What just happened? Apple says that “a very small percentage” of iPhone 12 series phones could experience a failure in a part of the receiver module, causing the affected units to be unable to produce audio when making or receiving calls. As a result, Apple has quietly launched a new repair program, aimed at fixing this manufacturing defect.
The “iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Service Program without Sound Issues” offers a free repair to replace the faulty module, where eligible customers can send their iPhone to an Apple Center or Authorized Service Provider for repair.
Only phones manufactured between October 2020 and April 2021 are eligible and, as you would expect from the title, the 12 Mini and 12 Pro Max are not covered (as they are presumably not affected by the issue).
Although the single component failure preventing such a basic feature from working looks pretty bad, it seems to be weird enough that it didn’t get substantial media attention prior to this announcement, and it’s good to see any manufacturer going up even relatively rare problems.
However, it is also worth noting that it is only a free repair for the receiver module; The company cautions that the units should not be damaged in any other way when shipped, and if they are, you may have to fork out the money for the service center to repair them that hurt. Apple also recommends that you backup your phones to iCloud before shipping, such as just in case.
Assuming your device qualifies, the program coverage extends for two years after its retail sale and does not affect any existing warranty coverage on the phone.