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Apple announces iPhone 5 battery replacement program

Posted 2014-08-23

That was fast. No sooner had I complained about my iPhone 5 battery:

❝When I got my iPhone 5, I did a bunch of battery tests, and at that point, the battery life was pretty much identical to that of my iPhone 4, which was two years old by then. However, pretty soon I started having issues where the phone would shut down if I tried to do too much at the same time if the battery was below 50%, especially in cold weather. (Taking a photo would typically do it, as that fires up the GPS which in turn causes cellular data traffic.) It took me a while to figure out that five minutes later, I could turn the phone back on. These days, I have to be very careful with the way I use my iPhone in order to make it last through the day on a single charge.❞

...or Apple announces the iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program!

The program only applies to certain iPhone 5s (as in: multiple of iPhone 5) sold until January 2013. You fill in your serial number and then you're told whether your iPhone qualifies. And mine does, which is great news. So now I have to bring it in to the brand new Apple Store here in The Hague to have the battery replaced. Actually, when I was there for the opening two weeks ago, I had them check my battery, but it was still freshly charged and showed a capacity of just under 80%. They would have replaced it under warranty, but as the phone is almost two years old and I didn't get Apple Care, I'd have to pay about € 110, which is too steep if I end up buying a new iPhone later this year.

I wonder about the replacement process: will they replace the battery in the back? Ship it somewhere else? If so, how long will that take? Or will they simply replace the phone with a new one? If so, really new, or refurbished, with possibly some wear on the outside?

The program goes into effect on Friday outside the US and China, so I think I'll bring the phone in a week from Monday and then I'll find out. I'm doing a "only play audio until the battery dies" test today to compare pre and post replacement battery life.

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