Taking in your iPhone 5 for the sleep button fix but really want to upgrade to an iPhone 5s? There may be a $350 trade in for you!

Taking in your iPhone 5 for the sleep button fix but really want to upgrade to an iPhone 5s? There may be a $350 trade in for you!

If you're taking your iPhone 5 into an Apple Retail Store to get the faulty sleep/wake button fixed then you might just have another option available to you — a $350 trade in towards an iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c. That's $80 more than is usually offered. There is one catch though — you have to ask for it. So what's the deal? Dan DeSilva, writing for 9to5Mac:

Apple employees have been instructed not to present this option unless the customer specifically asks about upgrading to a newer model. This policy is presumably in place 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.

It's only valid for iPhone 5 devices that are otherwise in working order and don't have obvious damage like a broken screen. If there is other damage, you'd have to get that fixed first.

If you've been looking for extra incentive to upgrade, however, you have it. If you're waiting on the iPhone 6, though, then you may want to save any trade-in or upgrade opportunities for the fall...

So, anyone taking Apple up on the offer?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Taking in your iPhone 5 for the sleep button fix but really want to upgrade to an iPhone 5s? There may be a $350 trade in for you!


Sounds like a clean out the old inventory offer to me. Personally a little patience may be the ultimate payoff since we are within that 6 month window to the iPhone 6. However, for those who cannot wait $350 is a solid trade in deal nonetheless. :)

Agreed. I'd do it, but (1) my iPhone doesn't (yet) exhibit the problem, though it is eligible and (2) I want an iPhone 6. I am sure this will not be in place then.

If you have Verizon, you can get this upgrade through the Edge program & still be eligible for an upgrade in 6 months

Apple never has to worry about cleaning out the old inventory. Worst-case scenario, they take any unsold new inventory, and repackage it for use as genius bar inventory, and eventually, it will exhaust itself.

Also, just a heads up to anyone that might be taking part of the sleep/wake button quality program, even if the technician knows what they are doing (which most don't in this case) it takes at a minimum of 30-40 minutes to get the process done (checking in your phone and getting you a loaner phone).

Typically Apple will exchange like for like - if you've got an unlocked device, you'll get the same.

No, not really. iPhones 5(16gb) goes for about $350 US on eBay. Ebay fees are 13% so this is a very good opportunity for someone who wants to trade up and get full value for their phone.

It seems like the deal is that the customer has to lie to get the deal, which will weed out some, since only about half of the people will be willing to lie to get it. It isn't rocket science.

They can't offer a blanket deal, because only a small percentage of users actually had the sleep/wake button issue. So if you are willing to lie and spout off about how you had "issues" with the sleep/wake, (even though you know you didn't), then you get the deal.

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me and very fair in fact. More than fair in that obviously lots of folks who have no problem with that button are going to get $80 off when they shouldn't.

Received my first iPhone 5 in October 2012. Sleep/wake button was unresponsive by July 2013. Called up technical support and sent them the phone. They sent me a replacement iPhone 5 within two weeks. Single best experience dealing with Apple. Couldn't believe they didn't try blaming me for it or trying to get a repair/replacement fee out of me!!

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This is likely about what the iPhone 5 will be worth, on average, on Craigslist or eBay when the iPhone 6 launches. It will be a 2 year old design by then after all.

Just a quick search on eBay shows the iPhone 4S available in that $350ish range and below for a used 16GB unlocked version.

If the iPhone 6 does launch as expected with the larger display, there is going to be a flood of iPhone 5's hitting the markets since this will be when many users contracts will be up.

Had the power button issue (left half of the button worked, right half didn't.)
Went to the local Apple Store expecting to get a loaner for 5 days.
Walked out with a new (refurbed) iPhone 5 because I have Apple Care+.
I can wait 5 months for 64-bit + TouchID, etc.
(And I need to have an A7-based 32-bit development iPhone anyway...)

