Is iPhone Battery Replacement Worth It?

iPhone & iPod Battery Replacement
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A well-cared-for iPhone or iPod can last many years, but there’s a downside to that longevity: Sooner or later, you’re going to need a battery replacement.

A device that's used regularly can start to show decreased battery life after 18-24 months (though some last longer. For a detailed deep dive on this topic, check out How Long Do iPhone & iPod Batteries Last?). If you’ve still got the device after two or three years, you'll likely notice that the battery holds less juice, making it less useful. You don't need a new battery as soon as those signs appear, of course. But if you’re still satisfied with everything else about your iPhone or iPod, you may not want to buy a whole new device when all you need is a new battery.

The problem is that the battery on both devices is not (easily) replaceable by users because the device’s case has no doors or screws. So what are your options?

Have an iPad whose battery might need replacement? Check out 4 Options for Replacing a Dead iPad Battery.

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 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 your warranty won't be voided (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 Apple authorized, their staff may not be experts and they could damage your device by mistake. If that happens, Apple may not be able to help. 

Do It Yourself: If you’re handy, you can replace your device's battery yourself (though doing so will absolutely void your warranty and means Apple won't help you). This is a little trickier, but Google will supply you many companies willing to sell you the tools and battery you need to do this. 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 3G up to the most recent. As of this writing, the company charges US$79 for iPhone battery service.

For the iPod, prices range from $39 for an iPod Shuffle to $79 for an iPod touch. For iPods, though, Apple only services the battery on more recent models. If you've got an iPod that's a couple of generations old, you'll probably have to seek out other repair options.

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 is it always worth it? It really depends on how old the device is. I'd recommend approaching the issue like this:

  • If your device is still under warranty, yes, definitely replace the battery. 
  • 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 4th 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 take the plunge and get a 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 it charges. 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.

Of course, if you're just looking to get more use out of a single charge of your battery, there are 30 Tips to Extend iPhone Battery Life.