Apple has announced a service program to fix failing receivers on iPhone 12 and 12 Pros (via 9to5Mac). The company says that non-Mini or Max phones made between October 2020 and April 2021 may have an issue where no sound comes out of the earpiece when making or receiving calls, and that it’ll fix the issue for free as part of the new program. According to Apple, the problem is caused by a component in the receiver module failing.
Apple’s page says that only a “very small percentage” of devices may be affected. While it can be hard to tell what Apple means by “small percentage” (it infamously used the phrase when describing the number of butterfly keyboards that experienced issues), it doesn’t appear that the earpiece issue is widespread — searching for reports of failing receivers on Reddit or Twitter only turned up a few complaints.
Still, for those with these phones, it’s nice to know that if your earpiece starts to go you’ll have some recourse. While all iPhone 12s are still under Apple’s one year warranty, the service program covers devices for two years after purchase, giving your earpiece an extra year of coverage. There is one thing to note if you’ve got this problem and are looking to send your phone in, though: Apple says that if your screen is cracked, it’ll have to be fixed before it’ll carry out the receiver repair. While the earpiece fix won’t cost you anything, the screen damage repair could, so just be aware.
Apple also says that phones “will be examined prior to any service” to make sure they’re eligible for the program. This likely means that you won’t be getting a free fix if you’re like me and broke your phone’s receiver by accidentally spilling boiling hot pickling liquid into it. C’est la vie.