Apple has “determined that a very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently,” and is replacing defective batteries at no charge. If your iPhone 5 is suffering from poor battery life (or did in the past, such that you already had the battery replaced), here’s how to check if your phone qualifies:
On the affected iPhone 5, open Settings > General > About, and note your phone’s serial number.
Visit this page and enter your serial number in the input box under the Eligibility header. Click Submit to learn if it’s covered.
(Wouldn’t it be cool if the serial number in the iPhone’s About screen was actually a link that would load a Web page telling you if that particular device was eligible for any repair or replacement programs? Just saying…)
If your phone is covered by the replacement program, you have a few options. First, if you’ve already paid to replace the battery, Apple suggests that you contact them for a refund. If you need a new battery, contact Apple Support or schedule an appointment with your closest Apple Store Genius Bar or Apple Authorized Service Provider.
After making arrangements to have your iPhone 5’s battery replaced, perform the following.
Back up your data to iTunes or iCloud. (If you use iCloud backup, you can see the last time your phone was backed up in Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup.) It’s safest to back up to iTunes, with iCloud as a secondary backup, rather than to rely just on the cloud backup.
Turn off Find My iPhone in Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone. Apple will not repair any phone that has Find My iPhone enabled.
Wipe the phone in Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. (Save this step until the last minute. It shouldn’t be necessary unless Apple decides to replace your entire phone.)
Also note that Apple will not perform the repair if your phone has any obvious damage, like a cracked screen. Any such damage will have to be repaired before the battery replacement.
Although it’s worth getting this done soon, if your iPhone 5 is eligible, the program runs for 2 years after you bought the iPhone or until 1 March 2015, whichever provides longer coverage. The program covers only batteries and does not extend the standard warranty coverage.