Apple has announced that it will replace the sleep/wake button of certain iPhone 5 models manufactured in March of last year.
In a release on its website, Apple recognised that a “small percentage” of iPhone 5 models may have been affected by faulty mechanisms that cause the button to permanently jam, leaving it useless. The replacement scheme began yesterday (April 25), and currently extends to the United States and Canada. Apple has plans to make the service available in other countries from May 2. The replacements will be carried out at Apple Repair Centers, and you can send your iPhone by mail, or take it in yourself. iPhones will be examined at the Centers to ensure they are eligible for repair, and if they are, it should take around 4-6 days.
If you want to take advantage of this, you’ll have to back up your iPhone and erase all its content and settings, damage such as cracked screens must also be repaired before you send it in.
You can determine whether you’re eligible for the free repair by entering your iPhone 5′s serial number here. Should you qualify, the remaining instructions can also be found at that page.
It’s great to see Apple recognising a faulty device and offering repairs accordingly, but I can’t help thinking that those affected by the problem would probably have found this more helpful some months ago. I imagine that those affected have likely had the problem repaired, or simply learnt to deal with it, as many of my friends did.
Nonetheless, the scheme is available in the U.S. and Canada right now, and will spread at the beginning of next month.