FEATURE: 12.10.18- There are only 21 days left in 2018 before it will be that time once more for making New Year’s resolutions, however, for a handful of certain iPhone owners, these next three weeks will be critical as it is the last chance to make good on one possible resolution that may have been postponed (or forgotten) which is to replace the primary source of power in your phone as the Apple $29 Battery Replacement Program for select devices will come to a close at the end of the year.
The program — which is for a limited time only and was announced around this time last year (it has been ongoing since the end of 2017) — was the Cupertino, California-based company’s initial response to the now infamous “batterygate” fiasco where Apple was discovered to have been slowing down the performance and speed of older iPhones to extend its battery life and prevent unexpected shutdowns of the devices caused by premature battery drain. iPhone users were not made aware of this and it resulted in an instant backlash and uproar.
If you are the owner of any iPhone that was released between 2014 and 2017, the time to take advantage of the Apple $29 Battery Replacement Program is now because you only have until December 31 (through the end of this year) to do so at the discounted price.
The specific iPhone models which were affected by performance throttling and qualify for the battery replacement are:
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPHone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone X
Note that battery replacement at the $29 discounted price is limited to one repair per iPhone only. In addition, the service is free if your device is still covered under warranty (e.g., AppleCare or AppleCare Plus) or any applicable consumer laws in your state.
The Apple support page for “iPhone Battery & Power Repair“was updated over the course of the year — the original page at launch is no longer available online — and now shows some new information which was not present during the start of the program. Previously, the out of warranty repair cost $79 and certain stipulations applied, such as the battery health had to have degraded by at least 20%, in order to qualify for service. That was changed to $29 (a savings of $50), the current price in effect until December 31, and regardless of the state of your battery health you could take part and receive a replacement provided there was no other internal or external damage present on the device (e.g., water damage or a cracked screen).
Most notably is the updated information that beginning on January 1, 2019 (and beyond as far as one can tell), the new price that will be in effect for an out of warranty repair for a battery replacement service is $49 for the iPHone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus, 8, and 8 Plus with the sole exception of the iPhone X which will be $79. Details that have not changed, as written on the support page, are as follows:
“If your iPhone has any damage that impairs the replacement of the battery, such as a cracked screen, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the battery replacement. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the repair.”
There are two options for service available to get your iPHone battery replaced. First is to bring it in for repair where you schedule an appointment either at an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) where the Genius Bar or third party Apple certified technician, respectively, will attempt to perform the replacement onsite during your visit. In the rare case that they have to send your iPhone out to an Apple Repair Center, they will ship it out and have it ready for you to pick up in-store or at the provider’s location in 3-5 business days. Second is to send it in for repair where Apple will send out — right away — to you a shipping box in order to retrieve your iPhone and you then, subsequently, arrange a shipment of the device to an Apple Repair Center where they will replace your battery and then ship it back to you in 3-5 business days (an option which lets you avoid having to go physically in person for service and having to wait during your appointment for the replacement to be completed).
Note that for both of those options, Apple will charge a $6.95 fee (if applicable) for any shipping that may be required for battery replacement service that is classified as an out of warranty repair. Furthermore, all pricing is valid only through Apple. AASP locations may charge their own prices for services rendered (which could cost more, or, in some cases, less).
To schedule service for a battery replacement for your iPhone right on the device itself, open the Apple Support app and log in to your Apple ID. Once logged in, go to the “Get Support” tab where you will find a list of Apple hardware and devices registered to your name. Select your iPhone from the list, next choose “Battery & Charging,” then under the question what best describes your issue select “Battery Replacement” ” and then you can call to talk or chat live online with a representative who will set up an appointment for you on the desired day, time, and place of your choosing either at your local Apple Store or an AASP location nearby (or you will have the choice to mail it in instead). You also can click on this link on apple.com which takes you to an online portal that basically has the same functions as the app (the only advantage to using the latter method is that when calling or chatting with a representative, since you will be logged in to your Apple ID, they already will have your contact and device information on hand which streamlines the entire process).
In addition to the discounted price for a battery replacement, the eventual solution provided by Apple came in the form of a software update, released earlier this year that allowed people to turn off the performance throttling and included a new battery health monitoring system within the Settings app (allowing for more transparency by the consumer) that would alert users if it was time to get their battery replaced.
Speaking of getting your battery replaced, if your phone is more than two years old — the average lifespan of a battery at peak performance where it significantly starts to degrade after that point (which is a contributing factor in Apple’s choice to throttle performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns of the device) — and own one of the iPhone models that qualify for the Apple $29 Battery Replacement Program? If you haven’t yet availed of the service, it would behoove you to make an appointment today because with time running out, any delays will end up costing more in the New Year.