Camera sound on foreign iPhones in Korea

iPhone camera app entering silent mode
The silent switch does nothing to silence the camera

If you buy a phone with camera function in Korea, you'll notice that taking a photo will produce a shutter sound even if you set the phone to vibrate or silent mode. This is because of a government recommendation set in 2004 to have phones always make a sound louder than 65dB when a photo is taken, to curb spy shots and boost privacy.

iPhones are no exception, and if you buy one in Korea, the silent mode switch does nothing to, uh, silence the shutter sound. This is interesting because iPhones are generally not differentiated except for slight variation in CDMA or LTE support.

(ADDENDUM: The situation seems to be the same for the iPhones bought in Japan or the Philippines.)

The question, then, would be if this shutter sound is controlled on a carrier / region basis or device basis. If it's controlled by detecting what carrier or region it's being used, then taking the phone outside Korea would silence the shutter sound. If it's preconfigured on the device, whether or not the sound will persist would depend on where you originally bought it from. So which is it?

Since I've both used an SK Telecom iPhone 4S on AT&T and am currently using an AT&T iPhone 5S on SK Telecom, I can confidently answer this question. It's on a device basis. The 4S kept making shutter sounds when it was in the United States. The 5S isn't making any shutter sounds here in Korea.

So if you're an expatriate concerned about this or just don't want to deal with shutter sounds without hassle, get an unlocked iPhone outside of Korea. It isn't illegal to use one in Korea anyway, because the deal is currently not obligated by law.
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Wesley's Tool-Box on : Disable camera shutter sound on iOS 10.0.1

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Select AssistiveTouch as Accessibility Shortcut (left), then leave "Mute" as its only top level menu (right) iPhones and iPads bought (or intended to be sold) in either Korea or Japan has the camera shutter sound forcibly turned on at maximum volume no m

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jose on :

Hey so I just got my iPhone replaced by Apple Care.. and I didnt realize theyd switch my phone to a Korean one (I'm from Canada) so now im stuck with the shutter sound..
Is there any way to turn this sound off overseas? For example, go to an Apple Store overseas and ask them about it? Or go to some repair shop (non-Apple run kinda thing) and have them disable the shutter sound?

Wesley on :

That sounds very unfortunate. The sound is enabled on a per-device basis using the region code embedded, so unless you get the device replaced outside of Korea, there's no way to turn it off without jailbreaking unless the authorized Apple Care service center has some non-Korean version in stock, which I doubt.

Bulhan daud on :

I can not make the camera sound off my iphone which is korean made
So please may you help me a free app that changes this problem

May any body can help me any link to solve korean iphone 6 pluss camera sound off โ€œthis problem โ€

Wesley on :

You might want to try an app like https://itunes.apple.com/kr/app/%EB%A7%A4%EC%9D%BC-%EC%A1%B0%EC%9A%A9%ED%95%9C-%EC%B9%B4%EB%A9%94%EB%9D%BC/id1227687362?mt=8 that can shoot photos without sound. Alternately, using Live Photo function should cut down the shutter sound.

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