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Apple Replacing Defective iPhone 5 Batteries

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:

  1. On the affected iPhone 5, open Settings > General > About, and note your phone’s serial number.

  2. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Turn off Find My iPhone in Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone. Apple will not repair any phone that has Find My iPhone enabled.

  3. 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.


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Comments about Apple Replacing Defective iPhone 5 Batteries
(Comments are closed.)

Dave Kitabjian  2014-08-26 20:28
Thanks, got mine done Saturday! I've been fighting apple over this bad battery for ages. iOS 7 seemed to bring about its demise but who knows. Glad they finally owned up to it now that I'm hopefully about to upgrade to an iPhone 6!
Roger Moffat  2014-08-27 04:57
I have this problem on my iPhone 5, purchased in December 2012, so right in the relevant time window, but the serial number checker says I'm not eligible for a free battery replacement.

My phone has incredibly short battery life now - sometimes less than 3 hours from removing it from the charger in the car to go to a concert and it dying.

The problem is it will say there's about 40% battery left and then just shut down. When I plug it back in, it momentarily shows a red indicator with almost zero battery and then jumps up to that same ~40% it had when it shut down.

I went through the website this morning to set up a Genius Bar appointment and was intrigued/impressed that Apple could send me a text with a link of type diag://xxxxx which I tapped on the phone to generate a diagnostic report and then see on my computer screen the Apple Help screen I was on update to indicate that a Battery Problem had been diagnosed.

I'm off to the Genius Bar a few miles away this morning - hopefully I can convince them to give me a free new battery.

Josh Centers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2014-08-27 19:39
Just a tip: call the Apple Store before your appointment to make sure they have the batteries in stock. They're apparently replacing a bunch.