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Growing number of iPhone 6, 6 Plus phones rendered inoperable by "Touch disease" hardware flaw

By midian182
Aug 24, 2016
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  1. A growing number of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users are reporting a manufacturing issue that results in a flickering gray bar at the top of the phones' display and an unresponsive touch screen, leaving the devices inoperable.

    The problem, which is being called “Touch disease,” isn’t some new software issue; it’s a hardware problem that’s related to Bendgate. For those who don’t know, this was the name given to the phenomenon where the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus unintentionally bent while performing ordinary tasks such as being carried in a pocket – an issue Apple fixed in the next generation of iPhones.

    “But the fact remains—compared to earlier iPhone models, the iPhone 6/6+ is kind of a ‘bendy’ phone. Its slim form factor and larger surface area subject the logic board within the phone to mechanical flexion pressure that no other iPhone has had to deal with,” said microsoldering repair specialist Jessa Jones.

    It’s this bendability that causes the touch controller chip’s soldering to eventually crack and start to lose contact with the board; a problem that's made worse through dropping and rough handling.

    “At first, there may be no defect at all. Later you might notice that the screen is sometimes unresponsive, but it is quick to come back with a hard reset,” Jessa explains. “As the crack deepens into a full separation of the chip-board bond, the periods of no touch function become more frequent.”

    Despite numerous complaints on Apple’s support forums, the company doesn’t seem to be doing anything about Touch disease and has yet to acknowledge it officially. One user claims an Apple tech told him his only option was to buy a new phone, as the old one was out of warranty.

    “This issue is widespread enough that I feel like almost every iPhone 6 or 6 Plus has a touch of it (no pun intended) and are like ticking bombs just waiting to act up,” Jason Villmer, owner of repair shop STS Telecom, told iFixit.

    Jones said the only permanent fix to the problem is to buy a new phone or replace the affected device's logic board – both expensive options. Alternatively, you could find someone who can replace both touchscreen integrated circuits on the board, which should be cheaper.

    Check out the full iFixit interview with Jones in the video below.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Maniac Posts: 399   +207

    I laugh
     
    psycros and stewi0001 like this.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,491   +2,043

    That Apple tech is right, iSheep seen to have a lot of money to waste on on junk so they might as well just buy a new device. I would, and it wouldn't be Apple.
     
  4. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Addict Posts: 227   +88

    Ifixit knows more about the iphone6+ than Apple.
     
    wastedkill, psycros and Evernessince like this.
  5. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 930   +354

    LOL, nothing beats those expensive iphones
     
  6. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,323   +710

    Sadly, the biggest selling flagship devices are mostly junk these days. Samsung Galaxy phones are nearly irreparable and have short lifespans compared to other brands. iPhones have stupid design flaws for the sake of allowing them to double as salami slicers. The industry needs to stop building fragile, hard-to-use toys and get back to making phones with high levels of usability, toughness, reception and run time. Give me a new Motorola Q, for God's sake!
     
  7. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 863   +276

    I have an iPhone 6+.... about a year ago, I *****ically dropped it when exiting my car (I blame my wife - she distracted me!), and broke the screen... I went to Apple and they said it would cost about 500-600 to replace the screen...

    I said no thanks, went to a 3rd party "fixer" and got it replaced for about $150...

    I was all happy... but around 4 months later (I know this because the fixer's repair warranty was 3 months) my iPhone started to have random bouts of unresponsiveness... I figured it was because the fixer wasn't as skilled as Apple, and my $400 savings was worth it...

    Last month, however, the iPhone started randomly "touching itself", opening apps, dialing random people, etc... I went to Apple this time, and they said they would replace the screen - for $150!!

    I was overjoyed - my iPhone works perfectly again... for now....

    I'm wondering now if the reason Apple's repair rate went down is because they ARE aware of this issue... Anyone tried Apple repair recently?
     
  8. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah TS Rookie


    Great input. I think I should look into this because recently.. I am having issues with my phone "touching" itself.... I have an iPhone 6.

    However, I wonder if replacing the IC board is even needed. In the past I have had GPUs fail and by removing all components and baking them in the oven at 200 degrees for 9 min would soften the solder joints enough to re-affix the RAM to the PCB board. I wonder if the same applies to the mainboard on the iPhone..... I can't see why the IC boar needs to be replaced if it's the solder joints that broke.

    Though I love the idea of adding a piece to the back of the phone.
     

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