APPLE IS OFFERING to swap out customers' iPhone 5 batteries in order to make good on a limited number of bad ones.
The swap is open to anyone with a working phone but a shoddy battery, which runs out of juice quickly. The offer is open in the US and China now, and will be available in Europe from 29 August.
Apple has made similar replacement offers before. Recently we reported that Apple will swap out third-party charger leads for the real deal for a charge, and in the past it has swapped out other batteries and sleep/wake systems.
"Apple has determined that a very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently. The affected iPhone 5 devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013 and fall within a limited serial number range," the firm says on its information webpage about the replacement offer.
"If your iPhone 5 is experiencing these symptoms and meets the eligibility requirements noted below, Apple will replace your iPhone 5 battery, free of charge."
Users can check their iPhone serial number on the Apple page and see whether their model is eligible. Apple said that its guarantee will cover the hardware until March 2015. If you have already paid to have your iPhone 5 battery replaced, you can apply for a refund.
Apple said that phones really must be in working order, adding that it would not, for example, accept any with a cracked screen. It said that if that is the sort of condition that your phone is in, you will need to get it fixed before Apple will replace the battery. Apple will do that, but it will cost you.
People who bought their iPhones in September 2012 and have a 24-month contract should probably move fast. µ