iPhone 5 Battery Replacement program: are you affected?

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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. The affected iPhone 5 devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013 and fall within a limited serial number range.

If your iPhone 5 is experiencing these symptoms and meets the eligibility requirements noted below, Apple will replace your iPhone 5 battery, free of charge.

You can check to see if your phone is eligible by plugging your serial number into an Apple site.

As of August 22, 2014, the replacement process will be available in the U.S. and China. In other countries, it will be available as of August 29, 2014.

The iPhone 5 battery replacement follows similar programs for other Apple devices. The company last year reached out to customers after discovering a manufacturing issue in a few thousand iPhone 5S devices that caused the batteries to take longer to charge or drain quicker. In 2005 and 2006, it recalled nearly 2 million laptop batteries for its PowerBooks and iBooks because of overheating. Apple also has recalled laptop flash drives and MacBook MagSafe power adapters that were prone to splitting.

The iPhone 5 also has seen previous issues. The company in May started a replacement program for the sleep/wake button for the device. In that case, the button on iPhone 5 models manufactured through March 2013 sometimes stopped working or worked only intermittently. Apple fixed the issue for free for eligible customers.

Unlike other models of its smartphone, Apple sold the iPhone 5 for only one year. It replaced the device with the premium iPhone 5S and the colorful, plastic-encased iPhone 5C in late 2013. The company plans to release its newest smartphone, dubbed the iPhone 6, next month. Apple likely will introduce bigger screens in its device — possibly 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches versus 4 inches in the current models — and that could help the company post its biggest launch ever. The iPhone accounts for more than half of Apple’s sales and is key to its growth.

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