Apple to replace faulty iPhone 5 power buttons for free

Devices made through March 2013 may be affected

Apple has confirmed that some iPhone 5 smartphones have defective sleep/wake/power buttons and kicked off a free component replacement program in the U.S. and Canada.

The sleep/wake/power button is on the upper-right top of the iPhone.

"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 in an online support document published Friday.

The iPhone 5 debuted in September 2012. Devices made through March 2013 may be affected.

Complaints about the sleep/wake/power button appeared on the Apple support forum just a few months after the iPhone 5 launched, with many customers reporting intermittent issues, or that they had to press the button extremely hard for it to register. The new program covers all eligible iPhone 5 smartphones, including those now out of warranty.

Customers can determine whether their iPhone 5 is eligible for repair by entering its serial number in a field on the support document. The iPhone 5 serial number can be found by tapping the Settings icon, then General and About.

Defective sleep/wake/power buttons are not replaced at Apple's retail stores, but owners can drop off devices there. Alternately, iPhone 5 users can ship their handsets directly to an Apple repair center after calling the Cupertino, Calif. company and requesting a postage-paid box. According to messages posted Saturday on Apple's support forum, customers who took their phones to an Apple store were told that it would be returned in about a week.

iPhone 5 16GB loaners are available, Apple said, and several owners confirmed that they had been handed one. Smartphones still running iOS 6 will be upgraded to iOS 7 by Apple has part of the button replacement.

The program will be expanded to other countries in May, and will expire September 21, 2014, two years after the iPhone 5 first went on sale.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

Read more about smartphones in Computerworld's Smartphones Topic Center.

Tags Appleconsumer electronicsiossmartphonessoftwareoperating systems

More about AppleGoogleMicrosoftTopic

Comments

Comments are now closed

Rise of Whatsapp could require regulatory reform: ACMA

READ THIS ARTICLE
DO NOT SHOW THIS BOX AGAIN [ x ]