Apple recently announced they will replace the On/Off button for iPhone 5 users who experience dodgy performance for free. This only applies to affected iPhone 5 models that are manufactured through March 2013.
“Apple has determined that the sleep/wake button mechanism on a small percentage of iPhone 5 models may stop working or work intermittently,” says a statement posted by the company. To facilitate the repair, Apple has set up a dedicated web portal for this program here. Users can enter the serial number of their phones to determine their eligibility to the program.
Such a move is unprecedented as Apple don’t typically practice offering such programs. Back in year 2010, when the iPhone 4 was hit by the antenna issues, Apple only offered to give free bumper cases to iPhone 4 users.
As it is, the Sleep/Wake button replacement program would be the second largest such incident. Consumers living in North America can enrol into the program immediately while international users will have to hold their horses till May 2. Affected customers can take their iPhones into their local Apple Store or authorized Apple dealers such as repair centres.
An important point to note though is that Apple will only replace the button itself, and not the entire iPhone 5. So don’t expect to take advantage of this program to get a new smartphone.