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Apple's top-of-the-line smartphone for 2021. Released September 24th, the iPhone 13 Pro Max sports a 6.7" ProMotion OLED display, a new triple rear camera system, and 5G connectivity. Successor to the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

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15 devices with camera message, no wide angle, cinema mode not working

Hello everyone.
We sold a large batch of 13 pro max's and the customer returned 15 of them due to what he claimed was "Camera issues".
After receiving them we find that the wide angle camera doesn't work nor does cinema mode. They are also giving a camera message saying non genuine camera.

We test every phone through phone check and even manual test most phones before shipping out so to me it seems unlikely that we missed this many devices. If it was 1 or 2 phones it would be more believable but not 15.

We checked to see if the serial matched on the camera in the phone currently on one of these devices and it did match, we have yet to check the other 15. Also the phones do appear like they have been opened as the water proof seal is no longer there.

My question is...
Is there someway that this customer tampered with the rear camera ?
Can serial numbers be re-written to a rear camera?
What could possible explain this happening?

Thank you for reading, appreciate any insight.

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Hi Ian,

Are these new or used phones?

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@dadibrokeit These are all used devices

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There are some companies that do not allow contractors to have cameras on site this would be the best explanation in this situation. You sold 15 devices to the same customer they tried disabling the cameras whether disconnecting the flex, removing the module or bridging a component but it would have brought up error messages so they connected them back up and returned them. I am not completely sure but I think one of the 13 series after I completed a repair on I forgot to connect the rear camera and a message came up, even after re-connecting the camera back up it still showed a warning. I had to update the phone to get rid of the popup message and enable full function of the camera. However having said that the messages and functionality of the serialized parts can change with every Apple update. I would try updating the phone that has the correct camera serial number.

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This seems possible, we had to re-make our labels for the whole batch so technically they all got updated / restored and it didn't seem to fix the issue.

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Hello Ian,

If the phones are in use, they probably have a passive connection glitch (first login settings). I explain below by analogy:

the established passive connection between the accessories and the motherboard is established once, during the installation process of the new build of the environment. Apple always uses this model, and that's how it was resolved in the entire family 13, 14 and all earlier. If the cameras were working during the initial launch, were injured (or some connections were interrupted - due to use, drops, liquid spills) the information will be uncovered and displayed only during the next system upgrade or restore. Some of the connections I mention are not required to use the accessory (e.g. wide-angle camera) but only when retrieving the serial number or checking the serial number of the connected sub-device (accessory).

The other cases to mention (and due to Apple's popularity it continues to apply) is intentional substitution. It doesn't always mean attempted theft (although I've had such cases with screens on earlier models before I introduced some security) but just a mess on the table - as with the Home buttons, if you remember similar situations. Technician removes buttons or Face.ID elements from several devices at the same time (to save time), a mistake occurs. Phones that are not inspected return to their owners with buttons and screens that are not their own, depending on what was changed there. It also happened to me many times when worried users came to me that in some repair shop, during the repair, the Home button or the Face.ID function was broken and whether it can be repaired at studionapraw.pl. Upon physical examination, I most often find that the serial numbers do not match. In most cases (it takes about 15 minutes) the owner manages to return to the previous workshop and file a complaint. Many such cases have been resolved positively. Sometimes, however, the previous workshop denies, unaware of the mistake. It happens sometimes.

Due to the fact that, as you write, the phones have been opened somewhere, it is possible to deliberately replace damaged parts from other phones (this can be verified with serial numbers) or - which seems most likely to me: the purchaser found a camera error during the installation of a new user (ios upgrade). Because he has some knowledge on the subject, he tried to solve the problem himself (check if the motherboard has not been smashed - which also happens sometimes). Due to the failure, he returned these things to you with a claim.

Considering what I wrote above, I believe (based on my experience with similar cases) that these phones have a fault that has not been discovered before. The primary fault must be found and removed, and the operation of the cameras, sensors, microphones installed in the phone will return to normal (if it has not been demolished before by homegrown specialists of the YouTube era. Be sure to check it out.

More similar cases can be found on my blog (check my description), where I help affected users as a non-profit through mostly dishonest repair shops (sometimes even authorized) from around the world.

- regards and fingers crossed

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Apple did have a run of bad cameras in the first runs of production. I don’t remember which. Take one that looks clean to an Apple Store see what they say.

Maybe @flannelist Alisha has some deeper knowledge on the camera defect.

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Thank you guys, I read your message and shared it with my team. We're gonna try to go to apple for warranty on a few of them.

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@danj I actually haven't heard that, although it's definitely possible. I definitely feel like there's some kind of foul play here though, it's just a matter of what. The iPhone 13 I think was the first iPhone to have this sort of serialization of the camera, and I haven't had many opportunities to work on these yet. Too expensive still to justify buying a busted one for science. I'll probably weight in on this once I get some facts together.

Edit: I lied, started on the iPhone 12. I DO happen to have some of those lying around for science. Stay tuned.

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@wompy Let us know how it goes. I'll be curious to know.

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@wompy - Let us know what they say.

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