Apple will not give you a refurbed phone. All of the phones handed out from the Genius Bar are remanufactured, which to Apple, is a very different thing. When they take in a broken phone and replace it for you, they are pretty much giving you a new phone. EVERY part you physically come into contact with (the outer housing, the glass, the buttons, etc.) are all brand-spankin' new and come off the same assembly lines as the stuff that goes into the new retail product. You also get a brand new battery. What may NOT be new are some of the internal components; however, each and every one of those components goes through more thorough and rigorous inspection and testing than the parts that go into the new phones because every single one of those components goes through quality controls, whereas in the new phones, random samples from batches go through QC. So, as odd as this might sound, getting a replacement phone from the Genius Bar is almost better than buying a new one, because odds are that replacement has undergone more rigorous testing and scrutiny than the one in in the retail box has.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what a refurbished phone is? They basically replace all the exterior, reuse some internal components that have been tested, and then give it back to you?

Brought to you by the Nexus M8

Not quite. With a refurb, usually only the broken part is replaced and the rest is cleaned, so it's possible you could get back a phone with some physical signs of use. The insurance the major carriers (Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T) all try to sell you (they all use the same company, BTW) for about $10-15/month all replace your broken phone with a refurb'ed phone, and they want to charge you $300 for the privilege of doing so -- which is why it's such a rip-off when compared to AppleCare.
I've had experiences with folks who got refurbs from their carrier; the phones worked fine for about a week, and then something else went wrong, and then they had to fight with the insurance company all over again.
I'd rather have a remanufactured than a refurb any day. In fact, my 5S is a remanufactured phone I got from the Genius Bar, and it's never given me a lick of trouble.

Is this then only for those iPhone 5's that have the sleep button issue? Because mine works fine and in great shape in every other aspect. Been thinking of upgrading to a 5s but wasn't sure if there were really places offering trade ins still or what. I hate the hassle of selling it myself.

Only iPhone 5 units with the sleep button issue qualify for repair. And you'll only get a "new" (rebuilt) iPhone 5 if you purchased AppleCare+ for your old iPhone 5.

Late last year, my 5's sleep/wake button began working only when the left "half" of the button was pressed. It was one of the very first 5's made. I got it in Sep. 2012.

Its serial number qualified it for button replacement according to Apple's page:

So I walked in to an Apple Store, expecting to walk out with a loaner while the 5 day repair process happened. But when the Apple guy noticed that I had AppleCare+, he said, "We'll just replace the whole thing. No need to make you go through the extra steps." And it didn't count as an "incident" so I can still replace my relatively new iPhone 5 two times (for $49 per incident) if it gets damaged. It only has to last for 5 more months until I get my "6".

Check with your carrier's recycle/trade in program. I just came back from the Apple Store, my carrier is Rogers.

In my scenario, Apple would give me a $370 gift card, while Rogers would bill me for a phone on a new contract: $229/16gig, $329/32gig, $429/64gig. In my case, I didn't have an early upgrade fee to worry about.

What I want to know from my carrier, is will they let me follow through with an early upgrade to a 5s outside of this Apple deal.

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I have iPhone 5 but does not exhibit any problems with sleep/wake button (yet!) but like some people here, I'd rather wait for iPhone 6 before I get rid of it.

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Do you have to sign a contract to get this trade in value? Can it be applied towards an unlocked contract free iPhone?

I'm eligible however my lock button is still functioning.

I walked into the Apple store in Manchester a week before the replacement program was announced. The service was excellent, I hadn't pre-booked a genius appointment, but they booked me in there and then if I was prepared to wait about 15 mins. I had my iPhone 5 on launch day (as always) so it was out of warranty but they exchanged it free of charge because the power button was a known issue and a premature failure.
I must admit if they were stubborn about things like this like most other manufacturers are, I wouldn't be at all please about an failure after 18 months having spent over five hundred pounds, but fortunately they were not and this is one of the reasons why I buy Apple products in the first place!

So I had an awful experience at the north park store in Dallas last night to get this done. Had a new 'genius' helping me, who told me i would be getting a replacement phone then and there. After thirty minutes of fumbling around, he ran into an issue, and after 15 minutes he found out I should get a loaner. That took another hour to finalize. Rather than honor their promise, manager told me that they would use my bad experience as a teaching opportunity. So glad my waste of two hours was useful to them, bit shocked they didn't honor the mistaken promise. Not impressed. They did try to tell me how fabulous it was that it was still free. Well duh, it was a recall.

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