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Apple's offers $86 iPhone battery replacement program

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
If your iPhone requires service only because the batteryÂs ability to hold an electrical charge has diminished, Apple will repair your iPhone for a service fee of $79, plus $6.95 shipping, the company said Monday.

In a support document published to its website, the Cupertino-based electronics maker suggests that iPhone customers initially follow a series of usage guidelines aimed at optimizing and preserving battery life.

In particular, Apple says iPhone users should make sure they have installed the latest version of iPhone software and that -- like iPods -- they keep the device as close to room temperature as possible.

"Do not leave [iPhone] in a vehicle's interior when parked in the sun," the company said, for instance.

The total cost of the battery repair program with shipping comes out to $85.95 per unit, but all fees are subject to local tax. Apple adds that the service is subject to its Repair Terms and Conditions, and therefore may not be available if an iPhone has been damaged due to accident or abuse.

Those iPhone customers who eventually opt for the repair service should know that the process will clear all data from their iPhone.Â*

"It is important to sync your iPhone with iTunes to back up your contacts, photos, email account settings, text messages, and more," Apple said.Â*"Apple is not responsible for the loss of information while servicing your iPhone and does not offer any data transfer service."

Apple says the iPhone's battery should last through 300-400 charging cycles before needing a replacement.
post #2 of 38
Or... find a suitable replacement one will more assuredly show up pop the back cover off the phone cut the old battery leads (and strip each end bare (discard bad battery) and twist the leads from the new battery close cover and yer done... If you wanna get fancy you could break out the soldering iron but I'm not too good with super hot pointy things and I'd be too afraid of screwing something up...

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post #3 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by amac4me View Post

The letter also urged Apple to provide replacement batteries free of charge throughout the life of the iPhone.

....and a jelly doughnut you forgot about the doughnut!!!
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post #4 of 38
There's already a move to get Apple to provide free battery replacements:

"Los Angeles-based consumer watchdog group that filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc. in 2006 has called on the company to spell out the iPhone's battery-replacement policy to prospective buyers."

"In a letter sent Friday (download PDF) to Apple CEO Steve Jobs and AT&T Inc. CEO Randall Stephenson, the Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights (FTCR) asked that iPhone battery issues be disclosed in all advertising, before retail sales close and during activation using iTunes "to ensure that no customers are misled concerning the performance and effective cost of the unit." The letter also urged Apple to provide replacement batteries free of charge throughout the life of the iPhone."


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post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by amac4me

The letter also urged Apple to provide replacement batteries free of charge throughout the life of the iPhone."

I don't even know how to respond to this type of thinking. I'm in a deep state of shock at the complete lack of thought FTCR put into it.
post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by amac4me View Post

"In a letter sent Friday (download PDF) to Apple CEO Steve Jobs and AT&T Inc. CEO Randall Stephenson, the Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights (FTCR) asked that iPhone battery issues be disclosed in all advertising, before retail sales close and during activation using iTunes "to ensure that no customers are misled concerning the performance and effective cost of the unit." The letter also urged Apple to provide replacement batteries free of charge throughout the life of the iPhone."[/I]

That's just asinine. While I think Apple's current battery warranty is a bit stingy (51% from spec in one year is still OK, not warranting replacement), but expecting free batteries for life is silly. The given price in the story is about right for replacement phone batteries.
post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

That's just asinine. While I think Apple's current battery warranty is a bit stingy (51% from spec in one year is still OK, not warranting replacement), but expecting free batteries for life is silly. The given price in the story is about right for replacement phone batteries.

I agree. But I predict that Apple will pay for this -- one way or another.

I am the BIGGEST fan of the iPhone so far, but this is the type of thing that makes me feel like Apple sometimes treats its customers like s*1t. I have owned it for a little over 3 days, and I have already charged it 5 or 6 times.

I guess I have only 294 or 394 charges left. That, in turn means that, at current usage, I have somewhere between 150 and 200 days of usage remaining. If I have to replace a battery then (for a product that will, in all likelihood, have had a couple of major hardware updates) to extend its life for another half year, I'll just throw it away. (Unless Apple pays for the replacement.)

