iPhone 12 Problems: 5 Things You Need to Know
An assortment of problems are plaguing iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max users.
iPhone 12 users are complaining about a wide variety of issues ranging from minor bugs to serious performance issues. And while some of these issues will likely be resolved by Apple and its partners, we will likely see more problems will popup as people put more wear and tear on their devices.
In the guide below, you can learn about the current state of iPhone 12 issues, potential fixes for these problems, places to find feedback, and what’s next from Apple in terms of iOS 16 updates.
Table of Contents
iPhone 12 Problems
Activation issues always plague iPhones so it comes as no surprise to learn that some new iPhone 12 owners have been dealing with them.
If you’re having issues activating your phone, check Apple’s System Status page. If you don’t see a green symbol next to iOS Device Activation, you’ll want to wait until it’s green and then try activating the phone again.
If it’s green and the process still isn’t working, make sure you have a SIM card inserted in your iPhone. If you’re receiving a “No Sim” or “Invalid SIM” error, you’ll want to head to this guide for assistance.
We’re also hearing about Face ID problems, issues with first and third-party applications, Exchange problems, iCloud issues, visual voicemail problems, SIM card issues, Bluetooth issues, issues with the screen, charging problems, Wi-Fi issues, sound problems, and excessive battery drain.
Owners of the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12, both of which employ a design with aluminum edges, are reportedly seeing discoloration on the chassis. A report from from Svetapple states that the color is fading on parts of the edges.
On top of that, iPhone 12 users are complaining about 5G/LTE issues. Some users are saying cellular service is dropping unexpectedly while on-the-go. Others are complaining that they aren’t seeing the 5G speeds they expected.
It’s important to note that 5G is a relatively new technology and coverage can be inconsistent. Some of the frustrations with slow 5G performance should resolve over time as carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile build out their 5G networks.
iPhone 12 Performance
If you’re thinking about buying an iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, or an iPhone 12 Pro Max, or if you already own one, you’ll want to monitor feedback from those who have adopted these devices. This feedback will alert you to potential issues with the hardware and software.
We recommend keeping an eye on YouTube, Apple’s discussion forums, social media sites like Twitter, and sites like the MacRumors forums for ongoing feedback about the phones.
We’ve also put together lists that run down the best reasons to, and not to, install the latest version of iOS 15 for the iPhone 12 series.
If you’re thinking about moving to Apple’s iOS 16 firmware, or if you’ve already made the move, take a look at our guide to the latest version of that software.
How to Fix iPhone 12 Problems
If you run into a problem, there’s no need to panic. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to avoid taking your new device into an Apple Store or your local carrier store for assistance.
First, take a look at our list of fixes for the most common iPhone 12 problems. It will take you through fixes for common issues like broken Bluetooth and busted Wi-Fi.
We’ve also released some tips to help you improve performance and a guide that could help you improve your phone’s battery life if you start noticing abnormal drain.
If you can’t find a fix for your issue(s) in our guides, you’ll want to check Apple’s discussion forums and see if someone has a fix for your problem(s).
If you can’t find anything there, it’s time to get in touch with Apple. You can do so via the company’s support account on Twitter. You can also get in contact with Apple Support via the company’s website.
If you’d rather explain your issue in person, you should take your phone into your local Apple Store and see if they can diagnose your problem. If you’ve got an Apple Store in your area, you’ll want to schedule a Genius Bar appointment.
Your iPhone 12 might still be under warranty so they might offer you a replacement if the problem is serious enough.
How to Downgrade iPhone 12’s Software
If you’re dealing with software problems on your iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, or iPhone 12 Pro Max, you can try downgrading to the previous version of iOS if the option is available. Right now, it’s not.
If you’re unfamiliar with the downgrade process our iOS downgrade guide will walk you through everything you need to know before you make the move.
What’s Next for the iPhone 12
If your device is struggling on iOS 16.3.1 or an older version of iOS, you’re on your own for the time being.
It’s unclear if iOS 15.7.1 will be the final version of iOS 15 for the iPhone 12. Apple’s latest version of iOS 15, iOS 15.7.3, isn’t available for the iPhone 12 series and Apple may not release anything new moving forward.
