The iPhone is a great device, but a growing number of users are reporting a problem that affects the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Nicknamed “Touch Disease” by repair specialists iFixit, the problem starts with a flickering gray bar at the top of the screen and reduced touch functionality. Over time the bar spreads and eventually the whole screen stops responding to touch.
iFixit spoke to several repair professionals who confirmed they had seen numerous devices exhibiting the same flaw.
It isn’t known how many of the millions of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices are affected, but Jason Villmer, owner of Missouri board repair shop STS Telecom told iFixit “This issue is widespread enough that I feel like almost every iPhone 6/6+ has a touch of it (no pun intended) and are like ticking bombs just waiting to act up”.
There are pages of complaints regarding the issue to be found on Apple’s support forums.
Replacing the screen doesn’t fix the problem as the flaw appears to relate to the touchscreen controller chips inside the device.
So what’s the cause of the problem and why is it coming to light now, two years after the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launched? One theory is it relates to Bendgate. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are susceptible to bending (a problem fixed in the 6s and 6s Plus), and this could be what is causing the controller chips to lose contact. The problem seems to affect the iPhone 6 Plus mostly, and that was also the phone hardest hit by the bending issue.
The 6s and 6s Plus were strengthened, and the Touch IC chips moved from the logic board to the display assembly, which is why the problem doesn’t affect them.
So how do you fix a device afflicted with “Touch Disease”? The options appear to be replacing the phone, replacing the logic board, or replacing both Touch ICs (the cheapest option).
Have you experienced this problem with an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus?