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I've noticed that when I tap near the top of the back of my iPhone 4S, there is a audible rattling noise. I've tried this on someone else's iPhone 4, and it is the same. It seems to be coming from the area around the rear-facing camera lens and flash. Does anyone know the part responsible for this, and it it normal or should I investigate having it repaired?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's actually the sleep/wake button that rattles. It's pretty normal, and pretty easy to get used to. You can go to the Genius Bar if you like, but they may write it off as normal behavior and not replace your phone for you. Even if they do, there is no guarantee that the new one won't do it too. If it does, they are not allowed to continue switching out phones for you until you're happy (it's specifically stated in internal Apple policy guides).

My recommendation is to deal with it and maybe think of it as a pleasant melody.

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Yep, Matt's bang on. On my iPhone 4, it was barely audible. On my 4S, it is quite loud. I took it in and they replaced it, but it really isn't any stiffer (though a bit better). The Genius on hand said it was a "one time" cosmetic replacement, though they tend to say such things sometimes to make you feel special ;) – user10355 Mar 20 '12 at 1:09

I noticed the exact same thing when I got my iPhone. At first it concerned me but then I noticed that the other 2 or 3 brand new iPhone 4S's that I tried had the same sound. It also happens on iPhone 4's (the one's that I tried). I'm guessing it is the vibrator (this post has more info on the problem).

While I don't know that for a fact, because everyone else's (that I've tried) iPhones that I've tapped like that have the same sound, you are probably OK. Just to be safe, you couldn't go wrong with scheduling a Genius Bar appointment and seeing what they think. It could be something different then what I've experienced.

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