If you have noticed a drastic decrease in battery performance in your iPhone, you are not alone. Yesterday, a "small percentage" of iPhone 5 owners received notice from Apple their phones may be eligible for a free battery replacement. The phone has been plagued with complaints of poor battery performance since it debuted nearly two years ago, in September 2012. The replacement is promised free of charge, however, owners of devices sold between September 2012 and January 2013 are instructed to first check if their phones qualify by entering the serial number online.
The phone may be serviced for a replacement battery at an Apple authorized service provider, Apple retail store, or by contacting Apple technical support. Defective iPhone 5 owners are then advised to back up their phones' data to either iTunes or iCloud, switch off the "Find my iPhone" feature, and (sadly) erase all content and settings. The repair will be free-of-charge, but oh – if your phone has a cracked screen, you will need to take care of that prior to having the battery replaced; Apple will not do so for free.
A similar recall was issued last October–shortly after launch–for the iPhone 5s which also suffered poor battery performance. This time around, however, the recall is specific to iPhone 5 owners. Those with 5s or 5c models are out of luck. The new replacement program comes with a brand new battery warranty, offering coverage through March 1, 2015. To find out your phone's serial number, open the Settings app and tap "General," then tap "About."