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Class action suit over dead iPhone 7 audio chips continues in reduced state

iPhone 7
iPhone 7 (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • A class action relating to iPhone 7 audio failures will go ahead.
  • Plaintiffs claim Apple breached warranties.
  • The judge did side with Apple in some cases.

A class action lawsuit relating to several failed iPhone 7 audio chips will go ahead after the judge refused to dismiss it. He did, however, agree with Apple in some instances, throwing out some claims in the process.

US district judge Jon Tigar agreed with Apple on some claims but denied its motion to dismiss claims of breach of warranty under California law, violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and unjust enrichment in the form of an alternative remedy. The lawsuit was originally filed in May 2019.

As MacRumors points out, this all relates to a period where we saw a number of iPhone 7 handsets begin to exhibit an issue which meant some people couldn't be heard during calls. Others noticed that the speakerphone icon was greyed out when making calls, too. It ultimately boiled down to a failed audio chip with Apple acknowledging the issue in an internal memo.

The document stated that service providers should request a "warranty exception" which in turn meant the customer would get a free repair. But that policy ended mid-way through 2018, leaving many out of luck.

The lawsuit now seeks damages "likely in the millions of dollars," with the proceeds to be shared between those affected.

If you're on the lookout for some bedtime reading, you can check the whole motion to dismiss out (opens in new tab) on Scribd.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

2 Comments
  • Oh man. This happened to my iPhone 7 after it was about 18 months old. I thought the microphone got wet or something. No one could hear me. I took it to the Apple Store and when they saw it was out of warranty they just offered to sell me a new phone. I had no idea this problem was widespread. I hope Apple offer some kind of special program.
  • I feel like Apple should be able to tell whether this fault is user fault or a fault with the device. They have so many sensors in the iPhone, they can tell if it's been dropped, if it's had water damage, and if the phone has been opened with a screwdriver. If none of these have happened, then it has to be a fault with the phone.