Apple launches iPhone 5 Sleep/Wake Button Replacement Program

Apple on Friday launched a new program to help iPhone 5 users that may have been affected by a problem with the Sleep/Wake button not functioning properly.

“Apple today launched a program to replace the sleep/wake button on a small percentage of iPhone 5 models where the button may stop working or work intermittently,” Apple said in a statement provided to The Loop. “Apple will offer the service free of charge to iPhone 5 customers with models that exhibit this issue and have a qualifying serial number.”

Apple has set up a Web site that has all of the details on how to get your iPhone 5 fixed, if you experienced this particular problem. It’s important to note that not every iPhone 5 owner will experience this problem. In fact, the majority of users will not be affected at all.

However, if you do experience the problem, Apple is fixing the iPhone 5 free of charge. Clearly, the phones are out of warranty, but Apple is doing the right thing and allowing customers to bring them in to be fixed.

It’s these types of moves that keep Apple’s customer satisfaction rating so high, beating out competitors like Samsung, who gave its customers an 800 number to call for the failed Galaxy S5 camera.

  • Sam Adeshina

    I love how every “bad” Apple news here at The Loop is always spun and used as an ammunition to hit a competitor. Sorry, but Apple messed up. They are fixing it which they should, but dont use it an as excuse to bash Samsung, HTC e.t.c. I used to love coming here, but the Apple fan-“ism” is a little too much for me now.

    • rattyuk

      Which part of “You are getting a free iPhone if you have this problem” don’t you understand

      • Freebee

        “Apple will replace the sleep/wake button mechanism, free of charge, on iPhone 5 models that exhibit this issue and have a qualifying serial number.”

        I don’t think he’s the one that misunderstands…

    • differently

      If you ever tried to get Samsung to service your phone at all you might think differently.

    • struckpaper

      I agree. Apple is doing the right thing here. But product recall is a common practice at all companies. We all question their timing but when a problem is pervasive, many companies do this. While recognizing this is a pro-Apple website, I think the writers should still be judicious not to turn every lede into an opportunity for Apple glorification or Samsung bashing; lest it strains credibility.

    • struckpaper

      I do want to add that Apple didn’t mess up. This is the nature of engineering. When you launch a new product with new parts, accelerated testing can only predict reliability up to a certain extent. It is unrealistic and unfair to say they messed up just because some parts fail on some phones after some period of use.

      • Sam Adeshina

        Thats fair. Every electronics company runs the risk of some sort of failure on the manufacturing side. I am not denying that possibility. I am specifically referencing Jim’s somewhat cowardly hit at another company. That was not needed. Didnt add much context to the post at all.

    • lucascott
      1. Many of the phones are possibly just user wear and tear or drops and no fault of Apple. But they are covering them anyway.

      2. Stop coming here. No one is making you.

      • Sam Adeshina

        1) Thats a possibility. I worked at Apple, soI have a fairly good amount of knowledge especially when it comes to hardware failure. No one is denying this possibility.

        2) Secondly, I will go anywhere I want as long as it is good, reputable news. Maybe if you were not blind to the fan-ism in you, you will realize what I am talking about. Is this line “It’s these types of moves that keep Apple’s customer satisfaction rating so high, beating out competitors like Samsung, who gave its customers an 800 number to call for the failed Galaxy S5 camera.” needed to explain the entirely of the article he wrote? No. It is just another way of hitting another company to “pump” Apple up when the post itself had nothing to do about a conflict between Samsung and Apple. I am not a Samsung fan personally, but I will call out un-needed junk in any article if I want to.

        • TL doesn’t “pump up” apple. it’s a fan blog. and the authors have an obvious voice — finding the good in what apple does. and since apples does indeed have the best consumer satisfaction ratings (better than Samsung’s), the observation is a valid one.

          not sure why that is unusual or unexpected?

    • yes, because The Loop was never an apple fan site. durr

  • Swaggy Lee

    Both my wife and I will be getting our Sleep/Wake buttons replaced, we have launch day iPhones with buttons that haven’t worked for a year now. I’m afraid this is more widespread than they make it seem.

  • annoyingly my iPod Nano 6th Gen on/off button just stopped working. Guess Apple won’t be fixing that for me ;(

  • Ew@n

    I’m glad they’re doing this. I brought my iP5 into the Apple store about 3 months ago and they told me to pound sand (well, they said “sorry. But I could buy a replacement phone for $1xx”). Ended up paying out of pocket for the repair privately when it was obviously a manufacturer defect. Argh.

  • Mike

    Don’t bother taking your iPhone to the Berkeley Apple Store because they are not ready to accept broken iPhone 5’s yet. Bummer.

  • frontkick

    I got my 64GB iphone5 in December 2012 and my sleep/wake button has been out of action for at least 10 months. Because I was constantly traveling and I need the data on my iphone, I did not have seen chance to get it fixed. I never thought that a critical button like the sleep/wake button can broke so easily on an iphone which is supposed to be a premium smartphone. I was extremely annoyed about this as I had to pay a lot extra to buy out my previous contract when getting my iP5.

    I was planning on getting one of those lower cost high-spec Chinese smartphone before taking my iP5 for service. Now I might get it fixed sooner. I am typing this comment in my 64GB BlackBerry Playbook. This tablet also has a very stubborn power/sleep/wake button, but I am surprised it is still hanging in there.

