A New "Disease" is Killing the iPhone 7-Series

November 28, 2018

There’s a new tech “disease” that may make iPhone 7 and 7 Plus owners consider upgrading soon. It’s known as “loop disease,” and it causes the microphones on 7 and 7 Plus models to fail. Here are the symptoms:

  • Freezing
  • Grayed-out Voice Memo icon
  • Grayed-out speaker icon during phone calls
  • Callers can’t hear you
  • Sound doesn’t record on videos
  • Hearing static on calls.

Similar to the “Touch Disease” that affected iPhone 6 Plus models, This problem was first reported in the spring, but has become more prevalent as 7 and 7 Plus continue to age. Similar to the “Touch Disease” that affected iPhone 6 Plus models, “Loop Disease” is caused by an audio IC chip near the SIM card tray coming loose from the motherboard. The problem appears to mostly be a result of aging – the solder holding the chip to the board becomes brittle and eventually breaks. However, drops, liquid damage, and rough-handling likely accelerate the issue.

While the problem appears to affect both the 7 and 7 Plus, our technicians have only reported seeing this problem on the Plus model. Likewise, they’ve said the problem occurs after power-cycling a device.

Apple has acknowledged the “loop disease” but hasn’t provided a good solution – if you have this problem, you’ll have to pay Apple to fix it or mail it to a company that specializes in micro-soldering and board-level repairs.


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