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.
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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.