Back in May, MacRumors acquired internal documents from Apple outlining a defect affecting microphones on the iPhone 7 running iOS 11.3 or later. As part of the document, Apple laid out steps to troubleshoot the problem. If the issues persisted, it suggested offering customers a free microphone replacement.
However, by the end of July, Apple deleted the internal document and ended the warranty exception for customers. That meant iPhone 7 users who were experiencing the microphone issue had to be within the warranty period to received a free repair, leaving everyone else to pay for the repair themselves.
Considering this seems to be a hardware issue, the change in policy is a very perplexing move on Apple’s part. The issue has remained with the most recent iOS 12.1.1 update and affected customers are taking to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the notion of paying upwards of $300 for the repair.
Apple has always done a great job of addressing hardware issues with its devices. It did so with the faulty MacBook Pro keyboards and it did so with the battery issue for multiple iPhone models. But it’s not doing so with this particular issue affecting the iPhone 7, and that’s very disappointing.
It’s unclear why Apple has adopted this tactic that directly affects its customers. Hopefully, it listens to feedback and brings back the out-of-warranty repairs for the affected models because anyway you look at it, it is not a sound business practice to force customers to pay for a known hardware issue.