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How should one physically modify the hardware connection inside the hardware in order to make the analog hardware switch, already in place for switching from ring to silent and vice versa, could also switch on and off (by physical disconnection) the cameras, microphones and GPS radio?

It would be a huge security enhancement for the iPhone!

Is it possible and has anyone ever done it?

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Is it possible and has anyone ever done it?

Technically, it's possible. The better question and resulting answer would be: "Is it feasible." That would be a definitive no.

The switch isn't directly connected to to the speaker circuitry. It's connected to a chip that's "watches" for input on some particular pins to go high (positive voltage detected) or low (no/negative voltage). The firmware detects this and "interfaces" with the software (iOS) to do something like disable the speakers.

So, could the software do something else like turn it into Airplane mode? Sure. You'd have to jailbreak the phone to do so.

...could also switch on and off (by physical disconnection) the cameras, microphones and GPS radio

Again yes, but it's not entirely feasible. This would be more difficult because you'd have to "create" the electrical pathways (traces) by which the main chip could tell another chip or a relay or whatever to engage a transistor (an electrical switch) to (dis)connect the connection to the peripheral. Plus, you'd have to modify the software as described above.

Has anyone done it?

My cursory search of the Internet says no. Possibly because of the obstacles involved. If someone has done it, it's likely in a "bodged" together state not ready for general consumption.

It would be a huge security enhancement for the iPhone!

You're probably right. The best thing to do is to let Apple know at https://www.apple.com/feedback/iphone.html

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  • Thank you for your answer! How hard do you think it would be to disconnect the power "cable" of each component (mic, camera, etc) and connect it in such a way that the analog switch would be placed in between the power "cable" of each of the relevant components, so that the switch actually would turn on/off the power of those components (instead of telling another chip to do it)? I believe (but I may be wrong) it's more a matter of space inside the phone to put those new paths, that determines the overall feasibility. What do you think? – Andrea Apr 19 at 18:12
  • Hard - next to impossible since there are no cables inside your iPhone. They are traces on a PCB. You'd need PCB ribbon cable to remain flat, but it's not as flexible as regular cable. I'm not saying it's impossible, it'll be a time suck to retro fit this into an existing phone. You're better of designing a new PCB. – Allan Apr 19 at 18:23
  • Plus, you'd have to integrate the components to do what you want - there's no switch (transistor) connected to the camera to physically disconnect it. Where would you put it? – Allan Apr 19 at 18:24
  • You'd have to locate the energy cable of each component, find a way to phisically disconnect/cut it (I think this is the hardest part) and make a new path up to one of the pin of the analog swith; then add a "cable" that goes from the other pin of the analog swith up to the battery. This way, when the analog swith is off, the power doesn't get to the components; and when the switch is on, the compoenents would get power and start working again. – Andrea Apr 19 at 19:07

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