As an aside, so much for Apple/Al Gore and their environmental b/s!

post #8 of 38
The user unfriendly battery is okay for an iPod, the iPhone battery should pop off the back of the phone the way it does with my inferior cell phone.
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post #9 of 38
I so wanted this phone. But I just can't in my right mind purchase a phone that doesn't feature a battery that I can replace on my own without any fear of damaging the device. Apple should have created a device that features a swappable battery like any other phone on the market.

Instead they have gone down a pathway that guarantees frustration for their users. Why? Who uses a mobile phone exclusively without a landline? Raise your hands. Yep, alot of us. How can I afford to send off my phone to Apple and be without a phone until they ship it back to me 3-5 business days later. That could easily be a week without access to a phone if the replacement shipping falls across a weekend.

That's just inexcusable.

With the iPod that's ok. But phone access is too essential in our modern society: business calls, bills to pay, emergency calls, etc.

I just don't understand how Apple could make this decision. Until they fix this one key aspect of the product I simply cannot buy their phone.

And that really bums me out. It's so damn cool otherwise.
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by m00nchild View Post

I just don't understand how Apple could make this decision. Until they fix this one key aspect of the product I simply cannot buy their phone.

So don't buy it?
... I had a phone several years ago that had a battery that kept popping loose. It wouldn't fall off, but the phone would die. I had no way to know other than to look at the phone. (It got trashed and replaced in short order.)...
So removeable batteries have their short-comings as well.
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post #11 of 38
Which means all user should exchange their battery right before their first year ends.

Now i would only hope their are some serious breakthrough on the much needed battery technology.
post #12 of 38
I had 4 cell in life i never ever had to buy a new battery
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by m00nchild View Post

I so wanted this phone. But I just can't in my right mind purchase a phone that doesn't feature a battery that I can replace on my own without any fear of damaging the device. Apple should have created a device that features a swappable battery like any other phone on the market.

Instead they have gone down a pathway that guarantees frustration for their users. Why? Who uses a mobile phone exclusively without a landline? Raise your hands. Yep, alot of us. How can I afford to send off my phone to Apple and be without a phone until they ship it back to me 3-5 business days later. That could easily be a week without access to a phone if the replacement shipping falls across a weekend.

That's just inexcusable.

With the iPod that's ok. But phone access is too essential in our modern society: business calls, bills to pay, emergency calls, etc.

I just don't understand how Apple could make this decision. Until they fix this one key aspect of the product I simply cannot buy their phone.

And that really bums me out. It's so damn cool otherwise.

Brilliant first post.
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

So don't buy it?
... ...

How arrogant.

You missed the point of his post, completely. For someone who is a (relative) veteran on this list, that is really snarky and not-terribly thougthful.
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocness View Post

I had 4 cell in life i never ever had to buy a new battery

How many charges have you had, on average, with your four phones?

post #16 of 38
Holy crap! They've only been out three days and they need replacement batteries ALREADY?!

(I'm just kidding)
post #17 of 38
Absolutely! You have two options: extend the cycles as long as possible to extend your batteries or charge the crap out of them so that you burn through it quickly and get it swapped often.

My plan is to sync the crap out of it. Once I know how bad it is I can get it replaced and figure out how I should really treat it. I foresee AppleCare in my future if nothing more than battery replacement. I'll probably get 3 replaces in 2 years and then go easy on it, holding out for the next model. *sigh*
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post #18 of 38
Quote:
The total cost of the battery repair program with shipping comes out to $85.95 per unit, but all fees are subject to local tax. Apple adds that the service is subject to its Repair Terms and Conditions, and therefore may not be available if an iPhone has been damaged due to accident or abuse.

Those iPhone customers who eventually opt for the repair service should know that the process will clear all data from their iPhone.*

"It is important to sync your iPhone with iTunes to back up your contacts, photos, email account settings, text messages, and more," Apple said.*"Apple is not responsible for the loss of information while servicing your iPhone and does not offer any data transfer service."


