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Scary iPhone design flaw causes some phones to catch ‘Touch Disease’

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users are being plagued by a new problem called Touch Disease


John-Michael Bond


Posted on Aug 24, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 4:57 am CDT

When the iPhone 6 Plus was released in 2014 a minor scandal came with it in the form of Bendgate. Users discovered the larger iPhone would occasionally bend when left in their front pocket, a frustrating development for a premium priced device. Now the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus has another controversy brewing. 

A design defect is causing a grey flickering bar to appear at the top of the device and preventing the screen from registering touches. Repair techs have dubbed the problem Touch Disease, and iPhone 6 Plus owners should check their warranty.

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The mobile phone rescuers at iFixIt have been able to identify the cause of the problem, and as long as your phone is still under warranty or AppleCare you should be alright. Touch Disease interestingly isn’t caused by a problem with the screen itself, it’s a problem with the touchscreen’s controller chips. Specifically, the Touch IC chips located on the phone’s logic board.

When these chips are damaged or loosened the phone can no longer register your finger presses. A temporary fix can be tried by pressing down at the top of the screen where the bar is, reconnecting the chip, but this is a short term fix that leaves you holding a still broken phone. If your phone is under warranty, Apple will replace it, but for the rest the options are a little more expensive.

You can go to Apple directly and pay for a replacement, but iFixIt suggests looking for an electronics repair shop tht offers board-level repairs. Fixing the issue requires someone who can do microsoldering, so make sure you do your research when picking a repair shop. Thankfully 6s and 6s Plus owners aren’t falling victim to this defect thanks to a filling under the chip on this models that helps keep it from breaking from of its soldering.

Head over to IFixIt for a full breakdown of the Touch Disease issue.

H/T IFixIt

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*First Published: Aug 24, 2016, 5:50 am CDT