The other day I wondered a bit about the potential problems with the iPhone’s battery and what would happen when the battery died.
When I wrote that, the basics of the situation were this:
- The iPhone’s battery drains quickly
- It can sustain about 400 full charge and discharge cycles before losing some capacity
- When you need to replace the battery, it’s an $86 charge
- Battery replacements can only be done by Apple, meaning you have to send your phone to them and lose it for that time
All in all, it’s not an appealing option. As I noted, my iPhone is my only phone for both personal and business use. I can’t go without it for 3 days. No one, including my clients, would be able to get in touch with me.
New details have come out this week about the battery replacement plan, though. It now seems, though, that if your iPhone is covered by a warranty — either the standard one-year version or the extended two-year variety (available later this month) — when the battery needs replacing, you’ll be spared losing your phone for three days.
Instead, you’ll be able to get a loaner phone for $29. Sounds pretty good for a minute. But $29? That’s kind of annoying. I guess it makes sense, but I’d rather just have a battery that could be replaced at the Apple Store while I wait or that I could do myself.
The loaner phones aren’t awful: you can put your SIM card into them to keep your phone number with you while you have the loaner and you can put your data onto it. Be sure to back up your regular phone, though. Battery service will delete all your data.
I don’t imagine that Apple is going to offer a user-replaceable battery since they haven’t done so on the iPod despite nearly five years of calls for it. I’ve had a number of iPods over the years and none of them have needed battery replacement. But none of them have drained batteries as quickly as the iPhone.
I hope when it comes time to replace the iPhone battery, it’s not too painful or expensive.