Apple has launched a new Sleep/Wake button replacement program for iPhone 5 users.

The program is ideal for consumers who own an iPhone 5 and have noticed their Sleep/Wake button not functioning properly. It seems the Cupertino-based company has determined that the Sleep/Wake button mechanism on a "small percentage" of iPhone 5 models stops working intermittently. Specifically, the issue occurs on iPhone 5 models manufactured through March 2013.

When searching for "iPhone 5" on Google, the query "iphone 5 sleep button not working" is among the top searches. Apple's Support Communities are also loaded with forum posts about malfunctioning Sleep/Wake buttons on the iPhone 5. One of the oldest posts, for instance, which originated in November 2012, just two months after the iPhone 5 launched, has roughly 100,000 views and 100 replies.

It therefore is unclear what a "small percentage" means to Apple, but obviously the company has needed to address this issue for a while. That said, starting today, Apple will replace the sleep/wake button mechanism - free of charge - on iPhone 5 models with a qualifying serial number. Apple has even launched a dedicated webpage where you can submit your serial number to see of you qualify.

READ:Apple iPhone 5 Review

The replacement process is limited to the US and Canada. It will launch in other countries on 2 May. All replacements are completed at an Apple Repair Center, and there are two ways to send your iPhone to the repair center: carry-in or mail-in. Check out Apple's webpage for the program details. Keep in mind that damaged iPhones, such as iPhones with cracked screens, do not qualify until their other issues are addressed.

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