A mobile device that’s used regularly can start to show decreased battery life after 18-24 months (some last longer, of course. For a detailed look at this topic, read How Long Do iPhone & iPod Batteries Last?). If you’ve had your iPhone or iPod for two years or more, you’ve probably noticed that the battery holds less juice and that you need to recharge more often.
You don’t need to replace the battery as soon as those signs start to appear, of course. And if you’re still satisfied with everything else about your iPhone or iPod, you prefer to just replace the battery rather than buy a whole new device.
The problem is that the battery on these devices is not (easily) replaceable by users because the casings have no doors or screws. So what are your options for iPhone or iPod battery replacement?
iPhone & iPod Battery Replacement Options
Apple: Apple offers a battery replacement program for both in- and out-of-warranty devices through its retail stores and website. There are some conditions, but many older models should qualify. If you’ve got an Apple Store nearby, stop in and discuss your options. Otherwise, there’s good information on Apple’s website about both iPhone repair and iPod repair.
Apple Authorized Service Providers: Apple isn’t the only company that can provide repairs. There’s also a network of authorized service providers whose staff has been trained and certified by Apple. When you get a repair from these stores, you can be sure that you’re getting good, knowledgeable help and that your warranty will be protected (if your device is still under warranty). Find an authorized service provider near you at Apple’s website.
Repair Shops: Many websites and mall kiosks offer iPhone and iPod battery replacement services, often with prices lower than Apple’s. Be wary of these options. Unless they’re authorized by Apple, their staff may not be experts and they could accidentally damage your device.
Do It Yourself: If you’re handy, you can replace your device’s battery yourself (though doing so will definitely void your warranty and means Apple won’t help you if there are problems). This is a little trickier, but your favorite search engine can supply you companies that sell the tools and battery you need. Make sure you’ve synced your iPhone or iPod before you start to back up all your data and know what you’re doing. Otherwise, you could end up with a dead device.
iPhone & iPod Battery Replacement Prices
For the iPhone, Apple will service the battery on models as old as the iPhone 3GS up to the most recent. The company charges US$49-$69 for iPhone battery service, depending on the model.
For the iPod, prices range from $39 for an iPod Shuffle to $79 for an iPod touch to $149 for an iPod Classic. For iPods, Apple only services the battery on more recent models. If you’ve got an iPod that’s a couple of generations old, you may have to find other repair options. Check with Apple to see if your model is covered.
Is Replacing an iPhone or iPod Battery Worth It?
Replacing the dead or dying battery in your iPhone or iPod may seem like a good idea, but it may not be worth it. It depends on how old the device is. We recommend thinking about the issue like this:
- If your device is still under warranty, yes, definitely replace the battery. With the warranty, the repair should be free or low cost.
- If it’s recently out of warranty and still working well for your needs, it probably makes sense to replace the battery.
- If it’s out of warranty and a couple of generations behind or a few years old, it probably doesn’t make sense to replace the battery.
In the last case, you need to weigh the cost of replacing the battery against the cost of a new device. For example, if you’ve got a 5th Gen. iPod touch that needs a new battery, that will cost you $79. But buying a brand new iPod touch starts at just $199, a little over $100 more. For that price, you get all the latest hardware and software. Why not spend a bit more and get a much better device?
How To Make Your iPhone or iPod Battery Last Longer
You can avoid needing battery replacement as long as possible by taking good care of your battery. Apple suggests doing the following things to give your battery the longest possible lifespan:
- Keep your device in a cool area: iPhones and iPods function best when they’re used in an ambient temperature between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit (0-35 C). Operating the device outside of these temperatures can permanently damage the battery. You especially don’t want to charge your device if the ambient temperature is above 95 degrees, as this can also damage the battery.
- Remove cases before charging: Some protective cases can cause your device to get too hot while charging. Taking off the case can help them stay cool while getting power.
- Charge the battery before long-term storage: If you’re planning not to use your iPhone or iPod for a long time, charge its battery to 50% and then turn it off. If you store it for very long periods of time, charge it to 50% every 6 months.
Those are tips to make your battery have a longer lifespan, but that’s not the same thing as getting more use out of a single charge. If you’re looking for information on that, we’ve got 30 Tips to Extend iPhone Battery Life.