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iPhone touchscreens failing at alarming rate, here’s one theory

by Brandon Russell | August 23, 2016August 23, 2016 12:30 pm EST

According to a report from iFixit, numerous repair pros, including Jessa Jones from iPad Rehab, have noticed an influx of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units afflicted by “glitchy touch functionality.” And the issue is apparently getting worse.

The devices suffering from the issue reportedly exhibit a “flickering bar at the top of the display and an unresponsive touchscreen,” according to iFixit’s report. One repair shop in New Orleans apparently sees up to 100 iPhones each week, all iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Pluses, that display the problem.

Some repair pros claim “almost every” iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus experiences the issue to a varying degree. iFixit embedded a video on its site showing what the issue looks like. And it’s not just these so-called repair pros who are noticing an uptick in faulty units. There are a number of complaints on Apple’s support forums describing a similar issue.

According to one user on Apple’s forums, Apple is aware there is a problem but apparently isn’t officially recognizing it as an issue. People reportedly visit Apple locations daily complaining about faulty touchscreen but the Cupertino company’s Genius employees don’t appear eager to replace or fix units. Probably because they can’t.

Apparently, the issue could involve several factors, including faulty touchscreen controller chips. What doesn’t seem to solve the problem is replacing the iPhone’s touchscreen, which might be why Apple stores are reportedly turning customers away without a fix.

iFixit explains it more in-depth:

These two chips translate your finger mashing on the display into information your phone can actually use. When the Touch IC chips go bad, you can jab, tap, and poke the screen all you want—your phone can’t correctly process the information. At least, not until the bum chips are replaced with new ones.

One theory surmises that Bendgate, an issue that arose shortly after the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus was released, might be responsible for the chips going bad. As these devices flex and bend, some of the internal components apparently can’t withstand the damage. As a result, the Touch IC chips wear out.

It doesn’t appear the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, which are more structurally sound compared to previous models, are effected by “Touch Disease,” as iFixit dubbed it. There’s reportedly no way to fix a faulty device beyond either getting a new device or going to a specialty shop to replace the offending parts. So, bad news: If your device is suffering from the issue as described above, you have very few options.

You can learn more about the issue over at iFixit. Has your device been stricken by Touch Disease?

iFixit

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.

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