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Software restrictions: iPhone 12 cameras cannot be repaired by third parties

Last updated on March 9, 2021

The cameras of the iPhone 12 are apparently software-protected against unauthorized exchange.

iPhone 12 (Image: Apple / Screenshot: Golem)

So far, repair shops have been able to replace the cameras on iPhones themselves without any problems, but according to a report by iFixit, that is now over. Apple has apparently dug the cameras in the iPhone 12. In the event of repairs, if a workshop tries to replace them with working models, they will not work. The reason: software is required for commissioning. The cameras must first be registered with the iPhone 12, reports iFixit. This only works with software provided by Apple. Independent repair shops do not receive these.

The problem was first discovered by Youtuber Hugh Jeffreys . The professional hobbyists from iFixit then verified it. The locking seems to be active only on the iPhone 12; the more expensive iPhone 12 Pro does not have the restrictions. This could also indicate that there are several incompatible cameras from different manufacturers on the iPhone 12, and both Jeffreys and iFixit randomly selected the cameras for repair. There were similar problems with the iPhone 7 and 8, reports The Verge .

The iFixit team also points out internal instructions from Apple that have been leaked to them. There it is pointed out that after a camera or display has been repaired, the in-house system configuration app is required to teach-in the devices. Apple already uses the tool when changing the battery . Apple does not allow the exchange of Touch ID and Face ID components either – for security reasons, the company says.

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