Apple has confirmed that some iPhone 5 users may be experiencing issues with their handset's sleep/wake button - which also doubles as the on/off switch.
Pressing the button should force the phone into a snooze mode by turning the screen off, or release it from one to start using the device again. Apple has advised users to test their button and see if their iPhone 5 responds.
Apple said in an alert to users: "Apple has determined that the sleep/wake button mechanism on a small percentage of iPhone 5 models may stop working or work intermittently. iPhone 5 models manufactured through March 2013 may be affected by this issue. Apple will replace the sleep/wake button mechanism, free of charge, on iPhone 5 models that exhibit this issue and have a qualifying serial number.
"If your sleep/wake button isn't working properly, please enter your iPhone 5 serial number below to see if it qualifies for this program. Please see the Replacement Process section for next steps."
Apple users who have an iPhone 5 with a working sleep/wake button are advised that they do not have a problem. Those who do should enter their serial number and appeal for a replacement button.
The replacement service starts in the US and Canada first and is already live in those locations. Apple said a wider rollout to other countries will follow on 2 May.
The firm has said it will provide some users with loan handsets while theirs are in for repair, it added. Users that have already paid for a replacement because of this issue should contact Apple to discuss a refund.
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