APPLE HAS CONFESSED that some iPhone 5 users are suffering from a sleep/wake button that is not working and might never have worked.
The button is the long one at the top of the iPhone 5 body and above the top right corner of the viewing screen, and reports about it failing have been rather common for some time.
Pressing it has a sort of Vulcan death grip effect and puts the phone into a snooze mode, or releases it from one. Unfortunately, it looks like a fair number of machines could be affected. Users are advised to press the button and see if their iPhone 5 responds. If it works then there is no more for them to do, but if the button does not work, then it's time to act.
"Apple has determined that the sleep/wake button mechanism on a small percentage of iPhone 5 models may stop working or work intermittently. 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," said Apple in an alert to users.
"If your sleep/wake button isn't working properly, please enter your iPhone 5 serial number below to see if it qualifies for this program. Please see the Replacement Process section for next steps."
The return and replacement service has kicked off in the US and Canada first. Apple said that a wider rollout that includes the UK will follow from the beginning of May.
If the handset has a broken or cracked screen, then Apple will probably have to fix that first. Users can expect to be charged for that replacement, but the camera kit will be exchanged for free. Apple will lend some users handsets while theirs is in for repair, it added.
The issue has irked users for some time, and Apple said that anyone that has already paid for a replacement unit with a working sleep/wake button should contact it to discuss a refund.
Apple sold two million of iPhone 5 handsets in the first 24 hours of retailing them. It is not known how many have sleep/wake buttons don't work.
You can see the iPhone 5 in action in our video below. µ