Apple Will Replace Your iPhone 5 Battery, Because It's Exactly As Bad As You Think

You're not imagining it, and you're not alone — the iPhone 5 really does have a nearly nonexistent battery life, and Apple is finally doing something about it. After realizing that a "very small percentage" of its customers were all but attached to their phone chargers due to a short battery life, Apple has graciously offered to replace some of these iPhone 5 batteries free of charge.

According to a statement on Apple's website, some iPhone 5s sold between September 2012 and January 2013 "may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently." The defect, apparently, affected only a small batch of the cellular devices, though it seems that most iPhone owners will tell you that this is a universal problem amongst Apple devices.

The iPhone 5 has been the least successful iteration of the company's mobile devices and is the quintessential problem child of the family. Whereas most of the iPhones were available for purchase for well over a year, the iPhone 5 only made it into stores for a comparatively meager 12 months.

It was quickly replaced by the 5c, the playful, cheaper, plastic-encased version of the phone, as well as the fancy schmancy 5s that featured a revolutionary fingerprint security system.

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Unfortunately, all that tech didn't work out too well for the highly sought after 5s, which faced a similar recall situation last year when it was discovered that a couple thousand of these phones also ran out of juice far too quickly.

The iPhone 5 has also been plagued by other problems, including a faulty sleep/wake button, that pesky little bugger on the top right-hand corner of your phone that seems to get jammed no matter how careful or gentle you are.

Once again, though Apple said that only a few iPhone 5's suffered the manufacturing error that caused this mistake, I can personally attest to the fact that my iPhone 4 — which, I would like to point out, I took great care of — ended its days with a thoroughly broken sleep/wake button.

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Happily, there's a DIY fix for that — the Accessibility tab in your General Settings allows you to switch on the AssistiveTouch feature, which creates a handy little on-screen button that you can use to turn your screen on and off.

But battery life is far more complex than the sleep/wake button and requires expert help, which is why Apple is inviting customers to check whether or not they qualify for a free replacement battery.

To do so, simply visit the Apple website and enter your serial number — if you're a match, you can waltz right into an Apple store or an authorized service shop. But be warned: Should you have a cracked screen (who doesn't?), Apple won't help you. In fact, you'll probably have to pay to get your screen fixed before they'll even think about giving you another battery.

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It's probably their form of punishment for mistreating your iPhone.

But if your iPhone looks as new as the day you took it home, then someone will gladly assist you — but make sure to back up your phone first, as a battery replacement will wipe its memory.

The good news is, even if your serial number doesn't technically qualify you for a free battery replacement, chances are that you'll still be able to get a refund. See, iPhones aren't ever meant to have bad battery life, so if you had to buy a replacement battery at some point during your ownership of the phone, the Replacement Program should offer you a refund.

Depending on where you got your replacement battery, you may be getting back $5 or you may be getting back $25, but hey, in this economy, every dollar counts right?

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If you're in the United States or China, you can already get your refund, replacement, or whatever else you're eligible for under this recall. For other affected countries, the program will begin on August 29.

But don't delay! Apple will cease its generosity on March 1, 2015, and also points out that this replacement doesn't affect your iPhone's warranty. That is to say, if your warranty has already expired or is near its expiration date, this new battery doesn't mean you have a whole new phone — your phone just has a whole new life.

Apple has had other historical incidents with battery lives. Eight years ago, the hardware giant recalled nearly 2 million computer chargers because they would dangerously overheat. And nothing is worse than a combusting laptop charger.

So take advantage of Apple's brief kindness and get yourself a new battery. Or maybe just wait for the iPhone 6. I hear it's going to be the biggest thing to happen to the iPhone since the last one.

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