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Saturday, March 13, 2010, 11:30 am PT (02:30 pm ET)

Apple to replace iPads in need of new battery for $99

Apple said this week that it will offer a Battery Replacement Service for its new iPad tablet that is similar to the one offered for iPhones and iPods, only this time the company plans to replace the entire device rather than swap out its depleted battery.

"If your iPad requires service due to the battery’s diminished ability to hold an electrical charge, Apple will replace your iPad for a service fee," the company said in a support document posted to its website. It added that data will not be preserved on iPads needing service because owners will "receive a replacement iPad that will not contain any of your personal data."

The service will costs $99, plus $6.95 shipping, for a pre-tax total of $105.95 per unit. Apple estimates that it will take approximately one week from the time owners send in their iPad till they receive their replacement device.

"Before you submit your iPad for service, it is important to sync your iPad with iTunes to back up your contacts, calendars, email account settings, bookmarks, apps, etc," the company said. "Apple is not responsible for the loss of information when servicing your iPad."

iPad battery replacement service may be arranged via a local Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider, or by contacting Apple Technical Support.