Apple offers to replace faulty iPhone 5 on/off buttons for free

iphone5

Does your iPhone 5 suffer from a dodgy power button? If so, Apple will repair it free of charge, according to a new announcement made by the company.

“Apple has determined that the sleep/wake button mechanism on a small percentage of iPhone 5 models may stop working or work intermittently,” Apple states. “iPhone 5 models manufactured through March 2013 may be affected by this issue.”

iPhone users experiencing the problem can visit Apple’s website, enter their phone’s serial number and — hey presto! — see if their device is one of the faulty ones Apple is referring to.

Replacing devices isn’t usually Apple’s style. The move isn’t unprecedented, however.

Following the “Antennagate” incident of 2010, Apple gave iPhone 4 users free cases to alleviate the problem. In 2011, Apple issued a recall of MacBook MagSafe power adapters that were prone to splitting. And in October last year, the company recalled flash memory drives for certain models of MacBook Air.

North American customers can take advantage of the iPhone 5s replacement program this instant. People in other countries need to wait until May 2. Users can take their iPhones into their local Apple Store or other authorized Apple dealer, or else mail them in.

There is one extra note, though: if you have otherwise damaged your iPhone by, for example, cracking its screen, and see this as a chance for a no-questions-asked fix, Apple points out that other issues will need to be resolved (possibly at a cost) prior to the sleep/wake button replacement.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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