I recently had the button of my iphone break and yet I did nothing that i had ever done with my other iphones. a phone repairer told me that it is common and Apple refuses to fix them. If its a common ailment of iphones or (iphone SE) shouldn’t they have a recall?
Possibly not, unless it impacts on almost all iPhones.
If it is a common fault and within the time that a reasonable person would expect the phone to last fault free, it is most likely a manufacturing or quality issue which is the responsibility of Apple. As such, under the ACL, it could be seen as a minor fault or a button which isn’t fit for purpose. As a result if the phone fault would be fall under the consumer guarantee under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and Apple could be responsible for a remedy under the Australian Consumer Law.
It is worth noting that Apple has been known in the past to side step consumer rights under the ACL trying to push responsibility back to the consumer. I suggest that you pursue Apple under the ACL to seek reimbursement for the repair, if the phone fault is within the time a reasonable person would expect it to last. If it a common fault, which you can provide evidence such as online information or a statement from the repairer, it will support your claim for reimbursement.
I’m on my tenth iPhone, and only once had the home button get a bit dodgy, on a 3GS after a very long time of use - it was about 3 years. Outside the warranty period, they charged me an amount (which I have forgotten - maybe $150 or so) for a replacement phone. Not sure its all that common.
It should not matter as @phb points out whether it is common or uncommon.
Considering how I’m only on my second iPhone over 9 years, my partner on her only, and we’ve had 3 iPads in that time. All have/had a button, and none have had issues. Evidence in our eyes the Apple bottom of screen button should last many years. Given Apple maintain software updates for at least 6 years, perhaps that is the reasonable serviceable life of an iPhone - in Apple’s estimate. Parts support appears to be 7 years from date of last manufacture.
It’s possible to purchase a new iPhone on a 3 year plan with some of the mobile Telcos, which might set the lower end of the ‘reasonable’ bar.
I have had my 6s since not long after they came out. No problem with the button.
There may be some buttons which are not as sturdy as others, but the longevity depends on many factors such as how hard the button is pressed, how much use the button gets, how the phone is treated in general (is it in a cover which protects the front screen), where it is stored, etc. Obviously if the phone has a rough life the components will deteriorate faster. The repairers will be getting those phones which have a harder life.
The number of phones I see shoved into peoples back (or side) tight pockets, into the tops of bras, or dumped uncovered into womens’ handbags staggers me. Then they are surprised when they have failures of the hardware.
If your phone has been treated with care, and stored properly, you should expect a long life from the button and other components.
Its just occurred to me that the SE (1st Gen) and 6/6S series were the last of the actual physical buttons. Theres a round touch thing that looks like the original home button on the 7/8/SE(2nd gen) but they arent physical with movable parts. I’d forgotten about that. And of course now, theres just a swipe and I still have trouble with that.
 Out of curiosity I checked Mactracker which is an app which tracks all Macs but also ipads, iphone, ipods etc… the SE is still “supported” which means it still gets system updates. It may also be eligible for Apple repairs… but those are horrendously expensive. It would be worth taking it to Apple (or at least having a chat on the apple Australia site) to find out what the true situation is. Going to a third party repairer in the first instance is probably not the best thing to have done. If he actually did work o the phone, Apple wont touch it, but if he only looked at it without opening it… you might still get some joy, if only to be told its not fixable and you’ll have to pay $439 for another like it.
Or, you could try the isopropyl alcohol trick to “unstick” the button.
I thought it was an actual button also so I tried lifting it as I thought it was stuck, much to my surprise moving my nail around the outside of the fake button caused a hairline crack.
If this caused the button to fail, this would be classed as misuse and not covered by warranty/consumer guarantee.
Or a design fault if it is a likely to happen failure because of poor design to take what might be termed light pressure that could easily be exerted in normal use, eg when cleaning around the button or it’s now electronic facsimile or pressure from a coin resting on it while in the pocket…
If the evidence online supports many failures then this may need to be tested in legal ways to ascertain who is responsible.
Which model of SE?
The 1st series, 4” screen 2016-18 or 2nd series, 4.7” screen 2020? Is there a photo of the crack available?
The first has a physical button. The second a fake button, sensor with haptic feedback, IE a pressure sensor under the round shape of the button and a transducer that provides a tap like response? If you press on the button using only the end of your nail you will feel the first model move and click. The second version does not move and will not respond to light pressure from your nail. It needs light pressure from the pad of your finger. My iPad has a physical button and outer edge hairline evident. The iPhone an 8 has none as it has the pressure sensing haptic feedback button.
Obviously the repair options/needs are different. The latest models are notoriously difficult to disassemble. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone_SE_(2nd_generation)
Incidentally every other iPhone since the 7 introduced in 2016 has the haptic feedback sensor button, or none on the latest. There are various online comments re the outer layer of the sensor (button) on several models developing a surface crack and failing to function.
I’ve had my current IPhone SE for 5 years and have had no problems.
And it does get a lot of use, as I check up on the Forum a lot
Nor did I have any problems, during 3 years, with the SE I lost.