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News | How to get Apple's $29 iPhone battery replacement

Mohamed Hakim

Most phone owners come to realize that an old battery is a weak battery, one that gradually loses c

Fortunately, there's a simple fix: Get a new battery. Previously, Apple charged $79 for such a swap, but effectively immediately, you can get a replacement battery from Apple for just $29. That's for any iPhone 6 or later. (A similar discount will be available outside the US -- for example, the replacement cost will be lowered to £25 in the UK and AU$39 in Australia -- and Apple says it will provide more details on its site soon.)

Do it. If your phone is more than a year old, it's no doubt lost some of its capacity (and, apparently, some of its speed). This is a cheap and easy fix, one that will not only extend the life of your phone, but also make it feel kind of new again.

There are three ways to get this replacement done:

At an Apple Store

At an authorized Apple service center

By mail
I strongly recommend against that third option. For starters, it'll leave you without your phone for at least a week -- and if there's any kind of problem, that could delay things even further.

To schedule an appointment locally, in a store or service center, head to Apple's support page, click iPhone, then click Battery, Power & Charging. Now choose Battery replacement and then Bring in for Repair.

Next, you'll need to sign in with your Apple ID and select the device you're bringing in. From there you can find the nearest available location and choose a time.

What happens next

Once you arrive for your appointment, the technician will likely perform a battery diagnostic. Don't worry about the results, though: Even if your phone shows it's retaining 80 percent or greater of its original capacity (which normally would preclude you from a replacement), Apple will give you the $29 deal.

That's assuming the store has batteries in stock. CNET's Oliver Padilla went to one yesterday and was told he'd have to wait for more batteries to arrive. (He was also assured he'd get the $29 replacement, even though his iPhone 6 showed "green" on the battery diagnostic.)

If the store does have batteries available, you could be looking at a wait of several hours or even days, depending on how many iPhones are in line ahead of you. Consequently, it might make sense to wait a few weeks before scheduling your appointment, as there's almost certainly going to be a land-grab (battery-grab?) in the wake of all this publicity.

Fortunately, the $29 replacement program isn't going anywhere: Apple plans to run it through December 2018.

If you've already taken advantage of it, hit the comments and share your experiences. How long did you wait? What was the outcome?