The iPhone 6 Plus “Touch Disease”

At Phone Medics + PC, people come to us for help with lots of different problems with their phones. There are a few problems, though, that we see pretty regularly. One of them is the so-called “Touch Disease” that afflicts the iPhone 6 Plus.

In August of 2015, reports of an increasingly common problem with the iPhone 6 Plus began to hit the internet. Users were seeing a flickering gray bar at the top of their iPhone 6 Plus screens, and their screens were not responding to touch input. For some users, that meant that multi-touch features – like pinch-to-zoom – were not working. For others, their touchscreen stopped responding completely.

The problem was nicknamed the “touch disease” on the internet, and as with the infamous  “Bendgate” controversy, where the iPhone 6 Plus frame was bending in users’ pockets, the touch disease appeared to be a flaw in the design of the device. The two touch IC chips – the chips that control the touchscreen – were not sufficiently reinforced, so as the device bent or was dropped, the connections between the chips and the logic board could be weakened or broken, resulting in a touchscreen that is can be partially or intermittently responsive, or that can stop responding altogether.

Here at Phone Medics + PC, we typically encounter this problem in connection with our screen repair service. A customer brings in an iPhone 6 Plus for a screen replacement, and within a few hours to a few days, discovers the problem with their touchscreen. What this indicates is that the same incident that resulted in the broken screen also weakened or broke the connections between the touch IC chips and the logic board, a problem which can be difficult to detect visually and doesn’t always show up immediately after a screen replacement.

While Apple eventually acknowledged the problem with the iPhone 6 Plus, they didn’t admit that it was caused by a design flaw, blaming the issue instead on devices “being dropped multiple times on a hard surface.” They also offered to repair users’ phones within 5 years of the original retail sale date (so, realistically, until about 2021) for $149.

Unfortunately, Apple’s repair program comes with a few limitations. The biggest one is that the screen has to be intact, so if your phone has the touch disease as the result of a drop that also cracked the screen, you can’t take advantage of the program until your screen is fixed. Also, the program only applies to the iPhone 6 Plus, even though there have been a few incidents of the same problem afflicting the iPhone 6 as well. Finally, for those of us here in Brevard County, the nearest Apple Store is in Orlando, which is quite a long drive away.

That’s where Phone Medics + PC comes in. You can call us or bring your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus to our repair facility at 91 E. Merritt Island Causeway in Merritt Island and our experienced repair technicians can replace your broken screen and repair the solder on the touch IC chips, all while saving you the headache of Orlando traffic.