Released September 16, 2016. Model 1660, 1778 Available as GSM or CDMA / 32, 128 or 256 GB / Rose gold, gold, silver, black, and jet black.

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iPhone 7 Black Rear Camera

Hi everyone,

I googled this a lot, couldn't find a concrete solution. So yesterday after utilizing the flash as a flashlight at full brightness for half an hour doing some DIY outdoor work, and after rinsing it off quickly in the sink since it was dirty, I checked again the flashlight about an hour later, and it wouldn't turn on. Camera became dark as well, meaning the app will open but the rear facing camera just shows completely black and will not take any pictures nor videos.

Today I opened the iPhone 7 and replaced camera with a new one, but to no avail, the problem still happens.

Important details:

-I suspected water came inside because outer camera glass became very foggy from the inside.

-The phone had been opened before (got it second hand, been using for 3 months without a problem) it was missing the metal shielding of the display connector brackets. Probably why the water resistance didn't hold out so well.

-Humidity had gotten inside, the screen got damp spots which I fixed leaving the screen for a day in rice. I also did this with the affected rear camera. Didn't seem like a big deal, the logic board didn't seem to have any humidity on simple inspection.

-Replacing rear camera doesn't seem to have helped at all. Front facing camera works perfectly.

-When going to camera app in video mode, in the corner where the flash icon is sometimes replaced with a warning saying "The iphone needs to cool down before you can use the flash". This sometimes happens, sometimes it shows the normal flash icon, however physically the LED doesn't turn on ever.

-Flash doesn't work at all, 3rd party apps have the same issue both with camera and flash.

What I have done:

-Soft reset and restarted iPhone several times.

-Hard reset with itunes and update to latest version (twice)

-Replaced camera with working one, to no avail

-Inspected for damage (the old camera seemed to have gotten damp) however logic board seemed fine (didn't remove it and inspect both sides though)

Could it be the logic board? If so, could removing it and drying it in rice help? Didn't try that since it didn't seem wet. If it isn't the logic board, what else could it be? Could the prolonged usage of the LED at maximum brightness have damaged something maybe?

Any help is infinitely appreciated! Have a nice day!

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1 Answer

Chosen Solution

Hi @promaster123

As you have found out water and electronics and electricity are not a good mix.

The water causes corrosion and provides circuit paths for the electricity which were not in the phone's operating design and could damage the components.

First do not turn on your phone and then you need to with the phone turned off, remove the battery as soon as possible from the phone to minimize further damage.''

Rice is good to eat but does nothing to fix the problems caused by corrosion.

Don't Put Your Device in Rice. Here's Why

Then you need to dis-assemble the rest of the phone and clean all the affected parts using Isopropyl Alcohol 90%+ (available at most pharmacies) to remove all traces of corrosion and water. Do not use "rubbing alcohol" as in some cases this is <70%, can contain scents and is not as effective. If you do check the label to verify the amount

Here is a couple of link that describes the process.

Electronics Water Damage

Repairing iPhone Liquid Damage

As always with electronics, especially surface mounted PCBs be gentle when handling and especially when brushing away the corrosion. You do not want to remove any components from the board.

Hopefully after you have done all this the phone might possibly work correctly again.

Probably unnecessary in your case but here is a link to the ifixit guide(s) for repairing your phone.

iPhone 7 Repair

If this process seems too daunting, take your phone to a reputable, professional phone repair service experienced in water damage repair and ask for a quote for a repair. If you decide to do this, do it sooner than later.

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Comments:

Hi! Thanks for taking the time to reply! I just read the liquid damage repair for iPhones. Since my problem is just the rear camera , where exactly should I be looking at for damage aside from the camera itself? Is there a particular IC maybe I need to cleanup?

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Hi @promaster123 ,

Perhaps @refectio or @jessabethany may be able to help you with this.

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If the phone was previously opened, then the water resistance will be significantly reduced. Apple seals the device under factory conditions and even then, will only claim IP67 water resistance. If someone replaced the screen, then they either put new adhesive, which still wouldn't be as good as factory sealing or maybe didn't even put any adhesive at all. Considering the display bracket is also missing, I think the latter is more likely than the former.

As to your specific problem, water certainly got on the logic board and fried some components. This will need to be looked at by a micro-solderer. If the water damage is extensive, it may not be worthwhile to fix the phone but if the damage is minor and/or localized, it should be fixable.

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