The action is the latest to highlight the safety threat posed by the power supplies for a growing list of products, from Apple iPhones to electric vehicles and power tools.

San Francisco - A small number of iPhone handsets sold between September 2012 and January 2013 have been found to have problems regarding recharging and battery life, and so Apple will be swapping out the bad batteries with new ones, free of charge.

The company says the issue affects a “very small percentage” of handsets and that they fall within a limited serial number range.

So to help consumers determine whether their iPhone 5 qualifies for a new battery, Apple has set up a dedicated webpage where they can enter their handset’s serial number.

If it matches, consumers can take the affected phone to an Apple authorised service provider or to the closest Apple retail store, or have it changed remotely via Apple’s technical support service.

The replacement program is already up and running in the US and China and will go live in other countries on August 29.

However, Apple warns that if the iPhone in question is damaged - e.g., the screen is cracked or broken - it could complicate the process of removing the old cell and replacing it. Apple therefore recommends that damaged handsets be repaired first. - AFP