Faulty iPhone 6 Plus Cameras to Be Replaced Free by Apple

Aug 22, 2015 - 20 Comments

Rear iPhone 6 Plus camera taking blurry photos is eligible for free repair

Apple has launched a replacement program for malfunctioning rear cameras on some iPhone 6 Plus models. The affected iPhone 6 Plus devices have a camera component failure which causes photos and video taken with the devices rear camera to appear blurry rather than focused (note Apple calls the rear camera on iPhones the iSight camera, and the front camera a FaceTime camera). Not all iPhone Plus models are impacted, and some iPhone 6 Plus devices with a repair-eligible serial number appear to take normal focused pictures.


Officially called the “iSight Camera Replacement Program for iPhone 6 Plus”, users who have the device can check their serial number on an Apple website to see if they are eligible for a free rear camera repair, which is done by replacing the malfunctioning camera unit. Apple states the devices impacted by the program were mostly sold between September 2014 and January 2015.

Determining if your iPhone 6 Plus is eligible for the free camera repair program is quick and easy:

Assuming an iPhone 6 Plus with its camera falls within the impacted serial number range, a message stating “The serial number you entered is eligible for this program. Please choose one of the service options below.” will appear, offering you three choices to have the camera component replaced: taking the iPhone 6 Plus to an Apple Retail Store, calling Apple Technical Support, or going to an Apple Authorized Service Provider. Each option will replace the defective rear camera free of charge.

If your iPhone Plus falls into the eligible range and is having issues, it is a good idea to get it repaired by Apple for free even if the camera is currently taking normal appropriately focused photos – since (update: some users have reported that only cameras exhibiting problems are fixed, regardless of the serial number. It’s possible the camera could later malfunction, in which case, it would be eligible for a repair). Additionally, as we’ve mentioned in the past, Apple often repairs other malfunctioning components at the same time as a courtesy, though that’s by no means a guarantee, and any device malfunctioning due to user abuse or damage will likely not be covered by the repair programs.

If you’re going to send your iPhone in for repair, don’t forget to back it up first, ideally to both iCloud and iTunes.

The degree of the rear cameras failure to properly focus seems to vary per effected iPhone 6 Plus, but it can range from severe inability to focus the rear camera adequately at all, to mildly blurry images in conditions where the photo taken should be crisp. An example of a blurry iPhone 6 Plus with a camera eligible for free replacement is shown below:

A blurry photo taken from a failing iPhone 6 Plus Camera

Another even more extreme example of a failing iPhone 6 Plus rear camera is shown below, recording an incredibly blurry and strangely out of focus video at an Apple Store, apparently taken before a repair was offered:

(Above blurry camera image from yours truly at OSXDaily.com, video from a user on Apple Support Forums)

Apple states the camera replacement program will be effective for three years after an iPhone 6 Plus first retail sale.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, News, Troubleshooting

20 Comments

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  1. Brian Lambert says:

    Sometimes they fix it in the Apple Store, it takes a couple of hours, or sometimes they swap out a new iPhone, seems to depend on how busy the store is and the manager.

    If you live far away from an Apple Store, you can mail your iPhone in and be without a phone for a week or two. Hardly a reasonable option, if you ask me. Might as well pay the $1 and try out a free Samsung phone during that time, hey, maybe you’d like it more than the iPhone anyway?

    You can also try to mail it in and get the Express Replacement service, but they may try to charge you $29 for some reason or another, for the convenience of not living near an Apple Store I guess and to pad their shareholders a bit more, I don’t know but that is very nickel and dime when it’s a fault they offer to repair for free.

    https://support.apple.com/kb/index?page=servicefaq&geo=United_States&product=iphone

  2. Sheldon hills says:

    I have the problem on a regular 6. When is that recall?

    • Bob Weird says:

      Given that iPhone 6 has not been out a year yet, your iPhone is likely still under warranty for defective hardware, contact Apple. The iPhone 6 can’t have the same problem though because it does not have optical image stabilization, which is apparently where the component failure is. If your iPhone camera is defective and your iPhone is under warranty, Apple will fix it or swap out the phone, that’s how Apple Support works.

      The iPhone 6 Plus failed camera issue extends to three years total. Normal warranty is 1 year.

  3. Chris Alfonso says:

    I had my iPhone 6 Plus replaced last month for a different camera issue. There was a spot on all the pictures like an oil spot and it was actually a spot of dirt/dust on the actual sensor and they replaced it no questions asked.

  4. Donald Barsell says:

    When I enter my serial number on the link provided and hit submit, I do NOT get: “The serial number you entered is eligible for this program.” message.

