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Apple allegedly breaks camera functionality on iPhone 12 when the camera is replaced by an end user

Summary

The new iPhone 12 series and iPhone 12 Pro series suffer camera issues when the camera is replaced by a non-authorized repairperson. When a camera module is replaced (even with a genuine one ripped from another Brand New phone), it will exhibit issues with the Camera app, notably instability, portrait mode failures, and panorama mode issues. It is important to note that these issues were fixed when the original camera was reinstalled

 

It's also important to note that this behavior is not confirmed by Apple. This could be an act against Right to Repair, or a bug. I would expect either a patch to fix this or a bulletin on Apple's website on "How to get your camera serviced for iPhone 12" within the next few weeks/months to confirm this.

 

Quotes

Quote

8:55 "[The Camera app] is completely unstable and broken, with the camera freezing in photo mode..."

9:12 "However after changing the camera, two functions are now completely unusable. Portrait mode only works on the front camera... Panoramas also don't work when you do .5x zoom"

12:04 "Going into the camera [once the original camera is reinstalled], we can see straight away our camera app is a lot more responsive, and everything is working as it should."

 

My thoughts

For years, Apple has been making it harder for end-users/independent repair stores to repair an iPhone. First it was the 5s with the Touch ID sensor, then it was the iPhone X with the TrueDepth Camera system (Face ID). Then it was the iPhone XS with battery DRM. Next up was the iPhone 11 with Screen DRM. Now the iPhone 12 has Camera DRM? What? The Touch ID sensor and Face ID makes sense because you could argue security. From a business standpoint, the battery and screen make sense to soft-lock because they account most of Apple's repairs. But the camera? I may be just extra careful with my phone, but I have never broken a camera. (remember, this isn't the glass around the camera, its the camera module itself.) But apparently Apple has had so many 3rd party camera replacements that they had to lock it out in software. I can't see this decision from Apple's perspective. None of these decisions are good for the consumer, but they do benefit Apple. This just makes no sense.

 

But the entire industry is moving against Right to Repair. I mean look at Microsoft. Nothing from them looks anywhere near repairable. Like the SSD is replaceable...? So we're back to just 2008 levels, but worse because the actual thing that diminishes as it ages, the battery, is still glued to the casing? Got it.... Samsung phones have similar DRM to them when certain parts are replaced, I'm sure other companies are doing it, but these were just the first two that came to my mind. It's sad to see that these companies don't get that when the consumer buys a product, it's there right to do whatever the hell they want to it. I could just imagine in 3-4 years, electronics as a whole becoming completely unrepairable, and when these companies either aren't around or don't care about the current technology we have anymore to fix it, we won't be able to preserve them like we can for old 8-bit computers like the Commodore 64 and VIC-20 (I've been watching too many "The 8-Bit Guy" videos), and they'll end up in landfills.

 

Sources

 

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Typical apple product. How do they know its being replaced if the phone is off.

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Vote with your money ppl 
 

also

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3 minutes ago, Orange1 said:

Typical apple product. How do they know its being replaced if the phone is off.

I'm sure they have some way of serializing each component and registering them with the SoC in the factory. It's sort of like Error 53 debacle with Touch ID a few years back.  

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Just now, BlueChinchillaEatingDorito said:

I'm sure they have some way of serializing each component and registering them with the SoC in the factory. 

Yeah I guess, so it maybe figured out by the counterfeiters it may not depending on the demand I guess. 

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3 minutes ago, NotTheFirstDaniel said:

mean look at Microsoft.

You can't really compare devices like Fold and Due to normal phones like the 12/ 12 pro. Engineering it took to make those two are magnitude more then the iphone. 

 

 

4 minutes ago, NotTheFirstDaniel said:

Samsung phones have similar DRM to them when certain parts are replaced, I'

Source? 

 

 

 

 

 

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This for whatever reason reminded me of this: 

 

Oh how we love to make fun of the Germans on how serious they are. 

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Just now, The Sloth said:

Source? 

new to samsung, still shitty though, they still sell all the parts to their phones on their site, so this is a new development 
 

 

 

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So... most functions still work with the swapped camera? And the enormous jump that everyone is taking is that Apple is intentionally is only breaking 10% of camera functionality just because... why not?

