Two Weeks Before Expected iPhone 6 Launch, Apple To Replace Faulty iPhone 5 Batteries


For anyone with an iPhone 5 that's constantly running low on juice and was purchased between September 2012 and January 2013, the battery might be eligible for a recall.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple said "a very small percentage" of iPhones have been sold with faulty batteries, causing users to constantly need to charge their phones.

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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 company said in a statement on its website. "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."

To determine whether an iPhone has a faulty battery, users can check the serial number on the Apple website. The company said that it will cover the hardware until March 2015. Users who already have purchased a replacement iPhone 5 battery can apply for a refund.

"Everybody has a recall no matter who you are," said Stephen Monteros, vice president of business development and strategic initiatives at Sigmanet, an Ontario, Calif.-based solution provider and Apple partner. "The most important thing to me is you address it right away and you have a good plan to fix it. I don’t know when they were able to isolate the battery problem, but maybe it took this long. I would hope that is the case."

Monteros said "some time" has passed since the sale of these iPhones, and it is unfortunate that the decision to replace them is coming now, just two weeks before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 6.

"It certainly not something that is good for PR purposes," he said. "However, it is a small percentage of iPhones, so I give them the benefit of the doubt. Apple has a good track record with us."

Apple said any iPhone 5 that is turned in for a recall must not only have a matching serial number with those that qualify, but must also be in good condition. If the screen is cracked, or there are other obvious signs of damage, it won't qualify and Apple won't replace the battery. 

PUBLISHED AUG. 26, 2014