Last August, Apple publicly acknowledged a serious audio problem in which “a very small percentage” of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro devices manufactured between October 2020 and April 2021 “may experience sound issues due to a component that might fail on the receiver module” when making a phone call.
At the time, the company pledged that it, or one of its authorized partners, would repair eligible iPhones for free, for up to two years after the first retail sale. As spotted by 9to5Mac, Apple has now increased that term to three years.
Despite the expansion of the eligibility period, we advise affected owners to take Apple up on its offer as soon as possible: most obviously, there’s no sense living with a major problem like this when it can be fixed for free. But it’s also worth noting that any serious physical damage–Apple gives a cracked screen as an example–will need to be repaired before it will service the audio problem. Any damage you pick up from now on, therefore, will make it more expensive to take advantage of the free service.
Of course, not every malfunctioning iPhone qualifies for the repair. You’ll need to have your phone examined to check it’s eligible, either by bringing it to an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Store, or contacting Apple Support and using the mail-in service. You can check the terms of the service program in a support document that Apple has now quietly updated.
Officially, and rather oddly, the problem affects the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro only. The 12 mini and 12 Pro Max are not part of the program.