As for iOS 16, Apple’s confirmed a new iOS 16.4 update and the software is currently in beta testing ahead of a release later this year. We expect the official release date to land in either March or April.
If you can’t/don’t want to wait for the software’s official release, you might try downloading the iOS 16.4 beta and see if it helps resolve the issues you’re seeing on your phone.
For more about the iOS 16.4 update and the beta, have a look at our walkthrough. For more about the iOS 16.4 release date, check out our guide.
Install iOS 16.3.1 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing Apple's iOS 16.3.1 update on your iPhone right away.
The iOS 16.3.1 update has two security patches on board including one for an actively exploited vulnerability. This makes it a very important release. For more on the security contents of iOS 16.3.1, check out Apple's security page.
As for older software, iOS 16.3 brought 10+ new security patches with it and you can learn more about all of those right here.
In addition, the software came with support for physical security keys for Apple ID. These will beef up your account security by requiring a physical security key as part of the two factor authentication sign in process. Learn more about the change right here.
If you skipped iOS 16.2, you'll get its changes with iOS 16.3.1. iOS 16.2 brought a ton of important security patches with it and you can dig into the details on Apple's security site.
The update also brought end-to-end encryption to iCloud, iMessage, iPhone backups, Notes, Photos, and more. If you want to learn more about it, head over to Apple's guide.
If you decided to missed iOS 16.1.2, you'll get its solitary security patch with your upgrade. Learn more about it right here.
If you skipped iOS 16.1.1, you'll get its security patches when you upgrade. You can learn more about them right here.
If you missed the iOS 16.1 update, it brought 19 security patches to the iPhone and you can learn about the particulars of those over on Apple's website.
If you failed to download iOS 16.0.3, it had one security patch on board, a fix for a potential exploit within the Mail app. For more about the fix, check out Apple's security site.
If you're still running iOS 15 your iPhone, you'll get a bunch of other patches when you upgrade.
iOS 16.0 brought a ton of security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's security website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 16 brings some additional enhancements to privacy and security including Safety Check which, according to Apple, will help "people in domestic or intimate partner violence situations review and reset the access they’ve granted others."
The feature also resets system privacy permissions for apps and restricts Messages and FaceTime to the device on hand.
Apple's also made some improvements to Passkeys in Safari. iOS 16 brings a brand new sign-in method that's end-to-end encrypted and safe from phishing and data leaks.
11/30/2020 at 4:25 pm
Can’t connect to the App Store . . . anyone else ?
11/30/2020 at 4:33 pm
iPhone 12 Pro Max
I can’t get to “System Status”
Can’t get to the App Store.
How do I restart the setup ?
12/15/2020 at 2:00 pm
I have been plagued with problems from WIFI to dropped calls and screen problems. Verizon has been ridiculous to deal with. Probably have at least 20 plus hours invested with no viable solution.
12/27/2020 at 5:37 pm
Recently purchased iPhone 12. Cannot receive incoming calls. Any fix for that? Already went to local store downloaded a bug fix for software. Now going tomorrow to change SIM card. This is HORRIBLE
01/29/2021 at 1:00 pm
I have a new iPhone 12 Pro Max and so does my wife… I have had my phone replaced 2 times and they all have the same issue… when booting the phone from off, the Apple logo will flash for a split second at 100% brightness, then the screen goes black for 10 seconds and the apple logo then comes back at normal brightness and the phone boots up normally.. The apple forum has like 10 pages of people complaining of the same problem and some people have had there phone replace 4 or more times. Apple is aware of the problem which now seems to be happening to all new models of the iPhone 12 but they are doing nothing to address it. Still not sure if its a software problem or a manufacturing issue. Put the new release of of iOS 14.4 did not address this issue.
11/12/2021 at 5:00 am
I just ordered iphone12 5G upgrade replacements for my wife’s iphone7 and my iphone8 plus from my carrier at&t. This article is a bit scary. Has anyone got any recent experiences they would be able to share?