Apple has kicked off a new program to repair what it says is a “very small number” of iPhone 6s handsets that shut down for no apparent reason.
The worldwide iPhone 6s battery-replacement program follows last week’s launch of an offer to fix iPhone 6s Plus devices affected by issues referred to as ‘touch disease’, a bug that surfaces after the phone has been dropped on hard surfaces and results in an unresponsive touchscreen.
Unlike Samsung’s recent Galaxy Note 7 repair program for exploding batteries, Apple makes clear that the iPhone 6s battery problem is not a safety issue. It also only affects a small number of devices that were manufactured between September and October 2015.
Customers are being advised to go to an Apple Retail Store or an authorized Apple service provider to have the serial number checked for eligibility. If the device is eligible, Apple will replace the battery at no cost.
Customers who have already paid for a replacement battery and believe their iPhone 6s was affected by the issue can contact Apple about a refund.
Apple reminds customers to ensure they’ve backed up data, switched off Find my iPhone, and erased data on their device before returning it for a battery replacement.
Also, customers will need to fix and foot the bill for any unrelated damage, such as a cracked screen, before Apple will replace the battery.
The program doesn’t extend Apple’s standard warranty and only covers iPhone 6s batteries for three years from the first time they were purchased at retail.
Some iPhone 6s users were reporting devices unexpectedly shutting down last year. However, Apple’s new program follows a report by Reuters that the China Consumers Association had called on Apple to investigate complaints that iPhone 6s devices were shutting down with 50 to 60 percent battery levels.