If you own one of the iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro models and you can't hear the person you're talking to on calls, Apple may repair or replace your handset for free under the terms of a new service program that has just been introduced.
"Apple has determined that a very small percentage of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro devices may experience sound issues due to a component that might fail on the receiver module," Apple states in a support document (opens in new tab).
According to Apple, affected devices were manufactured between October 2020 and April 2021. The fault has not been spotted in iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max models, so they're not included in this particular program.
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It's the first repair program to be announced for the iPhone 12, though of course we've seen plenty of them before: for crackling in the AirPods Pro, for faulty screens on the iPad Air, for unresponsive displays on the iPhone 11, and more.
To get your iPhone looked at, you can get in touch with Apple Support, go to an Apple Store, or visit an authorized Apple service provider – see here (opens in new tab) for details. iPhones "will be examined prior to any service to verify that it is eligible for this program" Apple says.
In order to qualify for the program, you must have bought your iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro within the last two years – so if your handset is fine now but develops problems in the future, you can still get a free service from Apple as long as those two years aren't up.
Opinion: service programs show Apple can be relied upon
When you're buying an item of hardware from Apple, you'll often find you're paying more than you might pay for something of the equivalent spec from another manufacturer – but service programs like the one just launched for the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro show how your purchasing decision should be about more than just how much you're paying.
If you were critical, you might say that these service programs reveal the shoddy workmanship and quality control at Apple's suppliers, but nevertheless it is reassuring that when a problem is identified, Apple is usually quick to swing into action.
And these service programs couldn't be any more straightforward to make use of: you can put your device in the post, take it into an Apple Store, or deal with one of the authorized service partners that Apple works with, all without paying any money.
Apple has certainly made missteps in the past – not least with the poorly thought through butterfly keyboard design that it previously used on its MacBooks, which wasn't acknowledged as faulty for a long time – but generally speaking, the occasional appearance of these service programs is going to give buyers more confidence.
Via 9to5Mac (opens in new tab)