iPhone 5 (Sleep button 001)

Apple last week put forth a new replacement program dealing with the malfunctioning sleep/wake button on some iPhone 5 devices.

Apple has confirmed that “a small percentage” of iPhone 5 models manufactured through March 2013 exhibit an issue where the button may stop working or work intermittently and the firm has moved quickly to allow for free sleep/wake button replacements on the affected handsets.

It’s now come to light that Apple’s brick-and-mortar stores will also treat owners of the affected iPhone 5 handsets to an extra $80 when they trade in their device, although employees were instructed not to advertise this benefit actively…

Dan DeSilva reports:

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.

Aside from the faulty sleep/wake button, your device must power on and boot to be eligible for trade. Devices with smashed screens must be repaired before they can be traded, according to Apple’s trade-in rules.

The firm apparently instructed store employees not to disclose information about this offer unless specifically asked about iPhone 5s/5c upgrade options “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 has set up a special website detailing the issue which you can use to find out whether you qualify for the free-of-charge replacement of your device. Just type in your device’s serial number into the text field and you’ll be presented with options pertaining to your device.

“Replacement of the sleep/wake button mechanism is done at an Apple Repair Center,” notes the firm. “There are two ways to send your iPhone to the repair center—carry-in or mail-in.”

The replacement process is now available in the United States and Canada and will launch in other countries this coming Friday, May 2, 2014.