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Is your iPhone battery dying? Time's ticking for a cut-price Apple replacement

Apple's offer to replace some iPhone batteries for a reduced fee of £25 ends on 31 December. If you're eligible and need your iPhone's battery replaced, act now.

The tech firm has charged the reduced fee since last December for out-of-warranty battery replacements in the iPhone 6 and newer models released prior to this year. It comes after Apple admitted software updates had slowed down some handsets with ageing batteries. Prior to the price cut, Apple battery replacements cost £79 – from 1 January 2019, the new price will be £45.

If your phone's still in warranty, you should be able to get a free battery replacement without paying anything at all. Apple's basic warranty, which comes with all the firm's products, covers your iPhone for one year from the day you bought it – if you've paid more for AppleCare+ protection, you should have up to two years' protection.

For full info on cutting the cost of an iPhone, see our Cheap iPhones guide.

Why do some batteries need replacing?

When Apple launched its reduced-price battery replacement scheme in December 2017, it released a statement admitting that some updates for iPhones – aimed at preventing devices from unexpectedly turning off – have caused some older models to take longer to launch apps and run more slowly.

Apple claims it initially thought this was due to a combination of a temporary slowdown caused by the upgrades and minor bugs in them that were later fixed. But it now says it's also partly due to the "chemical ageing" of batteries in some iPhone models – which is why it's offering cheap replacements.

How do I know if my battery needs replacing?

If you have an iPhone 6 or a newer model and you're running iOS 11.3 or later, your phone will have a feature letting you know whether the condition of your battery is affecting your phone's performance.

To check, go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health. This will tell you whether your battery is performing normally:

  • If your battery is working normally, you'll see the following message: "Your battery is currently supporting normal peak performance", ie, you don't need to do anything.

  • If your battery has degraded, you'll see the following message: "Your battery's health is significantly degraded. An Apple Authorized Service Provider can replace the battery to restore full performance and capacity."
  • If your battery health is unknown or the battery can't be verified, you'll see a message letting you know your battery information isn't available. This could be because your battery isn't installed properly, or has an unknown part. In this case, you'll need to have the battery checked by Apple directly.

Which models qualify for a cheap battery replacement?

The £25 Apple battery replacement is available for the iPhone 6 and newer models which were first released up until the end of 2017 – that means the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR aren't included.

See a full list of eligible models.

How to get a cheap Apple battery replacement

There are two ways to arrange a cheap Apple battery replacement:

  • Take it in to a store. Make an appointment at your nearest Apple store or Apple-authorised service provider. You may be able to get your battery replaced on the spot – if not, the phone may need to be sent off to a repair centre, and you should be able to pick it up again within a week.

  • Send it in by post (delivery costs an extra £7.44). You can request a replacement by post via the Apple website. You'll be sent a box to post your iPhone in. It'll then be shipped to an Apple Repair Centre, where the battery will be replaced – it'll be sent back to you within 6-8 days. There's a £7.44 charge to cover postage there and back.

Apple's support team has previously told us that to be eligible for the Apple battery replacement, your phone can't have had any unauthorised repairs – and if your phone has other damage, such as a cracked screen, this will need to be fixed before you have the battery replaced.

After 31 December, the cost of an Apple battery replacement will go up to £45 (£65 for an iPhone X, XS, XS Max or XR).

Some report finding cheaper battery replacements from non-Apple services – but using these may disqualify your device from later Apple repairs or refunds.  

If your iPhone is still covered by a warranty or AppleCare+, Apple should replace your battery for free. You can also try asking for a free replacement battery if you believe yours is faulty – see our Consumer Rights guide for full help.

I paid full price for a replacement – can I get a refund?

If you paid the full price for an out-of-warranty Apple battery replacement for an iPhone 6 or later device between 1 January 2017 and 28 December 2017, you should be due a refund of £54.

Eligible customers should already have been contacted by email over the summer letting you know how to claim your refund – but if you haven't heard anything, you'll need to contact Apple by 31 December to claim.

You may need to provide proof you had the repair done at an authorised Apple service location.

If you are owed the refund, the £54 will be paid as a transfer into your bank account or onto the credit card you used to pay for the original repair.

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