iPhone 5C
File photo of an employee showing off an Apple iPhone 5C at a Verizon store in Orem, UtahReuters

Apple Inc. has announced a worldwide replacement program for some of its iPhone 5 models, over a potential defect in the sleep/wake button. The replacement process will be available in the US and Canada from Friday, while it will come to other countries on 2 May.

The Cupertino giant said in a statement that the sleep/wake button of the iPhone 5 models manufactured through March 2013 may be faulty and had announced replacements free of charge. The program covers iPhone 5 models for two years, after the first retail sale of the unit.

However, only certain iPhone 5 models, with a qualifying serial number, can claim replacement for the button. One can check if your device qualifies for the free service on the company's support site. https://ssl.apple.com/support/iphone5-sleepwakebutton/

Qualified devices can be sent to Apple Repair Center in two ways - carry-in or mail-in. The replacement process will take approximately 4-6 days.


-          Bring your iPhone 5 to a participating provider - Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

-          Your iPhone will be examined to verify eligibility, and then sent to the local Apple Repair Center.

-          You will be notified when your iPhone is ready for pickup.

Note: If you require a loaner during the time that your iPhone is being serviced, participating Apple Retail Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers will have iPhone 5 models (16GB only) available.


-          Call Apple and request a postage paid box to send your iPhone to the local Apple Repair Center.

-          Your iPhone will be examined by the Repair Center to verify eligibility.

-          After it is serviced, your iPhone will be returned to you by mail.

Things You Should do before Giving Your Smartphone for Servicing

-          Back up your data to iTunes or iCloud

-          Turn off Find my iPhone

-          Erase data and settings in Settings > General > Reset > Erase all Content and Settings

-          Remove any case or cover

-          Upgrade to iOS 7 after the sleep/wake button mechanism is replaced.

(Ed: VP)