 

If they wanted to actually break the functionality, they'd break all of it, not just portrait mode for giggles. The more likely scenario is that there's a bug somewhere down the line or some kind of factory calibration that's missing once the camera is swapped.

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People always so outraged like everyone is going to be replacing 5 cameras in a life time of every phone. Hell, in most cases people don't even replace the battery which is the most common actually degrading component. In my entire life, I haven't replaced a single display, single camera and single battery. And I had quite a lot of devices in 20 years, but not enough to say I'm replacing them every year anyway so it doesn't matter. I'm probably the most typical mobile device buyer having phones for 2-3 years and then buying new one while selling old one or giving it to someone for free. Gave away my old ones to family members and they are all still being used. Realistically I only had 1 phone fail me for mechanical reasons and that was a Nokia 3110c which failed due to construction problems and kept resetting itself when just mildly bent. So, yeah, at least in my case, all this is just a pointless drama that will be endlessly repeated and parroted by all the Apple haters for years to come...

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3 minutes ago, Vitamanic said:

So... most functions still work with the swapped camera? And the enormous jump that everyone is taking is that Apple is intentionally is only breaking 10% of camera functionality just because... why not?

 

If they wanted to actually break the functionality, they'd break all of it, not just portrait mode for giggles. The more likely scenario is that there's a bug somewhere down the line or some kind of factory calibration that's missing once the camera is swapped.

That's the problem with such highly calibrated devices. Like imagine having to replace your overclocked CPU with another one of the same model? Those same overclock settings you were using probably won't be stable with the replacement chip, even though they should be the same. 

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4 minutes ago, Vitamanic said:

So... most functions still work with the swapped camera? And the enormous jump that everyone is taking is that Apple is intentionally is only breaking 10% of camera functionality just because... why not?

 

If they wanted to actually break the functionality, they'd break all of it, not just portrait mode for giggles. The more likely scenario is that there's a bug somewhere down the line or some kind of factory calibration that's missing once the camera is swapped.

and for those such as you, might wanna see this 
 

image.png.3634c40662e37fd12b46c5180096f4ba.png

 

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9 minutes ago, Rohith_Kumar_Sp said:

and for those such as you, might wanna see this 
 

 

Which is what I said at the end of my post. There's probably some kind of factory calibration going on for portrait mode which is missing once you swap the camera. If Apple was being malicious they would break everything, not just portrait mode.

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Also people wonder why resale price of iPhones is so high. Because thanks to all these "DRM" "features" in place, you can be assured you're not getting a frankenphone fixed by cheap crap from AliExpress and then sold as pristine perfectly working, unmodified iPhone. Sure, it's more expensive being done through official channel, but you at least know what you're getting and that shows in the value they hold with time. Most other phones, if they were repaired, you can be assured they had questionable components used. And I already know people will rage and fight me over this, but you damn well know it's true.

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9 minutes ago, Rohith_Kumar_Sp said:

Vote with your money ppl 

 

also

People bring up defects/issues with Apple products. I'm generally not offended by the fact that the issue is there. When you're Apple and you want to design everything yourself because "courage", so you go against Intel's board guidelines and design your own boards with both Intel chips and your own special chips, you're eventually bound to have an issue. The issue doesn't offend me. The response generally does. Usually, the response follows the line of "you can get a replacement 2 years after the date of purchase", except the repair program started in late 2014 and you bought a laptop in mid 2012, so you're instantly not eligible. And most of the time, the replacements exhibit the same issue as the old one. Look at the butterfly keyboard. For Apple, it was a pretty good response (if you ignore the year and a half of fucking around they did before they got slammed with class action suits), but they replace the butterfly keyboard with the same  defective butterfly keyboard. No wonder there are a lot of stories of people bringing in 15" MacBook Pro's and leaving with 16" MacBook Pros. Apple can't be bothered to fix them anymore...

 

 

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1 minute ago, Vitamanic said:

There's probably some kind of factory calibration going on for portrait mode which is missing once you swap the camera. If Apple was being malicious, they would break everything, not just portrait mode.