    Does that mean that my serial number does not fall into the affected units?

  5. b9bot says:

    Actually depends on the store and if you have an appointment or not. However the camera is replaceable and will fix the issue 99 percent of the time. Also these camera problems were from early production. Later models will not have this issue. Either way Apple will take care of you unless you physically damaged your phone. That is not covered at all except if you have Applecare Plus. Then it is a service charge which is much lower than the replacement cost.

  6. Mark Taylor says:

    I have just completed a live chat with Apple and they won’t replacement the camera unless it exhibiting the blurriness in photos. So being pro-active and getting it done anyway is not an option.

  7. John Smith says:

    I also brought it in and since it was not exhibiting any blurriness they opted not to change –

    • ijta says:

      The blurriness of camera photos from a defective iPhone 6 Plus can vary in severity, sometimes it’s every photo, sometimes it’s not.

    • Tom says:

      I also made appt, took in and they would not replace since it was not showing blurry photos. Even tho serial # was part of the program.

  8. Nick says:

    I have the problem with the camera but they wont fix it because they said my iPhone 6 Plus is bent. I thought they don’t bend? lol
    Want to charge me $499 for a replacement.

  9. amgad says:

    they ask to pay 150 L.E why???
    i need your feedback ASAP

  10. Pam says:

    I have ipad and a mac. I found Apple to have the fairest warranty, out of warranty and repair of any company out there. Everything I have is out of warranty but for $299 I can get a completely refurbished ipad instead of just buying brand new one which I don’t need – Verizon says its apple problem however it worked just fine on the road but back at home issues again – might be the wifi receiver per apple they offered another one for $299. Never have they charged or given me any issues on software issues on either device for over the phone service. They replaced an ipad for nothing (battery was giving out) and a cable – I am a very heavy user of my ipad – most times 8-10 plus hours a day. But it still looks new. Family uses the store and says they are always helpful and patient.

    Since I bought Apple products I never have to pay to get upgrade software, it is always free. Not so for Windows thats for sure – you get free service paks if you remember to check for them but not major upgrades. I’m need to update my windows now for my mac but dont want to spend the upgrade price but will have to if I want to keep running it on my apple. With apple you can have and run 2 operating systems. I had software that had no apple equivalent and now no window equivalent either – so I opped to run apple as normal and windows in a virtual machine – it works great except I use a program called parallels and it is requiring I have new windows and it too….bummer they aren’t owned by apple.

    I believe apple is the best out there under most circumstances.

    So buy the $99 warranty (there are no extended products) when you buy apple and you will be happy. Gosh even if you do something stupid to a mobile device for $49 each time you can replace it 2 times – can’t beat that.

    Had apple then went to Windows for 10-15 yrs and now back to apple. Are there issues yes – they rush software to market too soon but customer service (I use over the phone and mail) is terrific.

    My imac is 6-7 yrs old and have never had a problem with hardware ever.

  11. Sherri says:

    I purchased my iPhone 6+ brand new in March 2015. I began to complain to Apple about the horribly fuzzy pictures my phone had just began taking, about 2 months after I had purchased phone. I went through every one of their troubleshooting steps, TWICE, with Apple’s guidance and was told by two different Apple employees that it was NOT Apple’s issue, it was because of an app I had downloaded (really, Apple?). Even though my phone had been completely wiped clean both times??! Then, in August, Apple issues a recall/free replacement on the iSight in certain iPhones, to be determined by serial number. So I checked my serial number and lo and behold, my serial number was on the list of phones eligible for this free iSight replacement.
    So I follow Apple’s steps to get my iSight replaced. My options were to either drive to the nearest Apple Store (which is 75 miles, one way from me) or I could mail my iPhone to them but I needed to include a credit card number (why a credit card number for a FREE replacement??). Since I needed my phone and had no other issues with it, I opted to make the drive to the Apple Store (in Indianapolis). I set up a reservation, online for a day and time I could be there. I made the drive and arrived early. I got checked in and was told it would take 2 -3 hours. I waited 2 1/2 hours and headed back to the Apple Store. Once I arrived, I checked in and waited another 30 minutes. They brought my phone back to me and stated they wouldn’t fix my phone because it had been completely submerged in water! Which it had not. I hadn’t had any other issues with this phone except the iSight/camera issue and my phone had NEVER been IN water let alone “submerged” in water as they claim. I told them that it had never been in water and I just wanted this “recall” part replaced and they refused. Then they offered to SELL me another phone to replace MY phone, that worked perfectly, except for the fuzzy pictures the camera took, for $200. I asked Apple why should I have to buy/pay even more money, after just spending well over $700, just a few months earlier, for a phone that works perfectly, except for the RECALLED camera Apple installed in it??? Of course, Apple refused to honor their own recall on a phone who’s serial number IS on the list. So I drove another 1 1/2 hours back home. WHAT A WASTE OF MY TIME and MONEY.
    Needless to say, my iPhone 6+ is still working just like new, except I am unable to take any clear pictures or videos with this phone.
    I can honestly say that this iPhone 6+ is the VERY LAST Apple product I will EVER EVER spend any money on again. They proved to me they are only there to sell phones, nothing more.

