This story has been updated following Apple's announcement that it will reduce the price of out-of-warranty battery replacement to $29, down from $79, for owners of iPhone 6 models and newer throughout most of 2018.
Recently we learned that Apple is managing battery degradation in the latest iPhones by limiting CPU performance. While there’s no doubt a slow iPhone is better than a completely dead one, you likely still be disappointed to find that your one- or two-year old investment — not so long ago one of the most powerful smartphones on the market — is already on the ropes, and because of its battery of all things.
If there’s a silver lining to this, it’s that next time your iPhone starts chugging, you might not need to run out and buy a whole new device. Instead, you can spend far less and simply replace the battery alone.
Of course there are a bunch of different ways you can arrange for a battery replacement, with the most popular and safest one being having Apple do it themselves. If you are covered under AppleCare+, which costs between $99 and $199 depending on the model, and your iPhone’s battery has retained less than 80 percent of its original capacity, your replacement will be free.
If not, Apple has extended an offer to owners of affected devices, which includes the iPhone 6 and newer models. Beginning in late January and lasting until December 2018, customers will be able to purchase out-of-warranty battery replacements for $29. That's $50 less than the $79 Apple typically charges, though the announcement stipulates the procedure will be limited only to customers "whose devices need to be replaced."
For $29, Apple's offer is a great value considering it could extend your phone’s life by at least another year. But then you’ve got to send your device in, and likely wait a few days, as Apple Stores are typically inundated with repair orders. Additionally, we don't yet know what Apple has determined as the cutoff that necessitates replacement, so owners of devices like the iPhone 7 and newer might miss the yearlong window.
Conversely, you can forge your own path and replace the battery yourself. Many vendors, from iFixit to lesser-known brands on Amazon, produce repair kits that typically go for less than half the price of a first-party battery replacement. It’s enticing, but obviously not an option for the faint-hearted. Even if your iPhone survives the surgery, its warranty will have been voided and the water-tight seal left broken. Not to mention, you’ll have to buy the proper tools, and the entire process is a bit more complicated than simple plug-and-play.
If you are eligible for Apple's discount, our recommendation is to go for it while you can. If not, there are third-party alternatives. These technicians will stuff a new battery in your iPhone, sometimes for more reasonable rates, and sometimes on the very same day you bring it in. The trade off, inevitably, is that you miss out on Apple’s expertise and seal of approval.
Going third-party isn’t a bad idea, so long as you do your homework and seek out a reputable technician. Fortunately, that’s what we’ve done here. What follows is a list of some of the best iPhone repair services out there, based on customer feedback. However, be advised that enlisting a non-authorized service provider to repair your iPhone (or doing it yourself, for that matter) will void its warranty. If it’s over a year old, the warranty has expired anyway; if not, you might want to bite the bullet and drop by the Apple Store.
Do it Yourself: iFixit
So long as you don't mind getting your hands dirty, iFixit has also slashed prices of its do-it-yourself battery replacement kits down to $29 to match Apple's temporary pricing. Better yet, the discount also applies to kits for the iPhone 5s, 5c, 5 and 4s — four handsets excluded from Apple's promotion that aren't affected by the performance throttling software introduced in iOS 10.2.1. If you do decide to go this route, make sure to closely follow iFixit's in-depth guides, which the supplier has created for every model of iPhone Apple has ever released. If you're not confident in your skills, we recommend enlisting a professional service, like one of the following.
Cell Phone Repair
Cell Phone Repair, or CPR for short, is one of the most widely-available tech repair firms out there, with hundreds of locations around the country. Customers cite the company’s quick service, with some repairs taking less than 40 minutes. CPR can also repair other devices besides iPhones, including Android smartphones, tablets, computers, and gaming consoles.
UBreakIFix rivals Cell Phone Repair’s network of locations and flexibility in repairing all kinds of tech products. It offers a 90-day warranty on all its repairs, and if you run into any issues with your device, you can take it to any of the company’s repair centers within that timeframe to have it dealt with free of charge. The estimated cost of a battery replacement on an iPhone 6S through UBreakIFix is $79, though the company also claims to price-match local competitors. To give you a little extra peace of mind, Google recently partnered with the company to officially service its Pixel smartphones and Pixelbook laptops.
Perhaps you could use the convenience of an on-site repair? Fortunately, iCracked send technicians to you mend your iPhone’s battery on the spot, as well as any other problems you might run into. Overall, iCracked operates a bit differently from the previous two service providers, as its employees are independent contractors who are free to charge different rates, but are also trained by the company. That means there’s some variation in what you pay, though iCracked itself says you can expect a new battery installation to run anywhere between $50 and $80. And that’s with them coming to you — be it at home, the office, or a coffee shop.
There are a couple reasons you might want to visit Office Depot when your iPhone’s battery kicks the bucket. For one, the retailer's prices are very reasonable: just $49, and they’re under warranty for a year. The service is guaranteed to be finished same-day, and if it isn’t, Office Depot will discount the repair by $25.
LifeLine’s Yelp pages are inundated with praise for quick and thorough service. Although they don’t have many physical locations, you can still mail your iPhone in. LifeLine claims most repairs can be completed in 30 minutes, so you’ll be sure to get your device back almost as quickly as it arrives at their door, and all the company’s work is backed by a 120-day warranty.
Like iCracked, Puls will repair your iPhone wherever you are. Battery replacement costs $79, which is equal with Apple’s pricing. If something goes wrong with the service — an unlikely scenario with a battery replacement, but possible nonetheless — you don’t pay a cent. The new battery is guaranteed for life, and if there are other issues plaguing your iPhone, like a shattered screen, home button, or water damage, Puls can fix that too.
These are just some of the more reputed and popular options out there; you’re likely to find many more in your local community. For tips on how to maximize your iPhone’s battery life, check out our handy guide.
See Also : Best Portable Chargers and Battery Packs