iFixit released a report which shares a rather interesting and apparently common issue with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus’ displays. In the article, the repair guide notes an issue where the screens become unresponsive because the chipset which controls the displays stops working properly and therefore make the devices basically useless. This problem is commonly accompanied by a gray, flickering bar at the top of the device.
Dubbed ‘Touch Disease’, this issue is apparently very common amongst iPhone 6 and especially 6 Plus users. At the moment, it doesn’t seem like any other iPhone model is affected by the bug, however the issue is very widespread with iFixit noting that various customers have sent their phones to them for repair of the same exact problem. Apple Stores all over the country (and probably world) have also been greeted with this problem, however since Apple doesn’t recognize this as an issue worth fixing, Geniuses in the Stores say they can’t really do anything.
One customer who has had conversations in Apple’s forums alongside their retail locations with Genius Bar employees shared his/her experience in iFixit’s blog post as seen below.
“I took [my phone] to the ‘Geniuses’ at Apple Store in Westfield Valley Fair mall (Santa Clara, CA),” one iPhone 6 Plus owner wrote on Apple’s support forum. “After a very long wait (~2 hrs) I finally met with a rep. He acknowledged the problem (he was very familiar with it), but said Apple doesn’t recognize it as an issue, and so there is not much he can do.” Another iPhone 6 Plus owner was apparently told by an Apple employee that people come in with this issue “several times per day.” “After talking to a tech, I got exactly what I expected ‘You’re out of warranty and you’re [sic] only option is to buy a new phone,” the user wrote.
Luckily, iFixit believes that they have a solution for Touch Disease, however they can’t guarantee it’ll work.
In order to ensure that Touch Disease is actually cured, some repair shops have been experimenting with ways to keep the logic board from flexing. After a Touch IC repair, iPad Rehab, for example, has been adding a strong metal shield over the top of the chips as an internal reinforcement. “We have found that placing our own mod—a metal shield soldered over the sticker shield—seems to protect the phone from future recurrence of the problem….”
This operation has been performed on quite a few devices, and it seems to have worked so far. Again, iFixit can’t guarantee anything here, but at least they have something for the mean time.
Jason Villmer, owner of STS Telecom – a board repair shop in Missouri – believes that Touch Disease is so widespread, every iPhone 6/Plus unit must have at least a touch of the bug.
“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,” says Jason Villmer, owner of STS Telecom—a board repair shop in Missouri.
We’ve reached out to Apple about this issue, however haven’t gotten a response back yet. We’ll update this article when we do gain new information, however.
For more information on this widespread issue, head over to iFixit’s blog.