iPhone camerasSource: Rene Ritchie

What you need to know

  • Code found in iOS 14.4 suggests iPhones with non-Apple cameras will trigger a warning to users.

Apple's upcoming iOS 14.4 update will reportedly warn users if their iPhone camera is not genuine, possibly because Apple is concerned that a third-party camera could be up to no good.

According to MacRumors, code found in the current iOS 14.4 beta suggests that a warning could be triggered should a third-party camera part be detected. Apple already does something similar when a third-party display has been found, too.

"Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will read. As with a similar warning for non-genuine iPhone displays, the message will likely appear in the Settings app under General > About as necessary, and the warning may also appear as a notification on the Lock screen for a short period.

It isn't thought that the warning will prevent the camera from being used, but rather that Apple is simply warning users that the part installed isn't a genuine Apple one. The implications of that aren't clear, although Apple will obviously not cover such parts under AppleCare. Whether a third-party camera could potentially collect personal data, or at least your photos, it isn't yet known.

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Apple always tells iPhone owners to have their devices repaired and services by either itself or an authorized repair center. That isn't always feasible, however, not least due to the often prohibitive cost of doing so. That being said, those with Apple's iPhone 12 models might not be able to have repair shops repair their screens and cameras at all.