If you’ve got a years-old iPhone, you should probably take advantage of Apple’s discounted $29 battery replacement program before it ends in December 2018. Owners of the iPhone 6 and newer models are entitled to the special pricing after it was discovered the company had been throttling processors on those devices to compensate for degraded batteries.
But how do you go about taking Apple up on its offer? And more importantly, how do you determine if you’re even eligible in the first place? Thankfully, the entire process is remarkably simple, though with everyone swarming the Genius Bar to order a replacement battery between now and the end of the year, you might be waiting a little while.
How to find out if you’re eligible
To qualify for the reduced pricing, you must have an out-of-warranty iPhone 6 or newer model with no significant damage that would preclude the battery installation. Interestingly, while Apple’s initial announcement stipulated it would only make the offer available to customers “whose batteries need to be replaced,” MacRumors has confirmed that the discount is available to all users, regardless of the current health of their phone’s battery.
Previously, Apple’s diagnostic test classified a worn battery as having retained 80 percent or less of its original capacity. This is also the level upon which iPhone 6 and newer models running at least iOS 10.2.1 begin limiting performance. However, that threshold has no bearing on this promotion, meaning if you’ve got a qualifying iPhone, you should probably swap out the battery this year just to extend your phone’s lifespan regardless if you absolutely need a new battery now or not.
How to check your battery’s health
Still, if you’d like to know precisely how depleted your battery is before sending it in for service, you have a few options. You can start by going directly to the source: Apple can conduct a diagnostic test remotely if you get in touch with a support expert.
MORE: 10 Tips to Boost Your iPhone’s Battery Life
Alternatively, there are a number of third party apps that also monitor battery health and can give you the same information. One of our favorites is Battery Life. As a personal example, Battery Life said my iPhone 7, which I bought in December 2016, has lost 8 percent of its capacity through a year and change of use.
How to get your battery replacement
Again, your guide is Apple’s Support site. There you can schedule a service date at an Apple Store or one of the company’s authorized service providers, like Best Buy. All authorized service providers should honor the $29 fee, but it’s worth double checking ahead of time to be safe.
Conversely, you could also send your iPhone to Apple by mail, though you’ll have to foot the bill for shipping. You can request a box to send it in, which should arrive one to three days later; you can also drop your iPhone off at any UPS Store with the appropriate documentation for the repair. (UPS has a partnership with Apple where it’ll take care of the preparation, so no need to pack it up.)
Whether you visit an Apple Store, third-party provider or ship your iPhone, you’re looking at a wait time of at least five days for the repair once your device has been received. However, with everyone rushing to make appointments now, you’ll likely end up waiting weeks after placing the order before its your turn.
If the delay is a deal-breaker, there are a number of non-authorized but still great services out there that will replace your iPhone’s battery, though there’s no guarantee they’ll match Apple’s $29 price. You’ll also void your warranty by going with one of these companies, but that won’t matter much if your iPhone’s year-long warranty has already expired. In the meantime, if you’re still hunting for ways to get the most out of the battery that’s already in your device, check out our list of battery saving tips every iPhone owner should try.
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