    • KNT says:

      You should call Apple directly and relay your experience to them, their support is very helpful and you probably encountered an unhelpful employee. They want your credit card number when you mail a replacement because they don’t want to send you one and have you not return your old one, thereby getting a free iPhone. Thus you give them your card, they send you an iPhone, and they don’t charge the card if you send yours back like you were supposed to. If you talk to them on the phone, they will tell you the exact same thing. I have sent many iPhones in for repair since I live 3+ hours away from the closest Apple Store, and there has never once been a problem. If you did drop your iPhone in water though, the problem is likely yours, as warranty does not cover water damage.

  12. Sherri says:

    I understand what you are saying and I’m not looking for or wanting a new or refurbished iPhone. I just wanted mine fixed as it should have been the day I drove 3 hours and waited for another 3 hours. I have had problems with my credit card number falling into the wrong hands in the past so I chose to make the drive to the Apple Store so I did not have to give it out. After all, walking into an Apple Store WAS one of the options that Apple gave me on the phone. And I should have added that I absolutely DID contact Apple after the Apple Store refused to fix it. I’ve yet to hear anything back from them….it’s been several months now, go figure!
    My phone has NEVER been dropped or submerged in water at all but Apple seems to think it has. This issue was a RECALL it was NOT WARRANTY WORK, nor was I trying to get a replacement phone or even a new phone. I just want the FAULTY iSight replaced that Apple has RECALLED.
    It cost Apple a long-time customer due to nothing but ignorance on Apple’s part.

    • KNT says:

      You can call Apple Support and immediately discuss your camera problem with them, you don’t need to wait to hear back from them. You can talk to someone at Apple Support right now by calling them about the camera recall for iPhone 6 Plus, but you have to call them, they aren’t going to call you. Apple has millions of customers with credit cards, I would not worry about giving them your information, if you bought an iPhone from them they already had it at one point in time anyway. Credit cards are also protected against unauthorized charges, you can contest the charge with your card company if that ever happened.

      If you aren’t going to follow the procedures that Apple gives you to get a repair, then you won’t get a repair for the camera, that’s really what it comes down to. They make you jump through a few hoops, I know, but it really isn’t too bad. Personally I would recommend doing the shipping thing, it is easy and fast, I have done it multiple times since I live in a rural area and it is never a hassle.

  13. Sherri says:

    I followed Apple’s procedure to a TEE! It was an Apple Rep that instructed me to go to the Apple Store! If you read my first post, this all began with a phone call to Apple! Apple told me if I did not want to give my credit card number that I would need to go to the nearest Apple Store, so that’s exactly what I did. Although I set up an appointment, several days in advance, went to the Apple Store, arrived 30 minutes early, waited for 3 hours while Apple had my phone and Apple would NOT replace the RECALLED iSight, even though my serial number WAS on Apple’s very own list that was ELIGIBLE for replacement at APPLE’S EXPENSE, the store REFUSED to replace it. I did NOT want another phone, for free nor did I want to buy another phone. I only wanted the recall work done, NOTHING MORE. Then Apple tells me my phone was submerged in water when there was NO POSSIBLE WAY that my phone was submerged in water. I’ve used my phone daily since I purchased it!! So you can defend Apple all you want to, all I know is MY experience with them and it was WRONG on Apple’s part. In closing, you apparently have NEVER had your credit card compromised before, I don’t wish that nightmare on anyone, otherwise you would completely understand why I no longer give my credit card number out!

    • Azzo says:

      Sherri, you need to contact Apple to start the failed iPhone camera repair process. https://getsupport.apple.com

      Either Apple or a certified Apple third party repair shop can do the repair. There is no other way you can get it fixed. Apple has a process, it is easy to follow, if you do not follow their process you will not get their warranty work done.

  14. sammy says:

    they took my phone via USPS, I got a overly well worn replacement. Got a pre-owned abused device in return. currently “DOING RESTORE”, how does that make the screen any less worn? 877-416-4271 x 1136666, the number to my SuperTech. With powers..

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