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Apple announced a new replacement program today for folks having issues with the Sleep/Wake button on their iPhone 5. The program allows for the replacement of the button on select iPhone 5 models where it has either stopped working completely, or only works intermittently.

The Cupertino firm says that it will offer the service free of charge to iPhone 5 customers with models that exhibit this issue, and have a qualifying serial number. It has set up a website with all of the details on the program for the ‘small percentage’ of people that have been affected…

Jim Dalrymple over at The Loop has the statement:

“Apple today launched a program to replace the sleep/wake button on a small percentage of iPhone 5 models where the button may stop working or work intermittently,” Apple said in a statement provided to The Loop. “Apple will offer the service free of charge to iPhone 5 customers with models that exhibit this issue and have a qualifying serial number.”

You can view the website here, but it essentially explains that Apple has discovered an issue with the Sleep/Wake button mechanism on a small number of iPhone 5 units and there’s a text field to enter your device’s serial number to see if you qualify for the free-of-charge replacement.

Users who meet the criteria will have two replacement options to choose from: carry-in and mail-in. Carry-in has you take the phone to your local Apple store or authorized retailer, where it will be inspected and mailed to an Apple Repair Center. Or, you can just mail it to the Center yourself.

Of course, your iPhone 5 must be in working condition to qualify for this program. The initiative covers iPhone 5 models [that meet the requirements] for 2 years after the retail sale date, and if you believe you paid for a replacement due to this issue, you can contact Apple for a refund.