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I bought a new sealed iPhone 3GS from the vodafone store. ( Yes brand new one, it seems that they got some old phones stored of different brands and models. ) The problem is that this iPhone won't charge by any possible way:

  • What happens when I connect it to the charger: The red charging icon appears then iPhone starts up till the activation screen appears, the top right battery icon appears as charging for the 1st time and after a few seconds it appears as fully charged.
  • As soon as I remove it from the wall charger it turns off.
  • Connecting with my pc/mac won't make it turn on. ( not enough power)
  • I'm stuck at the activation screen due to the previous two points.

I went to the vodafone customer care and they told me they can't repair or replace it by the same model but I can return the phone and can get my money back. However, I love this classic phone and I want to keep it.

So my question is do you think that battery is dead because of being stored for more than 4 years or can it be something wrong with the iPhone charging circuit? In this first case I can take the risk and pay for the new battery but I won't open the phone in the second case and I will return it.

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Apple does offer a one year warranty, so if you are the first buyer, you should be able to register and get them to replace the battery for free. I don't know exactly when they discontinued selling that model, but start with trying to register that device to you at support.apple.com using the serial number from the box. You might need to call into support or fax them the receipt since it's so far past when they were expecting to enroll new owners, but once you know if Apple can/will service it, you can decide to repair it through them or on your own.

It's likely the lithium battery has failed permanently due to not being stored for long term with 50% charge. I typically get out my old devices once a year and charge then to 50% and then power it off. If the voltage drops too low then you will need to replace the battery as it will never charge or even hold but a fraction of the intended energy.

The customer care has given you good advice and it's great that they offered you the money back. I would say if you are happy with the price, look at repairing the battery yourself. That design was very easy to self-service - especially if you realize it's unique and will take your time with the service.

The parts should be readily available and the tools are inexpensive. Older phones (original) and newer phones are much harder to replace the battery due to tools or design of the connectors and internals. I'd say keep the phone unless you really can't afford the replacement cost of the battery.

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    i know someone familiar with assembly/disassemble of iphones he can replace the battery for me but how i can make sure that the battery is genuine? i am afraid of fake ones – elmo Jul 26 '14 at 15:46
  • Your first avenue is to see if Apple will service the part. If you are in fact the first buyer, it likely will have a one year warranty and possibly be eligible for AppleCare to extend that coverage. I'll edit that into my answer. – bmike Jul 26 '14 at 16:04
  • thx for your help . unfortunately Technical Support & Service Coverage:Expired :S also the place i live in there is no authorized service center for iphones except network carriers ( who said they are not going to fix that ) so the only way is to fix it by myself – elmo Jul 26 '14 at 18:37

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