iPhone 5 devices with sleep button issue may qualify for an extra $80 trade-in credit at Apple Retail locations

iPhone 5 - Slate/Silver
Late Friday afternoon Apple issued a press release stating that some iPhone 5 devices manufactured through March 2013 may have a defect that causes the sleep/wake button to fail. At that time, Apple positioned mail-in repairs as the only remedy for this issue, but we have learned today that there is another option that may allow affected customers to upgrade to an iPhone 5c/5s for free…

According to internal documents furnished to Apple employees this weekend, US customers who make a Genius Bar appointment for the known sleep/wake issue can opt to trade-in their device and may receive up to $350 (or $370 in Canada) in credit, which is $80 over the current maximum for non-affected devices.

To achieve the full trade-in value, the device must be free from any issues aside from the sleep/wake defect.

Apple warns that iPhones with damaged screens (~$150) must be repaired before the device is eligible for trade-in. Customers who are eligible for an upgrade will get to keep the remaining value as an Apple gift card, and those who are not eligible can purchase a device outright but will have to pay the remaining balance out-of-pocket.

Apple employees have been instructed not to present this option unless the customer specifically asks about upgrading to a newer model. This policy is presumably in place so customers don’t get the feeling that Apple put this program into place as a way to lure iPhone 5 users to upgrade with new contracts.

Apple debuted its in-store trade-in program at its Apple Store retail locations last August, and has since expanded to Canada and others. Just last week, Apple began accepting iPad trade-ins as well.

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  1. I went to get my button fixed yesterday and I felt bad for the employees. Apple didn’t give any heads up at all before announcing this program. The retail team learned about it the morning the program took place which lead to incredibly long wait times because only two people knew what to do, and they had to train more people who came in on later shifts.

    With that said, I can confirm the $80 dollar extra trade in value. They offered it to me because I already had an iPhone 5s and I was just going to sell it anyway. I took the deal because $350 for an iPhone 5 from sprint is more than I would of got on ebay or craiglist.

    Walked out with a Nest & jawbone up.

    • Same thing here, Justin. They had no phones available for me.

      That turned out to be a great thing, though because I didn’t know about the trade-in.

      When you DO trade in to get the iPhone 5s, do you have to renew your contract? What are the downsides to trading in?

      • Stetson - 9 years ago

        You don’t have to renew your contract if you pay the full price for the 5S. I believe that price is $650. With the $350 credit you would have to pay an additional $300 for the 5S.

        Depending on the details of your contract you might be able to extend you contract and get a cheaper upgrade price on the new phone.

      • I had my device replaced a couple months ago because of this issue. Should have waited it out.

    • rafalb177 - 9 years ago

      What is got’s wood? (or wood of got???)

    • detroit2sd - 9 years ago

      So I went to the apple store and got my power button addressed, i am currently waiting on my iphone 5 being fixed, while i am using the store’s loaner phone. If I go back would they still honor the trade in? since they never even mentioned it to me?
      Also my upgrade from sprint is on May 1st, but would the trade in for 5s void that upgrade if i was going to get the 5s? Or should i just wait and get the 6?

      Let me know


  2. bobbell69 - 9 years ago

    Reblogged this on BobLovesTech and commented:
    Good news for many people out there.

  3. Archie Garcia - 9 years ago

    Does any one know how long this program will be in effect? My contract is up so I wouldn’t have to pay the full price for the phone, but at the same time, the iphone 6 is not too far away and I could just keep the credit until it comes out. But that’s a long time without an iphone haha

    • Glad I saw your comment, Archie. I can easily see holding out on the program (if you have enough time) and getting the iPhone 6.

      I’m sure they would announce the end of the program, like they did with the iPhone 4 case. The bigger problem is seeing if the time difference between pre-ordering the iPhone 6 and when you bought your iPhone 5 is less than two years.

      Hopefully we both make it to the end. Free iPhone 6s for both of us, Archie! :D


      Apple employee, if you’re reading this, I just want you to know how important extraordinary customer service and word-of-mouth promotion is.

  4. Cory © (@Nardes) - 9 years ago

    Do you have to prove the sleep/wake issue, or is it you go in and they just do it? I had it do it constantly before… so I reformatted my phone, and now I’ve only had the problem happen once or twice in the past month.

  5. couchweight - 9 years ago

    That my friend, is how you do customer service.

  6. frequentfaller - 9 years ago

    I entered my serial number on Apple’s press release. Afterward, it told me my phone is ieligible for the fix.
    Does that mean my sleep/wake button will eventually malfunction? It says:
    “Note: If your iPhone 5 sleep/wake button does not show any signs of this issue and/or does not have a qualifying serial number, no action is required on your part at this time.”

  7. FAME - 9 years ago

    I’m surprised no one is covering the story on Intel’s decision to manufacture ARM SoCs for third parties using it’s technologies. If Apple approached Intel with it’s new A8 design and required them to make the new SoC using their 14nm process, it would explain why Broadwell production was delayed till Q4 2014. It is my hunch Intel has been manufacturing Apple’s new chips for their soon to be announced 2014 product line up.

    All credit for this story goes to insight64’s analyst Nathan Brookwood.

  8. Guyz please tell me, I have iPhone 5 Unlocked 64GB, and my serial is eligible for repair, if i ask for upgrade what i have to pay???

  9. PREDICTION: My sleep button will crap out one week after the replacement window closes. At least I know how to fix my own phone.

  10. detroit2sd - 9 years ago

    So I went to the apple store and got my power button addressed, i am currently waiting on my iphone 5 being fixed, while i am using the store’s loaner phone. If I go back would they still honor the trade in? since they never even mentioned it to me?
    Also my upgrade from sprint is on May 1st, but would the trade in for 5s void that upgrade if i was going to get the 5s? Or should i just wait and get the 6?

    Let me know


  11. Greg Patrick - 9 years ago

    I had to pay for a new phone because of this problem. Luckily I had my receipt w the old defective iphone serial number on it. When I entered the number to see if my old phone was affected it said it was. I called Apple and it took about a half hour before they said they would reimburse me for the phone I bought for $269. They said it would take about 4 weeks.

  12. Rob Woodward (@rdv19) - 9 years ago

    I’m taking the gamble, I traded in mine for the $350 and another old iDevice and paid $300 for a factory unlocked 5s. By the time my upgrade rolls around I’m betting I should be able to sell it and at least break even on it.

  13. I tried to turn in my sleep/wake faulty iPhone 5 tonight (Monday at the Stonestown store in SF) and was turned down. Several employees checked with one another, and not one had heard a thing about the trade-in credit. I showed this story (and 1-2 others) to the store employee who presented himself as having the highest authority at the time. He asserted the report is incorrect, and that his store had not received any such documents this past weekend. Perhaps not all stores have been looped in?

  14. Denise Lemay - 9 years ago

    Because of this article I have just driven to the Apple store over an hour away for the second time. Apple tech support agreed with me on the phone that I would be able to get a new exchange phone so long as I made an appointment. With an appointment it took me about forty five minutes till I finally spoke to someone about the exchange. The result is that you can say what you like on this site but Apple won’t honor it and I kinda understand that but I don’t understand being told over the phone by Apple to bring it in and that all would be well. After over an hour of speaking with help and managers, I went home empty handed and disappointed. Yes, I could have a loaner and a repair but that’s not what I wanted. Apple has lost a lot of ground with me today.

    • applesforyou22 - 9 years ago

      No, you’re wrong. If you could not trade it in, there were other externalities. The trade-in program exists only if the sole issue on your phone is the sleep wake button.