If it's anything like the iPod battery replacement program, Apple technicians will repleace your dead iPhone with another USED iPhone. And all of that, because Steve Jobs won't ship a serviceable iPhone like every other cell phone manufacturer. Think different, screw your customers, and rake $650 millions from the poor suckers (2006 extra compensation for the highest paid CEO in the world).

Shame on the greedy bastard!

post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avor View Post

I don't even know how to respond to this type of thinking. I'm in a deep state of shock at the complete lack of thought FTCR put into it.

That's how lawsuits work. You ask for a mile and you get a few feet. But asking for 5-10 years does seem a little bit more reasonable.

Asking for battery replacements for life is like the guy who sued for $50 million for some lost pants.
post #20 of 38
It is hard to believe that Apple wouldn't have the ability to have in-store battery replacement. After all you just need a clean kiosk in the back and a Genius to use a special device to open it up and replace the battery.

Heck by forcing customers into stores to wait the 15 minutes for the new battery, they can buy all sorts of accessories and defray any extra costs that might occur.
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post #21 of 38
With the iPhone, Apple is asking customers to take a leap of faith in many ways, the battery being one of them. To defuse those reasons not to buy, Apple definitely should have put in a user replaceable battery and sold replacements at a reasonable profit margin like every other cellphone maker does. Barring that, maybe for some technical reason, the battery exchange program should be run at cost. Right now the price sounds like a ripoff.
post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I agree. But I predict that Apple will pay for this -- one way or another.

I am the BIGGEST fan of the iPhone so far, but this is the type of thing that makes me feel like Apple sometimes treats its customers like s*1t. I have owned it for a little over 3 days, and I have already charged it 5 or 6 times.

Holy crabcakes. Yours sounds like a defective phone, even tho' it might be one of the 'acceptable' ones... I dunno... I'd return it.

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post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I have owned it for a little over 3 days, and I have already charged it 5 or 6 times.

But did you completely discharge it then recharge it? If you didn't (which is likely), you haven't used 5 or 6 charge cycles: you only use one cycle after the equivalent of a complete discharge and recharge (aka using half the battery then charging it at night two days in a row counts as one charge cycle). If you did completely discharge it, that's bad for the Li-Ion battery and may actually shorten its life.

(taken from Apple's page (and maybe others that I forgot about) on how to get more charges out of Li-Ion batteries)
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post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

That's just asinine. While I think Apple's current battery warranty is a bit stingy (51% from spec in one year is still OK, not warranting replacement), but expecting free batteries for life is silly. The given price in the story is about right for replacement phone batteries.

Are you saying you consider $79 for a replacement battery a reasonable price? When the battery in my Verizon cell phone died, it cost me all of $15 to have it replaced. For $86 I could have almost bought a new phone. (Browsing the Verizon site, batteries seem to average around $40 for standard and $50 for extended life. Also available online for much less.)

Yes, free batteries for life is a silly request. But $79 AND a 3-day wait?
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Holy crabcakes. Yours sounds like a defective phone, even tho' it might be one of the 'acceptable' ones... I dunno... I'd return it.

No. It works perfectly. I has been seen quite a bit of use these past few days. With all the 'multi-use' I'd say I am getting about 5 hour per charge. (The web on wi-fi is particularly power hungry, it would seem).

I have barely made any calls with it!
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmlight View Post

But did you completely discharge it then recharge it? If you didn't (which is likely), you haven't used 5 or 6 charge cycles: you only use one cycle after the equivalent of a complete discharge and recharge (aka using half the battery then charging it at night two days in a row counts as one charge cycle). If you did completely discharge it, that's bad for the Li-Ion battery and may actually shorten its life.

(taken from Apple's page (and maybe others that I forgot about) on how to get more charges out of Li-Ion batteries)

At 20% battery life, it sends you a warning, and the battery icon turns red. Usually, I have started to charge at that point -- so, the answer is, it has not been completely discharged yet.

