iPhone 7 rear camera came loose after dropping it from low-height

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by english.ununpentium, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. english.ununpentium macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2016

    I recently dropped my iPhone 7 from 3 feet with a full-body case and the rear camera started to take partially blurry images. I know it's my fault this is happening, but this never happened with previous iPhones for me (as I dropped them many, many times), so I thought this might help some people for future reference. For full details please see https://discussions.apple.com/message/31080476#31080476

    EDIT: Attached the full thread on Apple discussions, just in case it gets deleted.

    --- Post Merged, Dec 9, 2016 ---
    My solution

    For anyone having the same problem here what solved the problem:

    First of all I wanted to point out that I love my iPhone. I don't want to drag into the dirt, only tell you about a disappointing story. It turned out to be a hardware issue. Let me explain.

    So, I had this issue after dropping my phone from about 1 feet with a full- case. (Hey, tell me you never dropped your phone) I know you will all tell me it's my own fault, but read on.

    I've dropped my iPhone 6 many times in the past and that never happened to me.

    I figured I would try installing a new iPhone 7 camera, so I ordered a new from China via etradesupply.com for about 70$ + shipping (crazy, right?). I live in a country with no Apple Store, and "official" tech stores would charge me about 300$ for a replacement. So, it didn't make sense to go the official way. I know I voided my warranty like that, but f y Apple.


    (this one is the old one actually, only for illustration purposes)

    I got the replacement camera module from China, and went to a local tech shop to have them replace it for me for about 25$ and they also sealed the display so it's still waterproof, and guess what: it works again.

    Proof: This is a picture taken from my iPhone 7 with the new camera module. No more blurry images. WOHOO.


    Why did that happen?

    I took a closer look at the defect camera module, and noticed that the camera module was loose inside the metal housing, which leads me to the theory that it became loose when I dropped it from low height.

    I made a video so you can see yourself: https://sendvid.com/89ipyc0p

    I don't know if it's normal that the camera module moves around like that. It would be nice if someone could confirm that.

    Maybe it could be soldered but the point is that it came loose after a standard drop, and if you are experiencing similar issue maybe it's your camera module, and this shouldn't be happening.

    (If you live in the US, or some other 1st world country, well then you're in luck because you have an Apple Store nearby probably, and this is probably covered by the phone's warranty. Less luck for people like who live in a developing country.)
  2. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Just so you're aware, the camera IS supposed to move around in the housing. The Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) has the camera floating inside the housing on small wires/actuators (whatever they call them) so that the camera itself can counteract any trembling of the hands.

    My suspicion is the drop broke one of those components and the camera couldn't focus properly because it isn't self aware that it wasn't steadying itself right.

    Either way, glad it's fixed.

    OIS in action:
  3. english.ununpentium thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2016
    Thanks for the information. Makes total sense. I like your analysis about the problem better than mine. Do you think that's something covered by the warranty?
  4. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    From a drop? Definitely not, unfortunately. IF you have AppleCare+ it might have been, but 3rd party repairs void warranties anyway.

    But If the new part is working you should be all set, that said I don't believe for a second that the device has been resealed to factory condition from a 3rd party.
  5. english.ununpentium thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2016
    Ah... sorry about the misunderstanding... it hasn't been resealed to factory condition, rather the display glue was replaced with a new one so it should still have some of the waterproofing, but probably not as a good as from factory.
  6. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Yes that's what I mean though, if it's not an official Apple produced gasket/glue compound I doubt it's going to be exact enough to provide the same level of sealing.

    Either way, hopefully it never needs to test the effectiveness of it. Unfortunately your warranty is shot though.

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