Apple admits iOS 11.3 bricks microphones on some iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models

This isn't good news: Apple has acknowledged that iOS 11.3 and later versions have the potential to disable the microphone on some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models. If you've been struggling to make yourself heard on phone calls, now you know why.

The issue can lead to a grayed-out speaker icon in the Phone app, or difficulties making yourself heard during phone calls or FaceTime chats. That's according to an internal support document distributed to stores stocking Apple kit and seen by MacRumors – as yet there's no official public statement from Apple.

Disconnecting Bluetooth or other audio accessories might help fix the problem, the support document says, but at the moment the root cause seems to be something of a mystery. It certainly doesn't affect every iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, put plenty of people are reporting the issue.

It's a bug's life

If you are experiencing problems with a 2016 iPhone since you installed iOS 11.3, the best bet is to take it into an Apple Store or an authorized Apple retailer and get it looked at. If Apple posts details of an officially approved fix, then we'll update you here.

The news comes just a few weeks after we found out that the same iOS update was disabling third-party screens. That particular issue was ironed out in iOS 11.3.1, so Apple could take a similar approach to dealing with this microphone bug – you might have to just sit tight until a new patch appears.

We've seen numerous bugs and technical issues crop up in the time that iOS 11 has been with us, so it's no wonder that iOS 12 is reportedly focusing on stability and reliability rather than any huge new features. After all, the best video calling app in the world is no use if the person on the other end can't hear what you're saying.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.