Apple is currently in the sixth stage of the “dealing with an Apple Product Fault” flowchart: Grudging Acceptance of a Very Limited Problem Probably Caused by Users. It has admitted that some iPhone 6s models have a faulty battery, which can cause them to shut down abruptly. It’s offering free battery replacements, but only to users with phones it deems to be affected.
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To help work out if your iPhone is broke, Apple has created a handy tool that lets you enter your serial number to check if it’s part of the recall program.
If your phone is affected, there’s still a few more conditions to check off. Apple says that any iPhones eligible for a battery replacement have to otherwise be in good condition — if your screen is cracked or there’s any evidence of water damage, you’ll be out of luck.
Assuming you meet all the conditions, you can make an appointment at an Apple Store or a certified Apple Technician to have the repair done. Apple isn’t specifying if it will replace the battery on site, or just give you a refurbished iPhone with a functioning battery. To minimize in-store repairs, Apple normally just swaps out phones for any hardware issues.
The battery fault only affects some iPhone 6s models produced between September and October 2015, according to Apple. However, the China Consumers Association has said that Apple needs to take further measures, as the battery problem affects other iPhone versions, including the iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.
There’s also an outside possibility that this — or a similar problem — is being caused by the iOS 10.1.1 software update, which has seen more widespread reports of battery problems. Apple’s speed in issuing a battery replacement program indicates that it found some kind of hardware flaw, but it’s equally possible that a software bug is causing battery issues at the same time.