In order to maximise the usefulness of my iPhone I took it in to an Apple store for a check-up and walked out with a brand new internal battery for – for free!
I have noticed on a couple of occasions that my iPhone 5 will behave erratically when the battery level goes down to levels like 30% or so. It might suddenly drop dramtically from, say, 25% to 14% or – more annoyingly – it will actually crash and refuse to reboot due to having ‘no power’ – despite saying it had, say, 20% just a minute ago!
Now, I happen toknow that there is a bug that Apple are working on which makes phones reboot below 30% but I figured it was a good idea to get my phone checked out anyway. I had once used it in the rain until it shut down so I wanted to know if it had suffered water damage. If it had any significant problems then I might reconsider taking it with me on the trek and change to a more functional unit.
Anyway, I took it in and the ‘Genius’ (ugh) logged me onto the store WiFi network and within a few seconds confirrmed the rest of the phone was perfectly fine but the battery was in bad shape. On his iPad he showed me a quadrant chart with my battery’s total full charges along the x-axis and the total potential current capacity (up to 100%) on the y-axis. Mine showed up as being lightly used but only holding about 65% of the total capacity – in other words my battery was knackered.
It was in the lower-left corner of the quadrant and I think Apple will always say that batteries in quadrant need fixing. The Genius did say that batteries in that kind of shape act erratically and unpredictably and it was not just a case of the phone only staying awake for less time.
The Genius said I needed a whole new battery, something they can do onsite in half an hour. But it would cost £55 ($80) because my phone is 16 months old and therefore 4 months past the warranty. But he also said they would waive the charge since it wasn’t my fault and the battery wasn’t heavily used. Result! He also said that “sometimes” they cannot change the battery in which case they give you a whole new phone. I crossed my fingers for that scenario but sadly it did not pan out!
And I did indeed walk out of the store with my phone containing a new battery registering full capacity and no previous charges.
So the moral of this story: take your iDevice in to Apple (unlikely to be so easy if you have a device from someone else but YMMV) and ask them to check it out. If you are anywhere near your 12 month warranty, do it regardless of whether you have a problem or not!Tell them you have erratic power problems if you like. It can’t be proved. They can then tell you what’s going on with your phone and you can take it from there. In my case I was happy to be told everything else was fine and obviously delighted to get a free new battery as well. I would have sprung the £55 as well if he hadn’t jumped in with the generous offer right away.