Apple’s first iPhone stumble: Battery replacement.

Apple today announced the iPhone’s battery replacement policy, and I’m disappointed.

It’s somewhat similar to their iPod policy, but the iPhone is not an iPod. My complaint is that the process takes three business days. Include time for shipping back and forth and you’re without the phone for five days!

I never thought Apple would treat a phone in this manner. Surely Steve Jobs understands that a phone and a music player have different priorities in people’s lives? Well, I guess not. When do you think you can get by without your phone for nearly a week?

Apple-bashers will have a field day with this, and rightfully so. This is a mistake, Apple, and you need to do something better. Let us bring it to an Apple store for same-day service; use overnight shipping and guarantee 1-day turnaround (though even that leaves me phoneless for three days). Or, if you cannot do better, than make the battery user-replaceable. I’m not one who necessarily wanted this, but then again I assumed when I needed a new battery it would be addressed in a critical fashion, not with a “oh well, just don’t take or make calls for a week” attitude.

Big mistake, Apple. I think you’re going to hear about this from all quarters, not just your competitors.

(Photo from

4 thoughts on “Apple’s first iPhone stumble: Battery replacement.

  1. According to the iPhone Service FAQ (unless I’m reading it wrong), the alleged “loaner phone” is actually a rental, and costs $29 for five days.

    While a rental for unforeseen repairs may be acceptable, for a KNOWN issue like battery (i.e., we KNOW the battery will need replacing at some point) it seems a bit much to me.

    If Apple supplied a true loaner (i.e., no cost) for the duration of the battery replacement then it would ease my complaints somewhat. But asking me to rent one is pretty cheesy in my opinion.

  2. They have a loaner phone program and AT&T WILL GIVE YOU A PHONE to borrow ANY TIME you have to send a phone in for service. PLUS, it’s almost a given that joints like Other World Computing will come out with higher capacity replacements within the next few months (if not weeks).

    Last time I sent a phone in for repair (HP iPaq 6515) I got a pretty nice Sony Ericcson w700 to “borrow” – it was only 4 days.

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