iphone 5s
April 27, 2014

Apple Announces Replacement Program For Defective iPhone 5 Sleep Buttons

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Apple has acknowledged that there is an issue with the sleep button with some iPhone 5 models, and is now offering owners of the device a free replacement, various media outlets reported over the weekend.

According to VentureBeat’s Eric Blattberg, the Cupertino, California-based tech giant has admitted that a “small percentage” of iPhone 5 units have faulty sleep buttons, confirming a flaw that users have been complaining about online since the device first launched in late 2012.

Replacement of the button is being offered free of charge, even to iPhones that are out of warranty, added Andrew Cunningham of Ars Technica. The program is currently available only in Canada and the US, but is scheduled to launch in other parts of the world on Friday, May 2.

In order to determine whether or not their devices are eligible for the sleep button replacements, users can input their serial number online at the iPhone 5 Sleep/Wake Button Replacement Program website. Only devices manufactured through March 2013 are believed to be affected by the issue, in which the button continues to click but is not recognized by the phone.

“Replacement of the sleep/wake button mechanism is done at an Apple Repair Center,” the company said, and devices can be delivered either in person or through the postal service. The replacement process takes about four to six days once the phone is received by the repair center.

“Before sending your iPhone to Apple for service, you will need to back up all your data and erase all your content and settings,” the website also explained. “If your iPhone 5 has any damage such as a cracked screen which impairs the replacement of the sleep/wake button, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the sleep/wake button replacement. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the repair.”

Taking the device to an Apple store has its advantages, Blattberg said, as the company is providing 16 GB loaner iPhone 5s to those who visit brick-and-mortar locations for the fix. One other note: any device submitted for sleep button replacement will be upgraded to the latest version of iOS 7 following the button replacement.

“My experience has been that most Apple stores will simply swap broken, in-warranty devices for working new or refurbished devices rather than repairing your specific unit,” Cunningham said, “but the iPhone 5 has been out of production for several months at this point – Apple may not have enough left in circulation to replace all of the affected phones outright.”