 5 units purchased between September 2012 and January 2013. However, the iPhone in question also has to fall between a “limited,” specific series of serial numbers. Assuming your iPhone qualifies, Apple will replace the battery within the smartphone for free. According to Apple, these units “may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently.”

As of yesterday, Apple has set up a page with a serial-number checker for iPhone 5 owners to ascertain whether their smartphone qualifies for battery replacement. To find the serial number on an iPhone 5, tap the Settings application, then the General option and then the About section. Scroll down the screen and the serial number will be displayed between the Model number and the Wi-Fi address.

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“Your iPhone will be examined prior to any service to verify that it is eligible for this program and in working order,” the site explains. Apple is also providing reimbursement for anyone that has a serial number that qualifies and that had the iPhone 5 battery replaced already. That service typically costs around $79 plus tax, assuming the iPhone warranty has expired.

For those with qualifying iPhone 5 units, Apple recommends backing up all data to iTunes or to iCloud as well as turning off Find My iPhone and erasing all personal data prior to sending in the faulty unit. Users can visit an Apple Store to have the battery replaced or a qualifying Apple service provider. While the replacement process is currently open to all residents of the United States and China, Apple will open up the replacement process to iPhone 5 users in more countries on August 29, 2014.

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Of course, it’s unlikely that many qualifying iPhone 5 users that are also planning on upgrading to the iPhone 6 will want to go through the repair process with less than a month to the launch of the new smartphone. Apple users that upgraded to the iPhone 5 at launch during 2012 will qualify for an iPhone 6 upgrade since the standard two-year contract for major wireless providers expires during mid-September 2014.