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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple in the iOS 14.4 update released today introduced a feature that sends a warning notification when the camera on an Phone 12 model is unable to be verified as a new, genuine Apple camera.


To accompany that warning, Apple has shared a support document that highlights the importance of getting an iPhone repaired by a trained technician using genuine Apple parts, with warnings on what can happen when a non-Apple camera is used.

Apple says that if an iPhone camera needs replacement, it's important to use a certified technician because repairs done by non-certified technicians could result in improper function or issues with image quality. Safety is also a concern, according to Apple, as improper repairs could potentially leave loose parts that could lead to battery damage.

A non-genuine camera component can lead to compatibility or performance issues, with Apple warning of several potential things that could go wrong.
  • Camera does not focus correctly or images are not sharp
  • When using Portrait mode, the subject might not be in focus or only partially in focus
  • A 3rd-party app that uses the camera might freeze or quit unexpectedly
  • Real-time preview in 3rd-party apps might appear blank or might get stuck
The non-genuine camera notifications that Apple introduced in iOS 14 will show up on an iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, or 12 mini if one of these devices is repaired with a non-Apple camera component.

If such a repair is done, users will see a warning under Settings > General > About that says "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera." The warning will also show up on the Lock screen for the first four days after a repair, and in the Settings app for 15 days.

Apple's warning will not affect the ability to use the iPhone or to access the camera, and the iPhone will remain fully functional.

Apple recommends that those in need of camera repairs get the iPhone camera replaced at an Apple Store, an Apple Authorized Service Provider, or through Apple's mail-in support. Independent Repair Providers are also able to offer genuine camera repair parts for out-of-warranty replacements.

This is not the first time that Apple has introduced warnings when repairs are made to an iPhone using non-genuine parts. There are similar warnings that show up when a non-verified display is used for a repair, and when a repair facility uses a non-genuine iPhone battery.

Article Link: Apple Warns Against iPhone Camera Repairs With Non-Genuine Parts
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macrumors 68040
Aug 14, 2007
This is fine. Apple are providing a useful and non-intrusive warning when non-original/non-verified parts being detected.

Much better to do this than to block camera functionality completely (or worse, brick the entire phone!)

Of course, it’s always better to use an authorised Apple service provider if you can. But that’s not always practical or affordable in many parts of the world, especially when you have an older, cheaper, out-of-warranty iPhone.
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macrumors member
Nov 7, 2017
That is the main reason I gave up on iPhone and other phones which are implementing same tactics (Samsung is starting with same on latest models). If it breaks it has to be brought in to Apple Authorized Service Provider which in my country is not qualified to do repairs, they just do diagnostics. Then it is sent to another country, I believe it's Netherlands, for repair and this takes around 30-45 days and of course costs a lot more as you also have to pay for shipping costs. Can you be without your phone for 45 days? For some things sure, you can be on some spare phone in the mean time which you must buy if you don't have it, but what about all token applications on your phone e.g. for mobile/internet banking?
This is just simple tactics by Apple to make you buy a new phone if old one breaks.

EDIT: it seems there is no Apple Authorized Service Provider in my country. There is only Apple Service Provider which is quite different so it seems to be root cause why they can't make these repairs and have to send each device abroad for repairs.
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Prince Akeem

macrumors regular
Feb 22, 2012
The article misses the big main issue here: Also GENUINE camera parts now cause problems!

It has been proven that when cameras modules from two completely legit iPhones are swapped, it will cause issues. This isn't good for the Right-to-repair movement, as Apple doesn't sell the parts to completely legit (non-Apple certified) repair businesses.

Alright, then you'd ask: why don't they become Apple certified? That's because Apple places a LOT of restrictions on certified repair businesess, completely crippling them, including the fact that those are not allowed to do most repairs in-house anymore. THAT's why a lot of repair business don't want to get Apple-certified. If they don't want to do that, they have to use (genuine) donor hardware for some repairs, which has now become even harder. Some components in iPhones are still fixable directly from some suppliers, but with moves like this, Apple pushes their control crippling the repair industry more and more.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2020
And what if I repair it myself using original parts? Will I still get that message?
I wonder if that's just a strategy to avoid people repairing it without bringing it to Apple.


macrumors member
Nov 7, 2017
And what if I repair it myself using original parts? Will I still get that message?
I wonder if that's just a strategy to avoid people repairing it without bringing it to Apple.
Yes. If you repair it with original part it still displays that message. It must be sent to Apple for repair if you want the message removed.


macrumors 68040
May 14, 2014
nyc upper east
its not just genuine part, but also an injection of authentication code after the repair. apparently someone at apple repair didn't put in that code after repairing my 11's battery last year, and it kept telling me I have a non genuine apple part error til they corrected it at the apple store.
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macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
iPhone "OEM" (unofficial) parts from China are aplenty. In my country, plenty of stores selling "refurbished" iPhones with these parts. Blame it on Apple and the distributors putting huge markups on iPhones, and zero availability of official refurbished Apple products.

This is good for consumers in developed countries where they have better pricing and plenty of Apple stores to go to. This will be in expense of emerging markets where official iPhone prices are multitude times over Apple's MSRP, and zero Apple presence other than those authorized service centers who have only interest in profiting and zero care about Apple brand/customer service.


macrumors member
Nov 7, 2017
A bit of a far-fetched conclusion I think...
I mean, it's not like the ”non genuine” camera doesn't work or makes the phone stop working.
It's not far-fetched for my country. If it is sent for repair I need to buy some phone at least until my phone is back from service (I don't have a spare phone atm), because it takes 30-45 days for any repair. Most people would probably buy a new one and try to sell old one when it gets back from service.
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macrumors 6502
Jun 13, 2013
Imagine following: You go to a repair shop and are promised an original part - but how do you know afterwards that they didn't simply use a much cheaper camera? This warning is meant to solve this.
It will also show the message even if the part is original. Unauthorised repair shops do not yet have the software to authorise the DRM.
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Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
Imagine following: You go to a repair shop and are promised an original part - but how do you know afterwards that they didn't simply use a much cheaper camera? This warning is meant to solve this.

That's not how this warning works, though. It only triggers when a camera isn't paired with the board, using software that is only available to AASPs or Apple themselves. It's not protecting the consumer in any way, its protecting Apple's revenue. If Apple really wanted to verify that the camera was genuine, they more than likely could have. What they're doing here is detecting a repair that wasn't done by Apple or an AASP.

You can put a fully functioning, genuine camera in there from a donor phone, and it will still trigger. It's yet another attempt to stop individual repair shops, or owners themselves, from repairing products.
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