Making certain that the iPhone can, you know, phone
According to Apple, “a very small percentage” of iPhone 12-series phones may be affected by a breakdown in a section of the receiver module, resulting in affected handsets being unable to create audio when making or receiving calls. As a result, Apple has discreetly initiated a new repair programme aimed at correcting this manufacturing defect.
The “iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Service Program for No Sound Issues” provides a free repair to replace the faulty module, and qualified users can send their iPhone to an Apple store or Authorized Service Provider to have the repair completed.
Only phones manufactured between October 2020 and April 2021 are eligible, and — as you’d expect from the title — the 12 Mini and 12 Pro Max aren’t covered (as they’re presumably not affected by the issue).
Although a single component failure stopping such a basic feature from functioning is a pretty bad look, it seems to be rare enough that it hasn’t seen substantial media attention before this announcement, and it’s good to see any manufacturer getting on top of even relatively uncommon issues.
However, it’s also worth noting that it’s just a free repair for the receiver module; the company warns that units shouldn’t be damaged in any other way when sent in — and if they are, you might have to fork out to have the service center repair that damage. Apple also recommends that you should back your phones up to iCloud before shipping, as a just-in-case.
Assuming that your device meets the requirements, the program’s coverage extends for two years after it was first sold at retail, and doesn’t affect any existing warranty coverage on the phone.