Apple Acknowledges iPhone 7 Microphone Problems

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Apple has distributed a document to Apple Authorized Service Providers discussing how to deal with microphone failures in iPhone 7 and 7 Plus units running iOS 11.3 or later. A repair may be required.

A friend of mine is on his third iPhone 7 because of this issue. The first one conked out almost right away, the second lasted 4 or 5 months.

Your friend’s problems started before the release of iOS 11.3 (on March 29). I don’t think it’s clear that 11.3 has anything to do with the problem. If there’s a hardware problem, maybe it’s just a coincidence that a batch of phones manufactured at a certain time that are failing around the same time, after 11.3’s release. Software exacerbating an existing problem is certainly possible, probably only Apple has enough data to know if there’s a correlation between installing the update and having the problem (or not installing the update and not having the problem).

As soon as I read this I checked my iPhone 7, bought last year, for any problems. I’m on IOS 11.3.1 and the only problem I found was the dim recording from Apple’s Voice Memos hidden away in the Extras folder. My son checked his 5s and got the same result. Plenty of free recording apps available so no problems so far.

My iPhone 7 Plus is still on iOS 10.2.1. Why? Because I’ve learned through painful experience… and 30+ years of technology experience… that one should upgrade only when there is a ‘killer’ feature that you really want and/or need.

Why? Otherwise you are endangering your device with software that is too new for the older hardware.

In my life, I’ve seen too many tears… too many fists banging on the desk… to encourage OS upgrading for ‘the heck of it.’ Don’t do it. [And if you do, always do a complete backup first.]

No microphone problems on my iPhone 7 Plus… and I love the device.

A complete backup on an iPhone isn’t enough to allow you to revert to the older OS version, unfortunately.

you can never evert to an older OS. Apple only signs (that is, allows to be installed) the most recent version of iOS for your device. there might be a window of a week or so when the previous version is still signed, but it is nearly impossible to rollback even in that case.

You should update iOS when a new version is available. If you want to wait, a week is more than enough. Every iOS update contains numerous security and bug fixes. There are, for example, several ways that I could send a SMS or iMessage to your phone that would make it difficult for you to use the device, and those are the more minor issues that have been fixed.

Actually, you can as long as you have a backup of the previous iOS either on your Mac or in iCloud: “Restore your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch from a backup”


Nope. It doesn’t work that way. The backups don’t include the operating system, just your files. But even if you download and save the installer for the older version of the operating system (via iTunes) it won’t be able to install after the next version of iOS comes out, because Apple will (as @kreme says) not sign the installation unless it is the current version.

Well I have personally done it, restoring iOS 10 after an early iOS 11, but that was a long time ago. I can try to locate the steps I took if someone seriously needs to do so, but I’m not one to recommend it. Had something to do with putting the iPhone in “Recovery Mode” and erasing everything.


Yes, when iOS 11 was still in beta or within the first week or so after it was officially released, it was still possible to install iOS 10.

As you said, “early.”

The window where Apple signs both is pretty small.

Yes, as I said, a week or so.

It used to be possible to grab the signed blob and reinstall an older OS version long after Apple signed it, but I think that stopped working around iOS 6 or 7.

I think when iOS 11.0 came out, Apple waited longer than usual to stop singing 10.3.3, but that still could have been two weeks? I forget as I never wait more than a couple of days to install the latest version anymore.