Apple (AAPL) on Friday said it has initiated a formal program to replace free of charge faulty on-off buttons that are not functioning properly on some iPhone 5 handsets.
The Cupertino-based tech giant said on its support site that “iPhone 5 models manufactured through March 2013 may be affected by this issue,” in which the power button stops working or works only intermittently.
iPhone owners with the problem can type in their iPhone serial numbers on Apple’s support website to see if their devices would be eligible to have the button replaced, then either take their iPhones to a store or mail them in to be repaired.
“Apple will offer the service free of charge to iPhone 5 customers with models that exhibit this issue and have a qualifying serial number,” spokeswoman Teresa Brewer said in a statement on Friday.
The replacement process started from Friday (April 25) in the U.S. and Canada, while it will start from May 2 in other countries.
Apple did not provide e number in terms of how many iPhones were shipped with the faulty button, also known as the sleep/wake mechanism.