Apple late last week confirmed that some iPhone 5 models have faulty sleep/wake/power buttons and has begun a free repair program in the U.S. and Canada. It plans to expand the program to other countries beginning tomorrow.
The iPhone 5 was launched in September 2012 and the company said it sold more than five million units in its first weekend of availability. The power button, which is located on the top right of the phone, may stick or work intermittently, Apple said, on models manufactured through March 2013. The company said only a “small percentage” of phones were affected by the problem.
“Apple has determined that the sleep/wake button mechanism on a small percentage of iPhone 5 models may stop working or work intermittently,” Apple said on a web page dedicated to the repair program. “iPhone 5 models manufactured through March 2013 may be affected by this issue. Apple will replace the sleep/wake button mechanism, free of charge, on iPhone 5 models that exhibit this issue and have a qualifying serial number.”
On the support page set up for the repair program, iPhone 5 owners can input their phone’s serial number to find out of the phone is eligible for the repair program, which expires in September.
While defective power buttons will not be replaced at Apple’s retail stores, iPhone 5 owners can drop off their devices at their local store and the units will be sent out for repair. Affected phones also can be shipped directly to an Apple repair center after calling the company and requesting a postage-paid shipping box.
If you absolutely can not live without you iPhone for the time its out for repair, Apple will give you a loaner. The company said the repair will take four to six days from the time the repair center receives the phone.
“If you require a loaner during the time that your iPhone is being serviced, participating Apple Retail Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers will have iPhone 5 models (16GB only) available,” the company noted on the web site.
As an added bonus of the repair program, if you send in your iPhone 5 for repair and it’s still running iOS 6, Apple will upgrade it to iOS 7 for free.