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Apple today launched a new program that will allow iPhone 5 owners to have devices with fautly sleep buttons repaired at no cost. Apple says it has identified an issue with some devices that can cause the button to fail on a “small percentage” of these devices. iPhone owners can use a new page on Apple’s support site to determine if their phone is eligible for repair.

Unfortunately for these users, the phones won’t be replaced or repaired in-store. Instead, the phone has to be sent to an Apple Repair Center, which means the entire process can take up to a week to be completed.

Earlier this year, my own iPhone 5 was affected by this problem and was replaced for free in-store as part of my AppleCare coverage. It’s not clear if devices still covered under the two-year AppleCare warranty will continue to be eligible for in-store replacement, or if all affected phones need to be sent to a repair center now. However, any users outside of the two-year AppleCare warranty are definitely covered under the new program and can have their sleep buttons repaired at no cost.

Each customer whose phone is being repaired will be loaned a 16 GB phone from Apple for use during the week their phone is being repaired.

Users who previously paid for a replacement due to this issue can contact Apple through the same support page to see if they are eligible for a refund.

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21 Responses to “Apple launches new program to repair faulty iPhone 5 sleep buttons”

  1. Just got my iPhone 5 exchanged in store, 11 months after the purchase, for the same problem. I guess I got quite lucky.

  2. It should be mentioned that on the https://ssl.apple.com/support/iphone5-sleepwakebutton/ page, it says you can get a loaner phone if you bring it into the store.

  3. David Tan says:

    Mine too had this problem and got replaced few months back.

  4. fabzillion says:

    I recently had this issue also, and I was out of warranty. Apple wanted l something like $200 to fix it, so I went with a 3rd party repair shop. It’s crappy that it took Apple so long to admit this defect with the sleep/wake button, and that the repair process for this recall is so onerous.

  5. Got my phone replaced on Monday. I’m ao glad I got it done before this new policy rolled out.

  6. mine is eligible for repair but it works fine, yay :)

  7. herb02135go says:

    Doesn’t it seem like the company has a lot of defective products and software bugs these days?

  8. Nice to know that this works now..
    If this had been came out like 3 years ago, I would’ve saved some money for repairing my old device. But I guess if it’s a hardware error, no software could solve the problem.

  9. I wish they could also replace the faulty volume button. I am sure I am not the only one who has this problem.

  10. Great. What about those of us that have already paid £209 for a refurb, purely because of this issue, because that’s the only solution Apple offered at the time?

  11. Jeff Davis says:

    Glad they owned up to this problem! I hope everyone who paid someone to fix it, gets a refund. Our iPhone 5 sleep button stopped working, which is more frustrating than you would think. I thought, hey, It can’t be that hard to just replace right? WRONG! You pretty much have to take apart the whole freaking phone to get to that button unlike the iphone 4. You would think that with only 4 pushable buttons, Apple would test the durability of the buttons more throughly. Also glad we can fix this so I can sell it and upgrade to the iPhone 6.

  12. The Syracuse Apple Store is not offering loaner phones. I had mine sent out to be repaired yesterday, but they had no loaners. I’m phone less until it is returned in 4-6 days.

  13. I bought my iPhone 5 in Australia and since I was working in Canada last September when my sleep/wake button stopped working, I took it to the local Apple Store. The Genius said he couldn’t replace or repair the phone unless I took it back to Australia. There was no mention of taking it to an authorized service provider.
    There was “nothing he could do” other than taking it back home.

    I ended up tracking down a 3rd party repairer to get it fixed and paid about $100.

    I just spent the last 2 hours on the phone to Apple customer care in the USA and in Australia to try to get a refund and even with a receipt, they flatly refused. They even said that phones from different countries are different and so repairs have to be done in the country of purchase. So I guess Apple makes a different sleep/wake button for each country? Right.

    So essentially, if you are traveling outside of your country and your phone is cannot function due to a manufacturing problem which Apple themselves have admitted, agree to repair outside of warranty and have said they will refund customers who have paid to get it repaired, the best solution is not to go to your local Apple store. Instead, book a flight, go home and sort it out. So much for having Geniuses in your store.

    Let’s see… traveling half way around the world to fix a problem which Apple caused….

    Disappointing to say the least.

    From a loyal Apple customer.

  14. Ozgun says:

    My already replaced iPhone 5 shows as eligible for replacement. I guess better replace the button before it stops functioning.