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Your iPhone battery replacement may play hard to get

Some folks in the UK are encountering requests for pricey repairs before they can get their cheap upgrades, reports the BBC.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

After the iPhone 6 battery brouhaha, Apple dropped the price of its battery replacement for selected models from $80 to $30 (that's about £80 to £30 or AU$120 to AU$40). Then it waived a policy that required iPhones pass a test to qualify for the upgrade. However, getting that upgrade may still not be so easy.

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A report from the BBC's Watchdog Live show says some people in the UK who've tried for the cheap update have run into the "any damage that impairs the replacement of the battery, such as a cracked screen, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the battery replacement" clause of the policy.

The people interviewed by the program insist their iPhones had no damage relevant to a battery replacement -- and in some case no damage at all -- but they received repair quotes of as much as £250 before they qualified for the £25 upgrade. 

Apple emailed us with the following comment: 

When it comes to iPhone battery replacement, if your iPhone has any damage that impairs the replacement of the battery, such as a cracked screen, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the battery replacement. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the repair. For more information about iPhone Battery and Power Repair please visit: https://support.apple.com/iphone/repair/battery-power.

Given the small components crammed into the relatively small space of a phone, it wouldn't be surprising if there were non-obvious impediments to opening it, pulling out the battery and putting Humpty Dumpty back together.   

If you're worried about running into similar issues, here are all your battery replacement alternatives. And if you have run into similar problems, please tell us about them in the comments.

In regions served by BBC1, you can see the Watchdog Live segment tonight, May 2, at 8 p.m. local time.