Ever since Apple began offering discounted $29 battery replacements, customers have been lining up — both physically and virtually — to get their own batteries swapped. Now, that seems to be taking a toll.
Reportedly, Apple is telling its retail locations that iPhone 6 Plus batteries are in short supply. The company is also claiming batteries for that particular device won’t be available until late March or early April in the U.S. and other countries, according to an internal service document distributed to Apple Stores and authorized service provider locations and obtained by several media outlets.
The shortages seem to be affecting battery replacement supply of the iPhone 6 Plus only — at least at this point.
The document states that wait times for iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s Plus batteries are only a couple of weeks, and that batteries for a slew of other models are available “without extended delays” in most regions.
Of course, this may not be true across the board. If you have an iPhone 6 Plus, your best bet is to just contact your local Apple Store or Authorized Service Provider and inquire about replacement batteries for your particular device. Some locations might still have them in stock.
In addition to limited supplies of certain batteries, we’ve previously reported on the difficulty some customers have experienced while trying to get their own batteries swapped. In most cases, the elevated workload and amount of service appointments seem to be causing extended wait times across the U.S. and other countries.
The influx of customers wanting to get their batteries replaced may be causing other negative side effects, too. In the last week, there have been two battery-related fires at separate Apple Store locations — one in Zurich, Switzerland and another in Valencia, Spain — which may be tied to the heavier workload for Apple repair technicians.
Apple began offering its $29 battery replacements in the wake of the controversy after it admitted to throttling older iPhones. The offer is available to any customer with an iPhone 6 or newer, regardless of whether their battery falls within the usual replacement parameters in a diagnostic test.
How to Get Your Battery Replaced
If you’re aiming to swap your own battery, the best bet may be to wait. Apple’s discounted battery program runs through December 2018. By then, Apple may have achieved a supply-demand equilibrium for replacement batteries.
Similarly, another option could be an Authorized Service Provider — rather than an Apple Store. Although these locations are able to set their own prices for out-of-warranty parts and repairs, so you might not be getting a battery for the promised $29 cost.
On another note, Apple recently clarified that its discount is on a “one-per-iPhone” basis. If you’ve already swapped your battery for $29, your iPhone must explicitly fail a diagnostic test or you’ll be charged the normal $79 out-of-warranty fee.