How to replace your iPhone battery
By Oli McKean
We run through what you need to know about replacing your Apple iPhone battery and how much you’ll likely spend
If you’ve owned your iPhone for a while, you may notice that battery life isn’t quite as good as it was during the first few weeks of use.
That’s because lithium-ion batteries (used in iPhones and other smartphones) lose capacity the more charge cycles they go through. It’s unlikely you’ll notice much difference during the first few months of use, but you may after a year or so.
If you want your battery life to return to its former glory, it might be worth replacing the battery with a new one. Below, we cover your options for doing this with Apple iPhones, including how much Apple costs compared with other options. And is it something you can do yourself?
Do iPhones have good battery life to start with? Head to our Apple iPhone reviews to find out.
Replacing your iPhone battery via Apple
Apple recommends that you replace your iPhone battery either through its own service – or with an Apple Authorised Service Provider (AASP). You can find out the closest AASPs to you on Apple’s website and can include well-known retailers, such as Carphone Warehouse and O2, as well as possibly lesser-known companies.
Using either Apple or an AASP is the best way to guarantee getting a genuine Apple-branded battery, and not a cheaper alternative. It’s also a way to make sure your warranty stays valid.
If your iPhone is in warranty, or you’ve signed up to an AppleCare plan, a battery service doesn’t cost anything provided it meets Apple’s criteria - currently this is that it retains less than 80% of its original capacity.
If it’s out of warranty, and you’re not on an AppleCare plan, it currently costs £25 to have the battery serviced on your iPhone SE, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus or X. Apple recently reduced the price of this from £79, in response to criticism regarding its slowing down of older iPhones via a software update (more on this below). The reduced price is available until the end of 2018.
For any other iPhones that are out of warranty and not covered by AppleCare, a battery service via Apple costs £79.
Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, all products must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.
So bear in mind that, under UK consumer law you’re entitled to a free-of-charge repair or replacement, discount or refund by the seller, if any product you own is faulty – or if it does not conform with the contract of sale. In England and Wales, this applies to goods owned for up to six years; in Scotland it’s five years. If you think this might apply to your iPhone, contact Apple or your mobile service provider.
Is it cheaper to use a third-party service?
While it’s usually cheaper to use a third-party service to replace your iPhone battery, Apple’s recently reduced prices now make going through the manufacturer the most sensible route.
If your iPhone is still in warranty or you’ve covered by an AppleCare plan, it makes most sense to try to get your battery replaced by Apple – to avoid risking voiding your warranty.
We’ve taken a look at batter- replacement prices from a range of third-party providers and compared them with Apple’s, when your phone is out of warranty. See below for how the costs shape up.
You’ll likely notice that there are fewer choices with more recent iPhones. But if you bought an iPhone 8, 8 Plus or X towards the end of 2017, it’s unlikely you’ll really need to replace the battery for a while.
For all iPhones from the 6 onwards, Apple currently sits among the cheaper options. Without the recent price reduction from £79 to £25, it would have been the most expensive battery replacement service.
If you do decide to use a third-party provider, make sure to check customer reviews on Google and Trust Pilot. It’s also worth checking if a free guarantee/warranty is offered with the repair and the terms of the service.
Why has Apple slowed down older iPhones with aged batteries?
Towards the end of 2017, Apple admitted that January 2017’s iOS 10.2.1 software update included a feature that meant the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus and SE would slow down when a lot was being demanded of them and when the battery was showing signs of age. The feature has also been rolled out to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
The reason behind this is, according to Apple, to prevent unexpected shutdown during peak workloads.
If you want more information on this, read the following stories:
- Apple admits to slowing down older iPhones
- Apple facing lawsuits for slowing down older iPhones
- Which? criticises Apple's lack of transparency over slowing down iPhones
- iOS 11.3 stops iPhone slowdown, but should you upgrade?
Can you replace your iPhone battery yourself?
It’s possible, although it’s not especially easy, you’ll void your warranty and you risk damaging the phone. In addition, a lithium-ion battery is a volatile component so there are safety issues to consider.
Overall, we would recommend using a reputable battery-replacement service for peace of mind.