Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has launched a new official repair program to address the iPhone 6s’s unexpected shutdown issue. Over the weekend, the company confirmed that some customers were seeing their phones unceremoniously switch off. The affected iPhones would shut down unexpectedly, even when there’s sufficient battery charge left to power the device. For many of the incidents reported, the sudden shutdown would occur once the battery charge dropped to between 50 and 60 percent.
A few days ago, a Chinese consumer advocacy group took an official stance against Apple on the matter, putting pressure on the company to come up with a solution. The company wrote on its website, “This is not a safety issue and only affects devices within a limited serial number range that were manufactured between September and October 2015.” This is very different than the recent recall from Samsung over battery issues in its handsets. The battery problems with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 saw some handsets unexpectedly catch fire, with numerous reports of property damage and injuries.
Apple has announced that it will swap out the battery to fix the issue. Users can visit an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider to have the device’s serial number checked to confirm eligibility for a battery replacement. Alternatively, Apple said people can contact its customer support service.
The program will be available for three years after the first retail sale of the handset. Apple has not disclosed how many iPhone 6S handsets were affected by the shutdown flaw, but says that the issue has affected a “small number” of the devices. It also has not revealed the range of serial numbers that are subject to the recall.
The new batteries are available for free to affected users. However, Apple’s statement says that if a customer’s “iPhone 6S has any damage such as a cracked screen which impairs the replacement of the battery, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the battery replacement. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the repair.” Users that have already bought a new battery from Apple to fix the issue will be eligible for a refund.
A few days ago, Apple announced a replacement program for the iPhone 6 Plus’s Touch Disease issue. The touch disease problem manifested itself in an unresponsive touch screen, or a flickering display. Apple says that the issue was most likely a result of “being dropped multiple times on a hard surface and then incurring further stress on the device.” The company said it would replace the screens of any iPhone 6 Plus handsets that had been afflicted by the issue. The fix will cost users $149.