21 Days Left To Avail Apple $29 Battery Replacement Program For iPhone

FEATURE: 12.10.18- There are only 21 days left in 2018 before it will be that time once again for making New Year’s resolutions but for a handful of certain iPhone users these next three weeks will be the last chance to make good on one possible resolution that may have been postponed or forgotten, to replace your device’s battery, as the limited time $29 battery replacement program for select iPhone models by Apple comes to a close at the end of this month.

The program, which was announced previously around this time last year towards the end of December, and runs through the end of 2018, was the Cupertino, California-based tech giant’s initial response to the now infamous “throttlegate” where Apple was discovered to be slowing down the performance speed of older iPhones to extend its battery life and prevent unexpected shutdown of the device caused by premature battery drain. iPhone users were not made aware of this and it resulted in an instant backlash and uproar. The eventual permanent solution was a software update in iOS 11.3, released earlier this year in March, that allowed people to turn off the performance throttling while also including a new battery health monitoring system that could be viewed transparently in the Settings app alerting users if it was time to get their battery replaced.

The iPhone 6, left, along with its larger sibling the 6 Plus, were released in 2014 and are the oldest models that qualify for the $29 battery replacement program by Apple which ends on December 31. (Photo: Courtesy of Apple)

If you are the owner of any iPhone that was released between 2014 and 2017, the time to take advantage of this program is now because you only have until December 31 to do so at the discounted price.

The iPhone models that qualify under the Apple $29 Battery Replacement Program are:

— iPHone 6 and 6 Plus
— iPhone 6S and 6S Plus
— iPHone SE (2016 and 2017)
— iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
— iPHone 8 and 8 Plus
— iPhone X

Previously, the out of warranty service 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, 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 iPhone (e.g., water damage or a cracked screen).

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. Most notably is the information that beginning on January 1, 2019, and beyond for the foreseeable future as far as one can tell, the new price of an out of warranty service for battery replacement for all of the iPHone models currently in this program — the 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus, 8, and 8 Plus — will be $49 and will not revert back to the previous price of $79 with the exception being the iPhone X (which will be $79).

Details that have not changed are, as written on the support page,”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.”

In addition, battery replacement at the $29 price is generally limited to one repair per iPhone and is free if your device is still under warranty, AppleCare+, or consumer law in your state.

There are two options available for service to get your iPHone battery replaced.

— Bring in for repair: schedule an appointment at an Apple Store (or Apple Authorized Service location) and they will attempt to perform the replacement during your visit, but 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 pickup in-store in 3-5 business days.

— Send in for repair: Apple will send you a box immediately to retrieve your iPhone and you arrange a shipment to an Apple Repair Center where they replace your battery, ship it back to you in 3-5 business days, and you avoid having to go to a retail location for service or wait during your appointment for the service to complete.

Note that for both options available, Apple will charge a $6.95 fee, if applicable, for all out of warranty services for battery replacement that require any shipping.

Furthermore, all pricing is valid only through Apple. Other service providers may charge their own prices for the battery replacement service which may be less or more.

To schedule service for a battery replacement for your iPhone right on the device, open the Apple Support app (download it here if you do not have it) and log in with 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 setup an appointment on the desired time, day, and location for your battery replacement either at your local Apple Store or a third party Apple authorized service provider. You will also have the choice to mail in your iPHone for the service using the app when talking or chatting with a representative.

Or, schedule a battery replacement for your iPhone by simply following this link which takes you to an online portal which basically features the same information you would find using the steps previously outlined when using the Apple Support app. You will find the same resources all on that webpage without going through every single step. The only benefit to using the Apple Support app is that when calling or chatting with a representative, they will already have your contact and device information on hand which streamlines the entire process since you are logged in to your Apple ID in the app.

I recently took advantage of the $29 battery replacement program in October for my iPhone SE which I purchased in April 2016 shortly after it was released. I was not experiencing any performance throttling or significant battery issues but having had the device for 2.5 years, and not planning to upgrade any time soon, I wanted to breathe new life into my iPHone by getting its battery replaced.

Going through all of the steps I previously outlined for using the Apple Support app, I scheduled an appointment at the Genius Bar at an Apple Store near me and went in to have my iPHOne serviced. After the device was tested for its battery health and passed the no damage stipulation, they took my iPhone and told me it would be ready in about an hour.

However, when I returned to pick up my iPHone, they told me that it had gotten damaged during the replacement process so they would give me a brand new device to replace the damaged one (exact same model). So instead of breathing new life into my 2.5 year old iPhone SE? I ended up with an actual brand new one! And thankfully I had an iCloud backup of all my data so I was up and running again within minutes as if nothing had ever happened.

And all I paid for the new device was the $29 (plus tax, of course) for the battery replacement service.

My sister, on the other hand, had a pretty straightforward experience with her iPhone 6 — which she has owned since November 2015, just a little over a year since it was released (September 19, 2014) — and was a prime candidate for getting its battery replaced since that was one of the particular iPhone models that Apple was throttling performance with. She brought it in for service earlier this year in January, soon after the battery replacement program was announced (I think I was the one who told her about it and recommended it since she had such an old device), after calling Apple Support to get an appointment, then waited for an hour for the Apple Store to do their magic and later picked it up when it was ready with no issues whatsoever.

Speaking of issues, she told me that she was experiencing slower performance with her iPhone 6 in 2017 (she didn’t specify which month so I couldn’t say “two years”) and it was evident even before she learned of the news of Apple throttling the performance of older iPhones. The good news is that once she had the battery replaced, she noticed a significant change in performance and of course battery life. The bad news? For whatever reason, despite getting a new battery straight from Apple, her iPHone, close to a full year since receiving the replacement, currently does not hold a charge very well and said that she has to keep it charged while at work or it will totally drain by the end of the work day.

The purpose of getting a new battery is to, in essence, have a “brand new” device again as if you just purchased it for the first time so hopefully my sister’s sole experience does not discourage you from getting yours replaced as any number of reasons could be the result of her woes such as a bad battery in the supply chain or her usage (she does use her iPhone a lot for work and personal use). And then in stark contrast is my experience where I wasn’t really noticing any throttling of performance, probably because my iPhone SE is much newer than hers, nor was I having battery issues. I just wanted to take advantage of a cheap battery replacement and breathe new life into my 2.5 year old device and in the process bad luck — Apple damaging my original iPhone SE — actually resulted in literally getting a brand new iPhone!

If you are one of those iPhone users who owns any one of the models that qualify for the $29 battery replacement program and have not yet availed the service — especially if your device is more than two years old which is the average lifespan of a battery at peak performance where it significantly degrades after that which is the main contributor to the throttling of performance by Apple — it would be a good idea to make an appointment today and not delay because time is running out and waiting any longer will cost you more come this New Year.

See our price trackers for up-to-date Apple prices. Share this post: