Warning: this is going to be a long answer, to cater for the different known causes of iPhone 7/7+ being stuck at the Apple. Although extensive, we do not claim it to be exhaustive as there may be other causes that we've not come across.
So.. we've seen many iPhone 7 devices stuck on the Apple and unable to complete the boot process completely.
For those immediately advocating a board repair: you are jumping to conclusions and it is a simplistic and dangerous practice as it may result in doing unecessary repairs or on the contrary not enough, and loosing data.
About the iPhone 7/7+ and why this could be happening: it is a very "prissy" device and many hardware failures and software bugs can send it into an endless boot-loop sequence or cause it to get stuck at the Apple. There are some steps that can help narrow it down a bit. First, connect the iPhone to your computer and start iTunes.
- The iPhone does not communicate with iTunes: you can skip trying to update it and even restoring it. It is probably a hardware level failure. Still, if you don't need the data or are confident you have a back-up, you can try a restore. If a restore fails, you can skip to the end of this answer.
- The iPhone can communicate with iTunes; you can see a prompt saying "unlock or enter password or trust" and you can possibly hear notifications or feel it vibrate, but it is still stuck at the Apple. In this case, you can attempt a software update:
- Turn the iPhone off by pressing "power button" + "volume down button" until the screen is black.
- Wait 3-4 seconds after it shuts off, release both buttons. The phone should stay off.
- Now press and hold "volume down" button and connect to the computer using your lightning-to-USB cable. The phone will start, then show "connect to iTunes" and a prompt in iTunes will appear, with a choice to "restore" or "update."
- Click on "update" if you want to keep your data. You can attempt "restore" if data is not important but beware that in this case there is no going back and getting data from your device.
- After you choose update or restore, leave it connected. iTunes will download the latest software version which can take a few minutes to a several hours depending on the speed of your Internet connection. Then iTunes will update (or restore if you chose this option and don't want data) your device. Once done, the device will either go back to working normally or remain stuck at the Apple. If you attempted an update, not a restore, and failed to fix your device, you either have a software corruption that only a restore will repair, or a hardware failure.
- If the iPhone does not remain off after Step 2, you can release the power button, keep holding the volume down button, and immediately plug the cable into the computer before the iPhone had had a chance to restart. Then follow Step 3.
If you have communication with iTunes, data not important, and an update failed, you can repeat the above but choose "restore" instead of "update."
If data is important but not highly critical, you need to take it to a knowledgeable repair tech. They can:
- Try a known good original home button (this will allow the iPhone to function normally but without home button and Touch ID) - this is a common cause for this type of failure;
- Try a known good front camera (possible but not a likely cause);
- Even try a known good screen;
- Test power consumption and data transfer from wall charger AND computer;
- Replace audio Codec IC while repairing the weak traces. NOT reflowing that lC like in the video. This is not a permanent fix or not a fix at all if the trace is broken; and the failure can show up again in most cases. Which will require the repetition of the step. Constant repetitions can then cause the board to fail or develop other issues.
#Finally, if data is VERY critical, do not attempt any of the above. Send it to someone specialized in data recovery. What a good tech does to save a phone does not necessarily apply to saving data. Another way of approaching this problem may be necessary.
And I don't mean HDD data recovery specialists. They may be good at recovering data from dead HDDs, but not from dead or failing iOS devices. We've had our share getting data from iPhones and iPads after some of those "HDD specialists" failed in their attempt, and in two cases maiming the iPhone board beyond repair.