I completely agree. It's unlike Apple to half-ass stopping Right to Repair. They either solder everything down, or release a complete teardown guide for the 2019 iMac. Its either side of the pendulum for Apple not the middle. I would expect a notification to pop up when the camera is replaced at least. I assume they probably knew this ahead of time from the factory, and told AASP about it. But, I wouldn't be surprised if we get a fully disabled camera in a theoretical iOS 14.2 update.

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14 minutes ago, The Sloth said:

You can't really compare devices like Fold and Due to normal phones like the 12/ 12 pro. Engineering it took to make those two are magnitude more then the iphone.

I was referring to the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro series.

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3 minutes ago, RejZoR said:

Also people wonder why resale price of iPhones is so high. Because thanks to all these "DRM" "features" in place, you can be assured you're not getting a frankenphone fixed by cheap crap from AliExpress and then sold as pristine perfectly working, unmodified iPhone. Sure, it's more expensive being done through official channel, but you at least know what you're getting and that shows in the value they hold with time. Most other phones, if they were repaired, you can be assured they had questionable components used. And I already know people will rage and fight me over this, but you damn well know it's true.

No need to get parts for about any other phone from AliExpress, with Samsung and Motorola they either sell parts directly or you can easily find replacement parts.

Thanks to all those DRM locks you can't even service an iPhone, definitely not a good thing that you're forced to go to an Apple store for something that should be rather easy like swapping out a battery or camera sensor.

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1 minute ago, Blademaster91 said:

No need to get parts for about any other phone from AliExpress, with Samsung and Motorola they either sell parts directly or you can easily find replacement parts.

Thanks to all those DRM locks you can't even service an iPhone, definitely not a good thing that you're forced to go to an Apple store for something that should be rather easy like swapping out a battery or camera sensor.

And there you have it, the frankenphone that you then sell as pristine 800€ phone on eBay. Even though it's not. See the problem?

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19 minutes ago, Rohith_Kumar_Sp said:

Vote with your money ppl 

 

also

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Ross man occasionally says interesting things.  He also jumps to a lot of conclusions though.

 

The iPhone 12 was released how many days ago?  How much time has elapsed since this was reported?  If it goes on for a couple weeks I may become concerned.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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1 minute ago, RejZoR said:

And there you have it, the frankenphone that you then sell as pristine 800€ phone on eBay. Even though it's not. See the problem?

What frankenphone? If I can get genuine parts from Samsung or first party Motorola parts from iFixit it's the same exact parts that came from the factory.

Imagine you couldn't replace the water filter in your refrigerator with anything except the "OEM" filter because it's locked down with a DRM chip, that actually happens and it's ridiculous because many other water filters are the same thing but lack the DRM nonsense.

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4 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

The iPhone 12 was released how many days ago?  How much time has elapsed since this was reported?  If it goes on for a couple weeks I may become concerned.

did you even see the video before you replied? 

 

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1 minute ago, Rohith_Kumar_Sp said:

did you even see the video before you replied? 

I’ve made a practice of not watching Rossman videos when they’re thrown at me in multiples since the last time someone threw like 40 minutes of them on the forum the last time something came up.  It was the beats headphone thing I believe.  I’ve watched a lot of rossman videos.  He’s a very smart very angry guy who makes a really really good living bashing Apple.  His disciples and his extremely aggressive style have earned him a richly deserved “I don’t waste my time” from me on those.

 

I also listened to Rusch Limbaugh about 30 years ago and he earned the same treatment then, but mostly because i did competitive debate in highschool and knew cheap tricks when I heard them.

 

in any case my point stands regardless of anything he could say.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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9 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

I’ve made a practice of not watching Rossman videos when they’re thrown at me in multiples 

Quote

He’s a very smart very angry guy who makes a really really good living bashing Apple

so you're saying even though you don't accept citations and sources provided and ignore regardless of the facts because facts hurt your feelings and yet say something contradictory or false as you didn't go through the provided links because of you personal bias, feels that way to me but that's outside the scope of this conversation, now if you have anything on the topic or response to the related video which was on topic i'm open to discuss. 

 

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