Craig Johnson, Clark.com
If you have either an iPhone or iPad, you may have been affected by performance slowdowns that Apple admitted to two weeks ago. That’s when the company said that it throttled the performance of older devices in an effort to keep them running.
The revelations have opened the Cupertino, California-based company up to staunch criticism over its perceived lack of transparency for not telling customers why their devices seemed to slow down when a new update was introduced.
Since then, the company has faced a flurry of lawsuits from customers claiming that the company has acted in bad faith. To make things right, Apple announced a $50 discount on battery replacements. But some customers have been left in a lurch as the company hasn’t gone out of their way to provide clear instructions on how to get their batteries replaced. Apple has said that it will release more information on the battery replacement program, but as of this writing has yet to do so.
Here’s how to get your iPhone battery replaced
If you still have AppleCare insurance on your device, you should take advantage of their support services to replace your battery. The thing is, if you just pop up at an Apple retail store, the crowds can be so immense that you’re likely to wait a long time before you’re actually helped. You can also:
- Call ahead of time to reserve an appointment — click hear to find the nearest Apple store
- Chat online with a representative
- Send your device via mail to Apple
If you choose the latter option, once you log into the company’s website you’ll get an instant cost estimate (for my iPhone 7 Plus, it told me battery replacement was free). Apple will also cover the cost of shipping. Below is a screenshot of what it showed me.
Here’s the most important thing you should do when scheduling an appointment with Apple
If you don’t plan ahead, be prepared to go without your device for a period of time. Apple says on its website that repairs can take up to five days. So if you call ahead of time, it’s imperative to ask them if they have batteries in stock.
Judging from comments online, countless customers are going through the motions like they should only to be told that their store doesn’t even have the batteries in stock. So, save yourself some time – and frustration – by calling ahead and finding out the particular location’s inventory.
A cursory search for an appointment through Apple’s Genius Bar in metro Atlanta showed that many stores had no slots available whatsoever, even as far as seven days out.
Apple also has an online directory of its Apple Consultants Network, but many of them may not do battery replacement, so you have to ask.
If you go to a third-party repair shop, it’s also good to check ahead of time whether they will honor the replacement battery discount. Apple is speaking for itself when it says that it will replace batteries for $50 discount, meanwhile independent shops may or may not choose to participate in that program.
Finally, if you’re technologically savvy, you may decide to replace your battery yourself. For those confident enough to do it, there are online tutorials, although it’s not something most of us would be comfortable with.
Apple also says that early this year it will release an iOS software update that shows the user “the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.”
Until then, let’s hope we get better clarity on this iPhone battery fix.