Apple To Replace 'Small Percentage' of iPhone 5 Batteries
If you've noticed that your iPhone 5 isn't acting right, it might be because of a bad battery -- and you might be eligible for a replacement. Apple is offering new batteries to replace those in what it terms "a very small percentage" of iPhone 5 models bought between September 2012 and January 2013.
Battery problems with the iPhone 5s were first reported last October, shortly after the product's release. The replacement process began late last week in the U.S. and China and will spread to other countries by the end of this week.
Hints that your phone might be one of those affected include shortness of battery life or a need to be charged more often.
When we reached Atlanta-based tech analyst Jeff Kagan, he said that as with most Apple-related glitches, the battery issue is a much greater problem for consumers than for the company.
"Apple has had several problems with the iPhone, yet they have not suffered at all," Kagan told us. "I don't think Apple will suffer this time, either."
Apple has set up a Web page to walk iPhone 5 owners through the process of finding out if they're eligible for a new battery, and if so, how to go about obtaining it. The page is at https://ssl.apple.com/support/iphone5-battery/.
If your iPhone is in working order and shows symptoms of short battery life, type its serial number into the box on the Web page. If it's eligible for replacement, you can either take it to an Apple-authorized service provider or an Apple retail store, or you can start with Apple tech support.
Choose one of the service options on the page to have your battery replaced. Your iPhone will be examined prior to any service to verify that it is eligible for this program and in working order.
Before sending your iPhone 5 off for battery replacement process, Apple advises that you back up your data to iTunes or iCloud, turn off Find my iPhone and erase data and settings (Settings > General > Reset > Erase all Content and Settings).
Won't Affect Warranty
Apple said if your iPhone 5 has any damage, such as a cracked screen, that might impair the replacement of the battery, that will have to be fixed (possibly at your expense) prior to the battery being replaced.
If you're eligible and already paid to have your battery replaced, contact the company about a refund. The company added that the replacement program doesn't extend the standard warranty coverage for the iPhone 5.
Once your battery is replaced, Apple will guarantee the battery for two years after the device's initial retail sale or until March 1, 2015, whichever period of time is longer.
While it remains to be seen how many users are affected by a bad iPhone battery, the total won't reflect the many who simply plan on upgrading to an iPhone 6 when it's released later this year.
"This battery problem will hopefully be resolved to make users' lives better," Kagan said. "But the funny thing is I don't think it will matter to Apple one way or the other."
Posted: 2014-09-15 @ 6:47am PT
@jnrnsr: What you're describing is typical of the battery problems many iPhone users have experienced. Take it to an Apple store if you can to get tested and hopefully replaced.
Posted: 2014-09-15 @ 6:44am PT
My phone will die at different times, regardless of the battery percentage I have. It will say 48% then drop to 19% in less than two minutes and then shut off. Once I get it back on without a charger, it will got to 67% or something then drop down again and die. When I plug it in it will say something like 78%. It sometimes will shut off if I open the camera from the lock screen.
Posted: 2014-09-12 @ 12:25pm PT
Yoshiko - batteries don't last forever - they're only good for a certain number of "cycles", that is, being discharged (even partially) and recharged. Additionally, when a battery is completely run to zero it can damage it and prevent it from holding as full a charge the next time you charge it, further reducing life.
Most batteries need to be replaced every couple of years anyways, more frequently if they're being frequently recharged. I'm sorry Apple isn't helping you on this one, I know it's annoying.
Posted: 2014-09-11 @ 3:56pm PT
@Gianni: Yes, it's free if your phone is specifically one of the ones covered by Apple's limited offer.
Posted: 2014-09-11 @ 3:54pm PT
Is this battery replacement a free service?
Posted: 2014-09-11 @ 7:02am PT
@Kim: If you have to charge your phone 2-3 times a day even when it sits idol... yes, there's probably a problem with your battery. Take it to an Apple store if you can and they'll run diagnostics on it. It's also possible that you need to clear apps off your phone and change other settings. It's possible that it's searching all day for a wi-fi connection and that could be draining the battery if wi-fi isn't available. Get it checked out. You'll be glad you did!
Posted: 2014-09-11 @ 4:19am PT
I have to charge my phone 2-3 times a day...even when it sits idol in my purse when I'm at work...how do I know if the battery replacement is warranted?
Posted: 2014-09-10 @ 8:54pm PT
My experience was exactly the same as Yoshiko. Apple is NOT taking care of me. Disappointed.
Loyal Apple customer.
Posted: 2014-09-10 @ 10:18am PT
@Isabelo: We removed your personal email address and serial number from your post and suggest you try checking with Apple directly if you have specific questions about your battery being replaced. Hopefully they can help!
Posted: 2014-09-10 @ 10:01am PT
How come that the battery of my iPhone 5 was already replaced? I never submitted my phone for repair since I bought it.
Posted: 2014-09-09 @ 8:19pm PT
I purchased an iPhone 5 two years ago and suddenly my battery is short lived. According to Apple, my phone doesn't qualify for a replacement battery. That totally sucks that I am one of Apple's victims and stuck with a not so smart phone.