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iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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13,129


In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components.


"Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will read. As with a similar warning for non-genuine iPhone displays, the message will likely appear in the Settings app under General > About as necessary, and the warning may also appear as a notification on the Lock screen for a short period.

Apple's similar display-related warning does not affect the ability to use the iPhone or display in any way, so this will presumably be the case with the camera-related warning as well, but it remains to be seen. Apple also displays a similar message for non-genuine iPhone batteries that likewise does not impact use of the device beyond disabling a battery health feature that displays the battery's maximum capacity remaining.

The non-genuine camera message will likely direct users towards a future Apple support document emphasizing the importance of iPhone repairs being completed by authorized, trained technicians using genuine Apple parts, including Apple, Apple Authorized Service Providers, and those part of Apple's Independent Repair Provider Program.

Last year, repair website iFixit reported that authorized technicians are required to run Apple's proprietary, cloud-based System Configuration app to complete camera and display repairs on all iPhone 12 models, citing internal Apple documentation. Failure to complete this step can result in the camera experiencing issues or becoming completely unresponsive in a short amount of time, according to iFixit's testing.

Update: Apple has publicly confirmed this feature in the iOS 14.4 Release Candidate notes ("Notifications for when the camera on your ‌iPhone‌ is unable to be verified as a new, genuine Apple camera in ‌iPhone 12‌, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max").

Article Link: iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras
 
Last edited:

ajalbawab

macrumors newbie
Dec 16, 2020
2
41
I think this is actually great. Basically like "CarFax" for your mobile device. In the fingerprint scanner days, your iPhone wouldn't recognize the new fingerprint scanner, you had to move over the old component. Aftermarket lens may not necessarily be worse in quality, but it does say something about the ambiguity of quality of repair (ie: opening the enclosure, re-sealing the seal etc.)
 
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velocityg4

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
5,487
1,956
Georgia
Wow, I had no idea knockoff replacement cameras were a thing.

You'd think the warning wouldn't be necessary and people would notice their photos suddenly don't look as good, but I guess most people aren't that observant so the warning is a good thing.
I'd expect most people who receive this warning. Get it because they replaced a broken camera. So, they'd already be aware of the fact.

Although it is useful knowing a shop used a knockoff rather than a genuine part. If you were expecting the shop to use a genuine part.

Overall these warnings are great info for used phone buyers. That way you know the used iPhone is using a genuine screen, camera and battery.
 
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robinp

macrumors 6502a
Feb 1, 2008
585
976
I'd expect most people who receive this warning. Get it because they replaced a broken camera. So, they'd already be aware of the fact.

Although it is useful knowing a shop used a knockoff rather than a genuine part. If you were expecting the shop to use a genuine part.

Overall these warnings are great info for used phone buyers. That way you know the used iPhone is using a genuine screen, camera and battery.
Also if you’re buying a second hand device.
 
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gaximus

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2011
1,314
1,994
Also if you’re buying a second hand device.
Exactly, could easily see someone getting a used iPhone, not knowing the camera was replaced, and thinking that it sucks and "never trying an iPhone again"
 
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nikaru

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2009
710
674
I dont care, as long as Apple does not prevent the changed part from working properly. If you buy a second-hand iPhone, it is good to be able to check in settings menu if there are non-genuine parts in its. Fair solution.
 
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HiVolt

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2008
810
3,036
Toronto, Canada
So wait, are they third-party cameras or non-programmed cameras? Or is the answer to this "Yes"?
My guess 99% are genuine Apple cameras reused from other damaged phones that have been parted out.

No different than a car repaired with genuine used parts, or a non-Mac computer.
 
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nikaru

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2009
710
674
Exactly, could easily see someone getting a used iPhone, not knowing the camera was replaced, and thinking that it sucks and "never trying an iPhone again"
This happened with a friend when he bought a second hand iPhone and then brought it to Apple for a battery change. He found that the battery was not original and Apple won't touch the iPhone. Obviously, the seller did not disclose this fact so my friend had to look for a third party repair shop to change his battery.
 
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jrlcopy

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2007
482
349
So, I'm sure this is crazy spy movie conspiracy, but I kinda wonder if there is any hacking with repaired/replaced cameras? Any aftermarket cameras also upload to another service provider?
 
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BruiserB

macrumors 68000
Aug 9, 2008
1,626
532
What's it gonna be this time. Can't use their 'security' or 'fire hazard' excuses with this one.
Are we sure it's not a security concern? Is there a way a third party camera could be installed that always records/sends video without engaging the green dot on the screen that lets us know that the camera is engaged. Could someone swap the camera in the phone of someone they want to spy on?
 
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nikaru

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2009
710
674
My guess 99% are genuine Apple cameras reused from other damaged phones that have been parted out.

No different than a car repaired with genuine used parts, or a non-Mac computer.
99%? Not really. The iPhone camera is not unique at hardware level and there are a few manufacturers selling the exact same module. Even the property chips found in AirPod charging case are sold freely in China.
 
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LeeW

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2017
2,209
3,882
Glasgow, Scotland
As long as they don't make the warning intrusive in any way and you still have to go into a certain location to find the information then I don't see it as a big deal. Although suggesting it may appear on the lock screen is intrusive.

There are of course many who will go to Apple to be told $400, laugh and go somewhere that will do it for $100, then that should be their choice to accept whether that may affect the quality of the image or not.

But then we know Apple want to discourage that as much as possible. Revenue first.
 
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Okasian

macrumors member
Sep 27, 2017
79
160
I have a counterfeit screen in my iPhone X.

Was going to take it to Apple until I saw their prices.

~£80 for a 20 min repair locally, instead of £280 and a few weeks wait.

Feels brand new. Screen is indistinguishable even though it’s probably from a batch that failed some kind of QA.

The guy that repaired my phone told me about how the camera modules cannot be replaced because Apple uses a cryptographic key at the... controller/bus/transport... level? (dont quote me on that,) so this is welcome news if true.

Good Apple?
 
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zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,388
10,077
Florida, USA
My guess 99% are genuine Apple cameras reused from other damaged phones that have been parted out.

No different than a car repaired with genuine used parts, or a non-Mac computer.
There shouldn't be a warning if a genuine camera from another phone was used to repair the phone! Using destroyed phones that still have working parts to fix other phones should be allowed and encouraged! Re-use is the best way to recycle.
 
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