If what you say is right (and I am sure you are; I'll also check Apple's page), I'll breathe a bit easier......
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Are you saying you consider $79 for a replacement battery a reasonable price? When the battery in my Verizon cell phone died, it cost me all of $15 to have it replaced. For $86 I could have almost bought a new phone. (Browsing the Verizon site, batteries seem to average around $40 for standard and $50 for extended life. Also available online for much less.)

Yes, free batteries for life is a silly request. But $79 AND a 3-day wait?

OK, you are right, $79 is a bit high for just a battery, however, if it's anything like the iPods, they just send you a totally refurbished unit. The refurbished iPods that I got as warranty replacements were basically just like new.
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

How arrogant.

You missed the point of his post, completely. For someone who is a (relative) veteran on this list, that is really snarky and not-terribly thougthful.

I had to use a dictionary... yes, I was being "snarky". But not "arrogant".

Has the guy never seen an iPod ? ... or even an Apple laptop (custom size/shape batteries ... I can't even FIND a new battery for my iBook SE anymore). Or how about the origional iMacs?... ever had to replace the internal battery in one of those ?? (it needs to be done every few years.) Ooo... adding RAM to a Mac Plus (I destroyed one trying to do that... darn jumpers.)

My point is, this battery thing is exactly what people EXPECT of Apple ... it's the way they've ALWAYS designed their products. And in the end it's just a luxury item... either buy it or don't... it's not gonna "change your life" either way.
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post #29 of 38
Its not at all asinine. Of course Apple shouldn't have to provide 'free batteries', but it was its choice to make it non-user replacable, so the shipping and labor should absolutely be on Apple's tab. Don't want to pay it? Then design a product that works the way that 99.5% of all other consumer products work... user-replacable batteries.
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

Which means all user should exchange their battery right before their first year ends.
.

Absolutely!
post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Its not at all asinine. Of course Apple shouldn't have to provide 'free batteries', but it was its choice to make it non-user replacable, so the shipping and labor should absolutely be on Apple's tab. Don't want to pay it? Then design a product that works the way that 99.5% of all other consumer products work... user-replacable batteries.

Expecting free replacement batteries for life is asinine, and that's what I was responding to, if you've bothered to read what I said.

On the rest of the statements, you kind of lost on that, good luck with those expectations. Maybe if consumers didn't buy iPods because of that issue, then Apple might have considered otherwise. As it is, it's not a deal-breaker with enough people. Unfortunately with Apple, it is usually a take-it-or-leave-it issue. As you suggest, there is a host of consumer electronics that Apple only controls 0.5% of the models available, so there is a fair amount of choice. Just as Apple is generally free to design their products as they choose, you are free to choose or their products or someone else's.

Before I bought my first iPod, I had made the determination that the cost of battery replacements was well-worth it because a few more pennies a day is better than living with a product that I didn't like as much but that had a swappable battery module.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

Which means all user should exchange their battery right before their first year ends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Absolutely!

I doubt that Apple will replace the battery unless it really is bad. They probably aren't going to just replace them just because they are asked. Check the warranty for specific terms.
post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

Which means all user should exchange their battery right before their first year ends.

I think so. I was looking at protective cases for the iPhone but since I will likely be getting a new iPhone in about year anyway I don't care if it gets scratched up. Same with the battery. If it lasts a year and then starts to decline in performance, that's about what I'd expect.

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post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by m00nchild View Post

How can I afford to send off my phone to Apple and be without a phone until they ship it back to me 3-5 business days later.

Pay another $20 and buy an AT&T Go Phone for that few days you're without the iPhone. You've already spent $500 or more for iPhone and $60 or more for service. What's $20 for a temporary Go Phone.

Look, folks. I have a hard time understanding why so many people complain about the non-user-replaceable battery. Not once have I ever come close to needing to replace the battery in any cell phone or iPod I've owned -- at least 9 devices. Why? I frickin' take care of the battery! If you abuse a lithium ion battery, it will die on you, yes. What do I do? I don't regularly keep my devices in extreme temperatures, I don't regularly let the battery run all the way down, and I charge the devices back to full whenever I can. My wife can tell you that my personal and work cell phones go on the charger every night before bed.

