Apple Acknowledges Microphone Issue With Some iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Models on iOS 11.3 and Later [Updated]

Apple has acknowledged a microphone issue affecting a limited number of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models running iOS 11.3 or later.


In an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers this week, obtained by MacRumors, Apple said affected customers may experience a grayed-out speaker button during phone calls. The issue may also prevent affected customers from being heard during phone calls or FaceTime video chats.

Apple Authorized Service Providers have been instructed to first ask customers to disconnect or power off any Bluetooth headsets or other audio accessories connected to their iPhone to see if that alleviates the problem.

If the speaker button remains grayed out during a call, the service providers have been instructed to run audio diagnostics. Affected devices will display a "device could not detect dock" or "accessory not supported" alert in the diagnostic pane, in which case the service provider can initiate a repair for the iPhone.

If an affected iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus is no longer covered by warranty, Apple says its service providers can request an exception for this particular issue. Apple's document does not specify if the repairs will be completed free of charge, but it seems likely given the circumstances.

While this does not appear to be a widespread problem, there are have been some complaints about microphone issues on iOS 11.3 scattered across MacRumors, Reddit, Twitter, and the Apple Support Communities in recent months.

It's unclear why iOS 11.3 and subsequent software versions are unintentionally disabling microphones on some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus units. Apple mentions that some of the devices may require a repair, suggesting the software update could somehow be causing a hardware defect, but information is lacking.

Affected customers can schedule an appointment with an Apple Authorized Service Provider or with the Genius Bar at an Apple Store via the Contact Apple Support page: iPhone → Repairs & Physical Damage → Unable to Hear Through Receiver or Speakers → Built-in Speaker → Bring In For Repair.

Apple has not confirmed this issue publicly, but MacRumors has verified the document's authenticity with a reliable source. However, outside of our control, some Apple employees may be unaware of or deny the information. In that event, we recommend escalating your case to a senior AppleCare advisor if possible.

MacRumors has reached out to Apple for clarity on this issue. If and when we hear back, we'll update this article.

Update: Apple appears to have stopped offering that exception as of mid July 2018.

Tag: AASP

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
31 months ago

They acknowledge it but don’t allow downgrading, only 11.3.1 signed
Hmm

I'm seeing a spike in X sales!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago
Not entirely sure whether it is software related, or whether it's more down to phones being of a certain age. The iPhone 7 is riddled with Audio IC problems due to a weakness on the PCB akin to the touch issues seen on the iPhone 6 Plus. The company I work for have a queue of iPhone 7 with Audio IC faults at least 10 deep every single day. I would say this is a more common issue than the iPhone 6 Plus touch issues purely down to the amount of repairs we are seeing booked in.

Save this comment for the future, because I guarantee it that Apple will be forced to offer a repair program for iPhone 7 series with audio issues.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago
And how many people are going to say OK that's the last straw let's upgrade to the iPhone X, win-win for Apple.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago

Well, it's not even about testing for everything in this kind of scenario, but finding devices that might be affected by something when the vast majority of the same type of devices don't seem to be.

OMG it might take 10 guys 30 seconds to test voice quality on each possible device
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago

I think the most common answer I've seen on these threads is that they can't possibly test for everything BUT one wonders if they only test the new release by powering off/powering on?

I’d say that destroying the mic, requiring a physical fix, is quite a big thing to miss during SQA...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago
What a surprise they broke something else..

I do hope they haven’t been using this bug as an excuse not to replace throttlegate batteries!!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of 3rd party widgets at launch, iOS users around the...

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

Hands-On With the New Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE

Friday September 18, 2020 1:19 pm PDT by
Today's the official launch date for the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which Apple announced on Tuesday. We picked up a couple of the new models and thought we'd give them a quick look for MacRumors readers thinking of ordering a new watch. Apple Watch Series 6 & Apple Watch SE Hands-On! When it comes to design, both the $399 Series 6 and the $279 SE look just like...

iOS 14 Picture in Picture No Longer Working With YouTube's Mobile Website in Safari [Without Premium]

Friday September 18, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 added Picture in Picture to the iPhone, a feature designed to let you watch a video in a small screen on your device while you continue to do other things on the phone. When Picture in Picture was working with YouTube The YouTube app doesn't support Picture in Picture, but up until yesterday there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

AirPods Studio Rumored to Come With U1 Chip, Ultra-Wideband Said to Be Vital to Future Apple Ecosystem

Sunday September 20, 2020 6:17 am PDT by
Proven leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared a range of information about the ultra-wideband U1 chip in Apple's upcoming AirTags item trackers and AirPods Studio headphones. The first of a series of tweets shared today simply stated that AirPods Studio will contain an ultra-wideband U1 chip. It seems likely that the U1 chip would be used in AirPods Studio to track the location of...

Kuo: Apple to Accelerate Adoption of Mini-LED Displays in iPad and Mac Notebook Lineups

Sunday September 20, 2020 10:00 pm PDT by
Increased competition among Apple's suppliers for mini-LED display chips will accelerate the company's adoption of the advanced technology in its iPad and MacBook lineups, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. Kuo says that while Epistar had been predicted to be the exclusive supplier of mini-LED chips for Apple products in 2021, Sanan Optoelectronics...

Top Stories: Apple Event Recap, Apple Watch Series 6, Redesigned iPad Air, and More

Saturday September 19, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
This week's news was obviously dominated by Apple's media event and the launch of iOS 14, but there was a lot to digest, so check out our summary below for the high-level view of the past week. With the exception of the massively redesigned iPad Air, all of the new hardware introduced this week is starting to appear on store shelves and on customers' doorsteps, while all of the new software...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...