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Right to repair iPhone 12? Not if Apple has anything to say about it…

Right to repair iPhone 12? Not if Apple has anything to say about it…
(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 12 hasn't even officially hit the shops yet, but that hasn't stopped repair site iFixit from breaking down the iPhone 12 to explore how technicians will be able to repair the latest release from Apple. Unfortunately, after extensive testing, it appears that third-party technicians won't be able to fix the iPhone 12's camera modules. 

This means that iPhone 12 users will have to rely on official Apple technicians if their iPhone 12 camera is faulty or becomes damaged. If your phone isn't covered by AppleCare, then this could end up costing you a pretty hefty chunk of cash. 

• Read more: iPhone 12 vs iPhone 12 Pro (opens in new tab)

Apple's own support website states that (opens in new tab) out of warranty repair costs on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro respectively will be an eye-watering $549 and $449, which is essentially half the price of a new phone. 

iFixit first discovered (opens in new tab) that the iPhone 12 cameras cannot be replaced after attempting to swap the camera modules inside two iPhone 12 devices. After 'exhaustive testing, comparing notes with multiple repair technicians, and reviewing Apple training documents,' iFixit concluded that the iPhone 12 camera isn't reliable when swapped between phones. 

Apparently, Apple has changed its training manuals for the iPhone 12. This means that changing the display and camera will now require the use of the cloud-linked System Configuration app, which will connect to Apple's servers before reprogramming the new component to work properly. 

Unless Apple fixes this issue, this will leave consumers unable to access third-party technicians (who tend to have vastly lower rates). It also directly contradicts the idea that consumers have a 'right to repair' their goods. Apple hasn't officially commented on this revelation yet, but we will be interested if there will be any plans to fix this 'bug', or whether it's simply an indication of the future of iPhones.

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With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab) and  Digital Photographer (opens in new tab). Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.