Contact Us   Site Map
Airline Mismanagement

The iPhone 3G and 3GS are excellent phones, for sure.  But their battery life, even when brand new, leaves a lot to be desired.

The battery's life starts to reduce from the very first time you turn the phone on; with each successive charge/recharge shortening its life still further.

Travel Planning and Assistance
Road Warrior resources
Noise Reducing Headphones
International Cell Phone Service
GSM cell phone unlocking FAQs
Portable MP3 Players
GPS series of articles
Should you choose an iPhone or Android series
Apple iPhone review series
iPhone 3G/3GS Battery replacement
Third Rail iPhone 4/4S External Battery
Apple iPad review series
iPad/Tablet Buying Guide
Google Nexus 7 review
Netflix Streaming Video
Sharing Internet Access series
Microsoft OneNote review
T-mobile/Google G1 phone review series
Blackberry review and user tips
Palm Tungsten T3
Motorola V3 Razr cell phone review
Motorola V600 cell phone review
Nokia 3650 cell phone review
SIM Saver GSM Phone Backup and Copy Device
Clipper Gear Micro Light
Amazon's Wand review
Amazon's new (Sep '11) Kindles and Fire review
Review of the Kindle Fire
Amazon Kindle eBook reader review
Amazon Kindle 2 preview
Sony PRS-500 eBook reader review
Audible Digital Talking Books review
Home Security Video Monitoring
Quik Pod review
Joby Gorillapod review
Satellite Radio Service
Satellite Phone Service
All About Speech Recognition Software
2005 Best Travel Technology Awards
How to connect to the Internet when away from home/office
Bluetooth wireless networking
How to Choose a Bluetooth Headset
Logitech Squeezebox Duet
Packet 8 VoIP phone service
Sugarsynch software review
iTwin remote access device
Barracuda Spam Firewall review
Cell Phone Emergency Power Recharger series
First Class Sleeper
Roboform Password Manager review
Securikey USB Computer Protection Key review
Steripen UV Water Purifiers
ScanGaugeII OBDII review
SafeDriver review
Expandable Bags for Traveling Convenience
USB Flash Drive
Vonage VoIP phone service
Laptop Screen Privacy Filter
AViiQ Laptop Stands
Aviator Laptop Computer Stand
No Luggage Worries
Pack-a-Cone roadside safety flashing cone
Emergency Self charging Radio
Evac-U8 Emergency Escape Smoke Hood
MyTag Luggage Tags
Beware of Checked Baggage Xray Machines
SearchAlert TSA approved lock
Boostaroo Portable Amplifier and splitter
Dry Pak protective pouch
Boom Noise Canceling Headset
Ety-Com Noise Canceling Headset
Nectar Blueclip BT headset holders
Skullcandy Link Headset Mixer
Lingo Pacifica 10 language talking translator
Nexcell NiMH rechargeable battery kit
Jet Lag Causes and Cures
SuddenStop License Frame
CoolIT USB Beverage cooler
Travel ID and Document Pouches
Protect Yourself Against Document Loss
Personal Radio Service
PicoPad Wallet Notes
Times Electronic Crossword Puzzles
Slim Cam 300 micro digital camera review
Stopping Spam
BottleWise Bottle Carrier review
The End of the Internet as We Know it?
How to Book and Buy Travel
Scary, Silly and Stupid Security Stories
Airline Reviews
Airline (Mis)!Management
Miscellaneous Features
Reference Materials
About the Travel Insider
Looking for something else? Search over two million words of free information on our site.
Custom Search
Help this Site
Thank you for your interest in helping this site to continue to develop. Some of the information we give you here can save you thousands of dollars the next time you're arranging travel, or will substantially help the quality of your travel experiences in other, non-cash ways. Click for more information
Reader's Replies

If you'd like to add your own commentary, send me a note.



Replace Your iPhone 3G/3GS Battery

Increase Your Phone's Battery Life Back to New

Opening up your iPhone and replacing its battery is something best not tried at home.

You need special tools and a very delicate touch to do this, and most people would prefer not to risk the health of their phone accordingly.

Use our service and have it done for you.



