Apple’s touchscreen technology changed the smartphone and tablet world but with the new iPhone’s touch disease taking its toll on plenty of iPhone users- mostly iPhone 6 and 6 Plus-, the design flaws are killing the devices more quickly than one would expect. It is understandable if your smartphone falls off the table and loses its touchscreen but the disease simply kills the touchscreen.
The “Touch Disease” is an iPhone 6 and 6 Plus condition that affects the phone’s TouchID sensor and the screen. This problem is caused by the method Apple uses to attach touchscreen control chips to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus motherboard. The absence of a critical layer of material meant to strengthen and stabilize the touchscreen ICs (integrated circuits) makes it become loose if the device is bent or stressed.
As detailed by iFixit.org , a group which calls itself “free repair manual”, the problem is evident when a flickering gray bar appears at the top of the screen and touch functionality becomes faulty. The issue appears to be fairly common and new research from Apple Insider put some formal numbers on the problem — and it’s not good news for Apple.
“Touch Disease” Hits New High
Apple Insider obtained information from four high-traffic Apple Stores over a period of six days — three days before the problem was reported in the general media and three days after.
Prior to any media reports on the issue, four stores with a total of 2,804 appointments fielded 1,512 appointments related to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (547 and 965 devices respectively). 47 of the iPhone 6’s and 265 of the iPhone 6 Plus devices had a problem, constituting 8.5% and 27.5% of these devices, respectively.
Once media reports began to cover the issue, the number of diagnoses surged. In the next few days, 3039 customers came in for assistance, including 1,659 customers with either an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus (564 and 1094 devices respectively). 66 of the iPhones and 409 of the iPhone Plus’ were found to have ‘touch disease,’ representing 11.7% and 37.4% of the devices presented for examination.
Now, this initial surge in traffic following media coverage is expected. It doesn’t mean device failure rates have suddenly surged, it means more customers became aware of the problem and took their hardware in. But the rate of failure is troubling and outpaces all other known issues for the devices (iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are unaffected, though it’s not clear if this is because not enough time has passed since launch).
Apple’s Response to “Touch Disease”
Apple isn’t just aware of the problem, they’ve been aware of it for months — and they couldn’t care less. It took Apple six months to issue formal guidance on how to solve the problem and Apple’s solution is that customers should buy a new iPhone or exchange their own devices. Since the devices Apple offers for exchange are actually refurbs, the problem has been cropping up again for some customers.
The report that the yet-to-be-released iPhone 7, 7 plus, and controversial iPhone 7 pro been “live” for pre-order in Dubai was not responded to either. It seems they are pretty busy preparing for iPhone 7 launch which has been confirmed to take place exactly a week from today.
How to Fix iPhone’s “Touch Disease”
If you have been considering taking your infected iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to Apple’s repair Geniuses, don’t bother because they aren’t equipped to make specialized repairs to the logic board in-house, so they can’t actually fix Touch Disease.
Your best bet is on skilled, third-party micro soldering specialists (most “unauthorized” to do Apple repairs, according to official company policy) can fix phones with symptoms of Touch Disease. And they can do it a whole lot cheaper than the cost of a new logic board or an out-of-warranty phone replacement. Which is precisely why so many of these damaged iPhones are finding their way into repair shops around the world.
Also, to prevent Touch Disease, you should use a case for your phone, and prevent any bending. For many users, that might be too late, but not really… you can join the iPhone ‘touch disease’ class action lawsuit against Apple.
iPhone ‘Touch Disease’ Lawsuit
If all else fails or you simply are fed up with the way apple is handling this “disease” spread, you can join the iPhone ‘touch disease’ class action lawsuit against Apple and here is how.
McCuneWright, a California law firm filed a class action lawsuit against Apple, requesting the company fix the affected devices.
The lawsuit, according to CBSnews, which was filed Saturday in the U.S. District Court for Northern California, accuses Apple of concealing the alleged defect. Three of the plaintiffs named in the case claim they contacted the company after their phones started experiencing problems and were told that Apple wouldn’t cover the repairs. Instead, they say they were told they needed to each spend more than $300 to buy a replacement iPhone.
“Many other iPhone owners have communicated with Apple’s employees and agents to request that Apple remedy and/or address the Touchscreen Defect and/or resultant damage at no expense,” the lawsuit claims.
“Apple has failed and/or refused to do so.”
Apple didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
BGR reports that the suit is opened to other parties, which means that if you have an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 6 Plus that has been affected by touch disease, you can join the fight to get Apple to pay for repairs.
All that you need to do is head to McCuneWright’s website and enter all the relevant information into the form, or simply call the firm at 909-572-8019 and tell them that your phone’s display has been affected by Touch Disease.