    • lucascott

      You got it in Dec 2012 which put it under warranty until dec 2013. You say the button hasn’t been working for 10 months. So that’s well within that one year.,

      Your phone and it’s functionality are so vital that you couldn’t be bothered to take it in or call Apple Csre to find out that you would get a replacement phone. Not a repair like they are doing now but a full unit replacement. And if it had to be mail out they will happily send the new one first as long as you allow a hold on a credit card as insurance that you send the old one back.

      And now you who apparently didn’t bother to do anything is going to gripe about the issue. Be mad at yourself not Apple.

  • European

    Does this only apply to US only?

  • Shame this never happened for 4/4S, my first sleep wake button stopped working after about 12 months on my 4S, I replaced it myself, and almost bang on 12 months later it stopped clicking again. It still works now but requires an extreme squeeze at just the right spot. (with no satisfying click).

    The amount of people I see with the accessibility hover button on their screen (to lock their phone without a button) and threads about this on Apple support I suspect I am not alone…

    • struckpaper

      You are not alone. Mine is the same, but I don’t use it much anymore. Do you believe Apple’s shirking responsibility? For a company (any company) to issue a recall, the percentage of failure has to hit a certain threshold. So, perhaps, while our 4/4S problem is not unique, it is also not common. There is a reason why warranty on products is limited; electromechanical components failure after repeated use. It’s a matter of statistics that you and I ended up with some of the earlier failures.

      • lucascott

        Technically it’s not a recall. A recall would require the replacement of every unit in the time period regardless of any issues it might or might not have. Even free warranty replacement units built and issued during that time.

        This is a repair program for those items that have an issue. And potential coverage of prior out of warranty repairs directly for this issue.

  • Me

    Yeah. So the 3 people at Apple lied to my face when I told them I had a defected phone. They wouldn’t do anything for me. And told me their was no issue with this model of phones. I had to get rid of my phone and NOW their doing this? I got screwed!

    • struckpaper

      They didn’t lie. They gave you an answer based on the information available at the time. This is not a failure that can be reproduced on demand. Apple needs to learn of a critical number of occurrences before realizing the commonness of the problem.

      • lucascott

        Plus it is possible that it wasn’t a defective phone. Not every sleep button failure is due to defect. It could be like my brother who has dropped his phone several times with if hitting the top of the phone. Could be some tweeter girl just bangs that button all the dang time cause she’s on it 24/7 and wore it out.

        • Me

          I knew my phone never took a hard fall and lived in a case so yes the phone was defective. And they did lie to my face when they told me that my phone model does not have a problem then they start a recall. Just because they gave the corporate statement doesn’t excuse them from saying that they haven’t seen my model at the Genius Bar for that problem which they told me. Question is do you think they do anything for me now that I don’t have the phone anymore? I feel owed.

  • It’s pretty obvious that Apple truly cares. After 2 years of model availability, most manufacturers aren’t even updating their operating system software let alone offering out of warranty hardware repairs.

    • lucascott

      That said, Apple needs to make this an in store repair item, same as the volume buttons. To be greener. And to cock block reseller stunts (as they did last year with the battery tricks so the phones wouldn’t power on) And they need to make the iPads repairable. My speaker blows out and I shouldn’t have to get a full unit replacement, especially if I’m out of warranty

      • iPads are repairable — just not by you or your average apple genius. they get refurbed at the repair center.

  • Dakant

    It’s the ribbon cable that is failing and what Apple will be replacing. My volume down button doesn’t work and yet Apple won’t cover it under this free repair, even though replacing the ribbon cable is all one part for the power, mute and volume buttons. It makes no sense not to cover volume or mute button issue too!

  • Anthony 

    I took advantage of the extra $100 trade-in credit to upgrade the 5 to a 5s. Nice of them to do this, and to deal with the issue instead of just brushing it aside given that the device is 18 months old now. It’s definitely an issue, there were 7 other people with defective wake/sleep buttons in-store at the same time as me and the Apple rep said it had been busy all day.

  • Apple user

    I would like to add my bad experience with apple here, my iPhone 5 is eligible with the serial number they mentioned as eligibility check. I understand they have conditions like the screen must not be broken and iPhone must be in a working condition, which my phone is. Now, at the store they start a drama that the phone has a bulge at the bottom which is something related to better which they have manufactured, so the phone can’t be fixed unless the issue is addressed. What a lame excuse to trick ppl and show off as if they are actually fixing devices! I respected apple until today, but never in future!!

  • Jrmutley

    While I’m happy that Apple is now fixing this, in a way I’m a little ticked off. My phone started exhibiting this problem shortly before my warranty was up. However, I had my date confused with another phone and ended up going to an Apple store maybe a month after the expiration (because of my confusion about the date I thought I had more time than I really did). I was basically told sorry but you are out of warranty…we can’t do anything.

    Since I had to make an appointment to even get to see someone in the Apple store, they have a record of my original complaint. When Apple decided that this is an actual problem, iPhone 5 users like myself should have gotten a notification…especially those of us who complained prior to this new program! The only reason I found out about this now is I just did a search to see is there were any better work-arounds than the assistive touch option.

  • ken

    I was just chatting with apple support on line and since my Iphone 5 is over two years old they will not repair it with out charging me.