Apple Warns Against iPhone Camera Repairs With Non-Genuine Parts

Apple in the iOS 14.4 update released today introduced a feature that sends a warning notification when the camera on an Phone 12 model is unable to be verified as a new, genuine Apple camera.

ios 14 iphone 12 non genuine camera
To accompany that warning, Apple has shared a support document that highlights the importance of getting an iPhone repaired by a trained technician using genuine Apple parts, with warnings on what can happen when a non-Apple camera is used.

Apple says that if an ‌iPhone‌ camera needs replacement, it's important to use a certified technician because repairs done by non-certified technicians could result in improper function or issues with image quality. Safety is also a concern, according to Apple, as improper repairs could potentially leave loose parts that could lead to battery damage.

A non-genuine camera component can lead to compatibility or performance issues, with Apple warning of several potential things that could go wrong.

  • Camera does not focus correctly or images are not sharp
  • When using Portrait mode, the subject might not be in focus or only partially in focus
  • A 3rd-party app that uses the camera might freeze or quit unexpectedly
  • Real-time preview in 3rd-party apps might appear blank or might get stuck

The non-genuine camera notifications that Apple introduced in iOS 14 will show up on an iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, or 12 mini if one of these devices is repaired with a non-Apple camera component.

If such a repair is done, users will see a warning under Settings > General > About that says "Unable to verify this ‌iPhone‌ has a genuine Apple camera." The warning will also show up on the Lock screen for the first four days after a repair, and in the Settings app for 15 days.

Apple's warning will not affect the ability to use the ‌iPhone‌ or to access the camera, and the ‌iPhone‌ will remain fully functional.

Apple recommends that those in need of camera repairs get the ‌iPhone‌ camera replaced at an Apple Store, an Apple Authorized Service Provider, or through Apple's mail-in support. Independent Repair Providers are also able to offer genuine camera repair parts for out-of-warranty replacements.

This is not the first time that Apple has introduced warnings when repairs are made to an ‌iPhone‌ using non-genuine parts. There are similar warnings that show up when a non-verified display is used for a repair, and when a repair facility uses a non-genuine ‌iPhone‌ battery.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14

Top Rated Comments

Prince Akeem Avatar
6 weeks ago
The article misses the big main issue here: Also GENUINE camera parts now cause problems!

It has been proven that when cameras modules from two completely legit iPhones are swapped, it will cause issues. This isn't good for the Right-to-repair movement, as Apple doesn't sell the parts to completely legit (non-Apple certified) repair businesses.

Alright, then you'd ask: why don't they become Apple certified? That's because Apple places a LOT of restrictions on certified repair businesess, completely crippling them, including the fact that those are not allowed to do most repairs in-house anymore. THAT's why a lot of repair business don't want to get Apple-certified. If they don't want to do that, they have to use (genuine) donor hardware for some repairs, which has now become even harder. Some components in iPhones are still fixable directly from some suppliers, but with moves like this, Apple pushes their control crippling the repair industry more and more.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
star-affinity Avatar
6 weeks ago

This is just simple tactics by Apple to make you buy a new phone if old one breaks.
A bit of a far-fetched conclusion I think...
I mean, it's not like the ”non genuine” camera doesn't work or makes the phone stop working.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Reason077 Avatar
6 weeks ago
This is fine. Apple are providing a useful and non-intrusive warning when non-original/non-verified parts being detected.

Much better to do this than to block camera functionality completely (or worse, brick the entire phone!)

Of course, it’s always better to use an authorised Apple service provider if you can. But that’s not always practical or affordable in many parts of the world, especially when you have an older, cheaper, out-of-warranty iPhone.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Brian Y Avatar
6 weeks ago

Much better to do this than to block camera functionality completely (or worse, brick the entire phone!)

Check youtube for videos on what happens if you swap the camera module from 2 fully functional iPhones.

This is nothing more than hardware DRM. Plain and simple - it only benefits Apple.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hagar Avatar
6 weeks ago

Counterfeit cameras will be out of the business. ?
Why? Because of a one time pop up?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Brian Y Avatar
6 weeks ago

Imagine following: You go to a repair shop and are promised an original part - but how do you know afterwards that they didn't simply use a much cheaper camera? This warning is meant to solve this.
That's not how this warning works, though. It only triggers when a camera isn't paired with the board, using software that is only available to AASPs or Apple themselves. It's not protecting the consumer in any way, its protecting Apple's revenue. If Apple really wanted to verify that the camera was genuine, they more than likely could have. What they're doing here is detecting a repair that wasn't done by Apple or an AASP.

You can put a fully functioning, genuine camera in there from a donor phone, and it will still trigger. It's yet another attempt to stop individual repair shops, or owners themselves, from repairing products.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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