Subtly, slowly, and inexorably, the life of the rechargeable battery in your iPhone gets shorter every time you recharge it.

But with only a minute or so of battery life lost each time you recharge, it takes a long time for this to become noticeable.

Then, one day, you realize you didn't formerly need to recharge your phone so often and you ask yourself 'Didn't my phone's battery last longer than this before?'.

Yes, it did.  And although the phone's battery can't be replaced at home yourself, we offer a convenient and lower cost alternatives to mailing it in to Apple for a phone/battery exchange.

Executive Summary

This article describes a service for replacing the built-in battery in an iPhone 3G or 3GS.  It does not apply to an original iPhone or a new iPhone 4.

Depending on how much you use your iPhone, sooner or later its battery life becomes sufficiently reduced as to be inconvenient and justify replacing.  You can't do this yourself without special tools and skills.

Apple will swap your entire phone for a comparable phone with a new battery in it, but this means you lose all your data and settings, and may get a replacement used phone in poorer general condition.  If your phone was unlocked, of course the phone they send back to you will be locked, requiring you to unlock it a second time.  Apple charge $79 plus $6.95 for shipping and local tax - details of their service here.

We charge $50 + $2.50 shipping (and tax but only for WA residents), and replace the battery in your own phone and return your own phone back to you, so if it was unlocked before, it remains unlocked, and the data and settings are also preserved.

Read more about battery life, or skip down to take advantage of our battery replacement service.

The Finite Life of any Rechargeable Battery

Apple iPhones use a high quality Lithium Ion type rechargeable battery, but like all rechargeable batteries, the amount of charge it can store slowly diminishes over time, and with each recharge.

You can maximize the life of a Li-ion battery by keeping it cool rather than hot, and by recharging it not all the way from zero to 100% on a fast charger, but instead from perhaps 20% or so and back up to 90% or so, on a slower charger.

But however you treat your battery, it simply wears out over time.  The good news is that it seldom will suddenly fail and suddenly hold no charge at all - it is more common for the battery to simply hold less and less charge each time it is recharged.

A general rule of thumb is that most people consider their battery should be replaced after about 500 recharges.  If you are recharging your battery every other day, this would represent about three years between when you first bought your phone and when you should replace its battery; if you charge it more frequently, then obviously you'll need to replace the battery sooner.

When Should You Replace your iPhone's Battery?

That is a bit like asking 'how high is up'.

It is easy to answer that question with a car battery.  One day, a cell will short out, and it will no longer start your car.  That is a more or less black and white event with no possibility of mistake (although it is possible also to replace a car battery when it simply no longer does a good job of providing a high current flow without a great voltage drop).

It is also easy to know when to replace the batteries in a flashlight - when the light glows dim orange/yellow rather than bright white.

But with a rechargeable cell phone battery, the issue is not so clear-cut.  We suggest the appropriate approach is simply to consider when the battery life is appreciably shorter than it was originally, and/or when the diminished battery life and need to charge more regularly is no longer convenient.

 Generally, a good rule of thumb is that if you find you are needing to recharge the phone more than once a day, then you should replace it.

Note also that 'needing to recharge' does not mean 'runs out of power and stops working'.  So as to be able to handle an emergency event, you always want your phone to be able to provide you with at least 30 minutes of talk time (and preferably more like an hour) -  you've probably had a problem in the past such as maybe a car breakdown where you end up stuck somewhere away from other phones and spend ages on hold and talking to people.

You should consider a 20% battery level as the absolute minimum you should ever let your phone get to.

The other consideration - when the battery life is noticeably shorter than it originally was - is harder to quantify, because the battery life reduces so gradually that we sort of unconsciously adjust our expectations to match its diminishing life.

Our Replacement Battery Service

We're not as big as Apple, so we have to provide a better service and a better value to win your business.

We think we've done exactly that.  Please read on.

First, the big problem, as we see it, with the Apple service is that they don't send your phone back to you.  So as to provide a quick turnaround, when Apple gets your phone back, they quickly check it then put it in the pile of phones needing replacement batteries then forget about it.  They then take a phone out of the other pile of phones - those that have had their batteries replaced - and send it back to you.