I get the feeling that those who have such problems with their batteries abuse the hell out of them.
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post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by m00nchild View Post

I so wanted this phone. But I just can't in my right mind purchase a phone that doesn't feature a battery that I can replace on my own without any fear of damaging the device. Apple should have created a device that features a swappable battery like any other phone on the market.

Instead they have gone down a pathway that guarantees frustration for their users. Why? Who uses a mobile phone exclusively without a landline? Raise your hands. Yep, alot of us. How can I afford to send off my phone to Apple and be without a phone until they ship it back to me 3-5 business days later. That could easily be a week without access to a phone if the replacement shipping falls across a weekend.

That's just inexcusable.

With the iPod that's ok. But phone access is too essential in our modern society: business calls, bills to pay, emergency calls, etc.

I just don't understand how Apple could make this decision. Until they fix this one key aspect of the product I simply cannot buy their phone.

And that really bums me out. It's so damn cool otherwise.


So get a landline. Im surprised at just how surprised some of you are. Did you really expect anything less after their record with ipods?
post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

...Then design a product that works the way that 99.5% of all other consumer products work... user-replacable batteries.

that darn multi-touch interface!! I wish they had just designed the iPhone the way that 99.5% of all other consumer products work... dozens of tiny buttons with limited possibilities.
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post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmoNut View Post

Pay another $20 and buy an AT&T Go Phone for that few days you're without the iPhone. You've already spent $500 or more for iPhone and $60 or more for service. What's $20 for a temporary Go Phone.

Look, folks. I have a hard time understanding why so many people complain about the non-user-replaceable battery. Not once have I ever come close to needing to replace the battery in any cell phone or iPod I've owned -- at least 9 devices. Why? I frickin' take care of the battery! If you abuse a lithium ion battery, it will die on you, yes. What do I do? I don't regularly keep my devices in extreme temperatures, I don't regularly let the battery run all the way down, and I charge the devices back to full whenever I can. My wife can tell you that my personal and work cell phones go on the charger every night before bed.

I get the feeling that those who have such problems with their batteries abuse the hell out of them.

You are being a bit conceited. I take care of my gear also but I bought a 3rd gen iPod - ever heard of those or the lawsuit regarding their battery life? Well I currently can only get about 2hrs out of a charge. I don't live in the US and so was not able to avail myself of the repair program buyers in the US got. My wifes phone needed a new battery within 18 months of purchase. Batteries that can not be replaceed by the end user are a bad idea.
post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Or... find a suitable replacement one will more assuredly show up pop the back cover off the phone cut the old battery leads (and strip each end bare (discard bad battery) and twist the leads from the new battery close cover and yer done... If you wanna get fancy you could break out the soldering iron but I'm not too good with super hot pointy things and I'd be too afraid of screwing something up...

Dave

The two bare sections you just twisted together will likely short at some point and cause a lot of heating or worse.

I suggest if someone is not proficient with a soldering iron, so the job can be done properly, they let someone who is, do the job.
post #38 of 38
I will not buy an iPhone till it has a user-replaceable battery. It's not an iPod, it's a phone. You can't just send off your phone for a week. Even if you could, why accept this? What is Apple saving, fifty cents a phone? Or is their intent planned obsolescence on a $500 product?

Any way you slice it, it's screw the customer, or the environment, or both. It's bad design. Apple is supposed to be about good design. Same for the Video iPod (5G).

I can understand built-in batteries for the nano and shuffle. They are cheap, consume little power so they are not hard on batteries, and are small devices which would lose physical integrity with large open compartments. They are also not phones. Nothing really happens if you ship one off for a week.

Also:

* Heavy phone users often carry a spare, or have one at the office or wherever they work. You can't do that with the iPhone. Ridiculous.

* If you spend a lot of time abroad and need a new battery, shipping it would cost a fortune and require dealing with customs.

* If there is an exploding/burning battery recall, you have to send in your phone rather than get a battery replacement.

* The phone could be lost or damaged in shipping. Sure, insurance will take care of it, but you have to deal with the claim and waste time.

* You have to wonder how long Apple will support the phone. What happens when they don't?
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