Apple has launched a new program for those affected by a problem with the iPhone 5’s sleep/wake button. It seems some owners have complained the button has stopped working or only works intermittently—only a small percentage of devices are affected, Apple said. The new program will offer a free service to devices that exhibit the issue, though users will have to send their device to an Apple Repair Center, meaning you’ll be without your precious iPhone for 4-6 days.
If you’re unsure if your phone qualifies, Apple has setup a page explaining the program, including a spot where you can enter in your iPhone 5’s serial number. Apple’s button replacement program is open to customers in the U.S. and Canada right now, and will be available in other countries beginning May 2. There are instructions right on the page on how to either mail your device or bring it into a participating provider, meaning an Apple retail store or authorized service provider.
“If your iPhone 5 has any damage such as a cracked screen which impairs the replacement of the sleep/wake button, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the sleep/wake button replacement,” Apple’s terms say. “In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the repair.”
Way, way back when I had an iPhone 5, my device actually exhibited this exact issue, and wound up getting replaced altogether. This program, however, will only replace the faulty button, so don’t expect a brand new device. Apple suggests users back up their device before sending it in, which is a good habit to have regardless if you need repairs or not.