Our iPhone 5 recently had to be sent in for repairs. Actually, Apple just had it replaced with what I presume is a refurbished model in like-new condition. Either way, it’s not our first experience with AppleCare. My mom’s MacBook had a faulty trackpad about a year ago, and I had to send that one in for her. This time, it was my iPhone 5. The sleep/wake button was becoming unresponsive. At first, it was somewhat tolerable, but it got worse over time.
Wednesday, Jan 23
I called AppleCare on Jan 23. They arranged to have a box shipped to my apartment. In this box are instructions and a SIM removal tool along with everything you need to package the phone back up and return it.
Friday, Jan 25
The box mentioned above arrived on January 25. That’s a Friday, and I didn’t want to be without my iPhone over the weekend, so I waited until the following Monday.
Monday, Jan 28
According to the instructions, you must remove the microSIM from the handset and store it in a safe place.
I kept mine in a plastic zipper bag along with the instructions and the SIM removal tool. You should also backup your device (simply plug it into iTunes and let it sync/backup) and restore it to factory settings. I dropped the box off at a FedEx pickup location.
Wednesday, Jan 30
Apple sent an email to confirm that they had received the handset, and a link that let me track the repair status. Before the day was over, I received several more emails from Apple. One was to let me know it was being replaced, the other was to let me know it had shipped out. This all happened over the course of one afternoon/evening. They also gave me a FedEx tracking number, which said it should arrive the next day around 10:30am.
For those who may not be home, there is an option to pre-sign for the iPhone. This lets you fill out a form and leave it for the FedEx delivery person to tell them it’s okay to leave the package by your door. Keep in mind that
Thursday, Jan 31
I received the iPhone at 11am. It was nicely packaged, and had two sheets of plastic film. One covering the front and one covering the back. All that was left to do was put the SIM back in and restore my iPhone from my backup. All you do is plug it in, or restore from your iCloud backup. That depends on which option you have set up for your handset. I also had to update my firmware as iOS 6.1 was released while my iPhone was making a trip to Pennsylvania for repair.
The turnaround was quicker than expected. It was roughly a week, and I wonder if it may have been faster if I had taken the iPhone straight to a FedEx facility rather than a FedEx dropbox. However, it was a matter of convenience. The work was quick, they replaced it and shipped it back. It was here the next morning. As a side note, my PlayStation Vita was also on the fritz. I just made the time to call Sony last week. I sent both boxes on the same day, and am still waiting on the Vita.