- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- Audio IC chip
- Grayed out speaker button
- Non functioning microphone
Apple Repair program:
Apple internal only. This was never a public repair program.
An internal memo acknowledged the issue but this was never turned into a public repair program. Apple Stores and Authorized Service Providers had an Audio Diagnostic test and if a phone was found eligible, a repair exception could be made/requested. This would allow the phone to be replaced for free. The exception expired in July 2018 not even a year after the last 7/7+ was sold.
It is speculated that the issue is similar to that of the iPhone 6/6+, a Qualcomm chip that lies on a weak part of the board and becomes detached over time due to the case flexing/bending. This theory is supported by the fact Apple launched a repair program for iPhone 7 that experienced the inability to connect to a cell network, caused by the same chip in the same board location.
The chip that becomes detached from the board can be lifted and the underlying pad can be strengthened. This will allow the chip to firmly be reattached to the board which resolves the issues. Due to the small size of the components this should not be attempted without a microscope and proper microsoldering equipment. You can contact a company that offers board repair services.