Replacing a broken camera on the iPhone 12 is more difficult than in past generations. IFixit found that Apple began to require proprietary software to complete the repair of an image sensor in the new models. The Apple tool can only be accessed by authorized technical assistance, which makes it impossible to repair the camera modules on your own.
IFixit tried to replace camera modules between two iPhones 12 and noticed that the switching between the lenses was unstable: it was no longer possible to switch to the ultrawide camera and some shooting modes no longer worked. In certain cases, the camera application crashed or became completely irresponsible, says iFixit, pointing out that the repair was easy on previous models.
An internal training document confirms that it is mandatory to run an Apple proprietary tool to complete a camera or screen replacement from the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The software is connected to the cloud and only can be accessed by authorized technicians.
Failures after changing the camera on the iPhone 12 can be a “bug”
According to iFixit, the problem with the cameras happens “deliberately, through negligence or both”. The instability after changing the modules can be a “bug that Apple will eventually fix”, because it doesn’t always happen: iFixit itself managed to replace camera modules between two iPhones 12 Pro and they continued to function normally.
Furthermore, just the fact that Apple’s proprietary tool will not run after a repair is no reason for the replaced component to stop working. On iPhones XR, XS and 11, for example, the software is required after a screen change; if you don’t run it, the display will work normally, but iOS will display an alert that the component may not be genuine. The same occurs with battery replacements.
Apple did not comment on the case.