All she needed to do was to turn up the volume on some music or other audio, and the speaker started to spit out crackles and static sounds. It seemed confined to the top speaker, and it sounded like the speaker was falling apart.
The owner was planning to take the iPhone 15 back to Apple to take a look at it, but since I'd come across mention of this bug online, and replacement handsets seem to display the same issue, I was curious as to where this would go.
Would the replacement fix the issue, or would it display the same issue?
Well, here we are, a few days on, and the owner got in touch with me to say that she'd gone back to the store where she bought the iPhone -- an Apple Store, as opposed to one of the many carriers -- and after some brief diagnostics where the tech "played some music on the iPhone" and "connected it to a computer for testing," she was offered a replacement.
She took the replacement home, set it up, and… it did the same thing.
Now, I don't think that taking the iPhone back to Apple was a bad move. After all, if there is a problem, it's not going to get better by ignoring it. On top of that, the more people go back to Apple with this problem, the more likely it is to be fixed.
But if a replacement iPhone doesn't fix the issue, what next? Another replacement? Probably not.
I've come across this before. I remember similar reports from iPhone 8 and iPhone X owners back in the day -- a crackling top speaker at high volume, and a replacement handset either didn't fix the problem or only sort of fixed it.
Since those reports died away, I can only assume that this was fixed by an iOS update along the way.
The fact that replacement iPhones are also suffering from this problem either means that this is a widespread hardware problem or Apple needs to tune the speaker's output to prevent it.