If your phone doesn't meet their minimum standards in terms of appearance, scratches, etc, they'll refuse to do anything with it and simply send it back to you.  If they detect that your phone has been unlocked, they'll probably again refuse to help and send it back to you.

But what if your phone has been well looked after, and little used?  You risk getting an older more beat up phone.  It is a bit like services that swap barbeque propane tanks.  Sometimes you get a good tank in exchange, and sometimes you get a bad one.  It doesn't matter too much with propane tanks, but it sure is a problem with your iPhone.

We solve this problem by sending your own phone back to you.

As for cost, Apple charges you $79 plus $6.95 shipping.  We charge $50 and $2.50 for shipping (UPS first class mail).  We're not sure how fast Apple's turnaround time is (but it is probably very good) - we offer a 24 hour turnaround and sometimes get it done same day (but can't promise that).

What to Do if You Can't Be Without Your Phone

If you can't be without your phone, we have a couple of suggestions for you.

The first is - do you have a spare phone lying around?  If you do, simply take the SIM out of the iPhone and put it in your spare phone, and use that for the short time your phone is away.

The second is, if you don't have a spare phone, consider getting a 'throwaway' phone - a prepaid phone with T-Mobile or AT&T service - and then again put your iPhone's SIM in that while the iPhone is away.  (If the throwaway phone is from T-Mobile you'll probably need us to first unlock it so it will work with the AT&T SIM).

Throwaway phones can be purchased at Target or Walmart for something under $50; sometimes for as little as $30.

The third is to courier the phone to us and enclose a courier return label so we can courier the phone back to you.  This will greatly speed up the process of getting the phone to us in WA state and then back to you again.

Bonus - iPhone Unlock Too

If your iPhone is currently locked, so it only works with AT&T SIMs, you might want to consider having us unlock it to work with other GSM wireless companies too.  You can read more about our unlocking service in general.

Normally we send you the software and instructions to do this yourself, and there's no reason why you couldn't.  But being as how we'll have your phone with us anyway, we'd be pleased to do this process for you at no extra charge (over and above our regular $25 unlocking fee).

Request Our iPhone 3G/3GS Battery Replacement Service

Please fill out this simple form to get your iPhone's battery replaced.  Fill out the information on this form first.

 After filling out the form, you'll be taken to a second page where you can choose between express or regular service, with or without the unlock, and whether you wish to pay by check or by credit card.

After you've made those choices, we allows you to pay (if by credit card - through Paypal) and give you information on how to ship the phone to us.

You then simply send your phone to our Kenmore, WA address, we replace the battery, and send it straight back to you.  Easy!

PLEASE NOTE :  This service is only for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.  It is NOT for original iPhones, or the newest iPhone 4.

iPhone 3G/3GS Battery Replacement - Step 1 of 2

What is your name



What is your email address



Which model iPhone do you have



What is your postal address (This will be your return mailing label - please be sure it is accurate)


Any comments or questions


I have read and agreed to the Terms and Conditions below


Privacy Policy


Terms and Conditions

We test your phone before and after unlocking it.  If your phone does not work properly when first received, we will return it to you, otherwise untouched and with the battery not exchanged, and with no refund.

Phones are returned with delivery confirmation service and $100 of insurance cover in the US.  Additional insurance is available at a cost of $2 per extra $100 of cover.  Delivery confirmation and insurance is not offered on international shipments unless sent by courier.

In all circumstances and situations, our liability will at no time exceed that of refunding you your fee.

Originally published 18 Aug 2011, last update 21 Jul 2020

Related Articles
Should you choose an Android based smartphone or iOS based Apple iPhone
Part 1 :  Introduction, Executive Overview, History
Part 2 :  The unnecessary restrictions imposed on you by Apple if choosing an iPhone
Part 3 :  Hardware issues between Android and iPhones
Part 4 :  Performance and Compatibility issues
Part 5 :  Market shares and trends
Part 6 :  Other OS choices for smartphones
Part 7 :  Pricing and Conclusion

iPhone 3G and 3GS Battery Replacement


Back to Top