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(Pocket-lint) - Apple has launched a battery replacement program for some iPhone 5 smartphones, and it is quite similar to the sleep/wake button replacement program that the company introduced earlier this year.

More specifically, if you bought an iPhone 5 sometime between September 2012 and January 2013 and fall within a limited serial number range, according to Apple, you can get your battery replaced at no cost.

A new page on Apple's website indicates that the company recently discovered a "very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently".

In an effort to make good on the situation, Apple has offered a serial number validator on its new page for people to check if they own one of the affected units. It's also offering refunds to people who may have already paid to fix their batteries.

The battery replacement program will kick off on 22 August in the US and Canada, while other countries will have access starting on 29 August. Once the program launches in your country (and you determine if you're eligible), you will have three options available.

You can go to an Apple Authorized Service Provider, make an appointment at an Apple Retail Store, or contact Apple Technical Support. From either one of these choices, Apple will accept and repair your iPhone 5 battery.

Make sure you back up and erase your data before submitting your iPhone 5 to Apple for repairs. In addition, Apple said devices with cracked screens must have their screens fixed prior to seeking a battery replacement.

READ: Replace your iPhone 5 sleep/wake button

Like the faulty batteries on iPhone 5 devices, Apple said last spring that it determined the sleep/wake button mechanism on a "small percentage" of iPhone 5 models manufactured through March 2013 may stop working intermittently.

Apple then launched a replacement program for sleep/wake buttons, and to date, iPhone 5 owners can still use it if they notice their sleep/wake button not functioning properly.

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Writing by Elyse Betters. Originally published on 23 August 2014.