As the iPhone 7's begin to age, the signature problems are starting to emerge. At the top of the list are problems with the iPhone 7 audio system.
All of these are symptoms of the same underlying logic board problem---a thin metal pad that the audio chip is attached to has separated from the logic board.
Interestingly, it is always the SAME PAD--the C12 pad. This part of the logic board is a spot that brokers the connection of the master clock line to the audio integrated circuit (IC) chip. C12 loosens and lifts from the board like peeling nail polish, triggering the symptoms above.
We believe that this is another manifestation of the same underlying problem that plagued the iPhone 6/6plus with the touch disease problem that we brought to the world's attention in 2015. In touch disease it is the M1 pad under the meson touch ic chip that separates from the board due to the inherent bendiness of the iPhone logic board during normal daily use. When you screw a think logic board peppered with delicate circuits into a large housing that experiences significant flexion as it goes in and out of pockets all day---over time the structure of the board becomes weak, similar to bending a paper clip back and forth enough times. In the iPhone 6 plus, the weak spot primarily affected is the M1 pad under the touch chip. But Apple either didn't pay attention or just didn't care to make any changes. Here in the iPhone 7/7plus the exact same underlying problem is back. In these phones, we call the weak spot "the fault line" and it can affect either edge of the logic board along an open spot near the audio ic and baseband chips. This open spot acts like a crease so that the normal flexion the logic board experiences is transmitted to the fault line---much like kids jumping on a diving board. Along the fault line is the audio ic---a relatively large square chip that is adhered to the logic board by an array of solder balls sitting on companion pads stitched to the logic board.
As the phone ages, the subtle bendy/bouncy forces of daily use eventually stretch and flex the thin wire of the C12 pad as the solder ball attached to it is wiggled like a nano-sized paper clip. Why C12 and not A12 or B12? Well, C12 is the only pad in that area that is attached to a thin wire that runs across the fault line. The other nearby pads are attached to wires that run down into a lower layer of the board offering some protection. (A force that can bend and weaken a horizontal paper clip doesn't affect a vertical paper clip). Over time, C12 becomes an increasingly poorly attached and your phone begins to show the symptoms of audio ic failures. Eventually, C12 will sever completely and you will have full blown audio ic disease----meaning that your phone will have a really difficult time even turning on at all.
The good news is that there is a robust repair for this problem! Just as we did for touch disease in the 6 plus, we are able to lift the audio ic chip, and add a micro-gauge wire to strengthen the attachment of the master clock line at C12 to the audio ic. We leave a slight amount of "play" in the reinforcing microjumper so that the board can handle the normal flexion of this area. As a result, we not only cure the speaker and microphone issues common to this signature problem, but we immunize the phone so that it can't occur again in the future.
Click start repair and tell us all about the history and symptoms of the problem. We will be happy to send you a quote and instructions for you to mail it in for repair.