Common design defect said to cause failure in many iPhone 6 Plus units

“People all over the world mail their broken iPhones to microsoldering specialist Jessa Jones. Aided by powerful microscopes and precision soldering irons, experts like Jessa pluck tiny chips off logic boards, swap them for new ones, and resurrect devices over which Apple’s Genius Bar would say a eulogy,” Julia Bluff writes for iFixIt. “Jessa can fix practically anything. But these days, she spends most of her time fixing just one thing. Because every single month, more and more iPhone 6 and (especially) 6 Plus devices show up at her shop, iPad Rehab, with the same problem: a gray, flickering bar at the top of the display and an unresponsive touchscreen.”

“Turns out, Jessa’s not alone. Lots of repair pros are experiencing the same influx of faulty iPhones—most with flickering gray bars and all with glitchy touch functionality,” Bluff writes. “Rami Odeh, a repair tech from New Orleans, sees up to 100 iPhone 6 and 6 Pluses a month that don’t respond well to touch. About half of the repairs sent to Michael Huie—the specialist behind Microsoldering.com—show symptoms of the same problem.”

“Of course, there’s no way to tell exactly how many phones are afflicted with what we’re calling Touch Disease, but every repair tech we spoke to told us that the problem is incredibly common,” Bluff writes. “Replacing the touchscreen doesn’t fix the problem. The gray bar eventually shows up on the new screen, too. Because, according to repair pros, the problem isn’t the screen at all. It’s the two touchscreen controller chips, or Touch IC chips, on the logic board inside the phone.”

“One microsoldering pro I spoke to speculated that the U2402 Meson chip—one of the two Touch IC chips on the board—has a manufacturing defect,” Bluff writes. “But the most popular theory I heard is that Touch Disease is the unanticipated, long-term consequence of a structural design flaw: Bendgate.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Do you have, or have you had, that gray, flickering bar at the top of your iPhone 6 Plus’ display and an unresponsive touchscreen? We did not see that issue, but we moved to iPhone 6s Plus units on Day One (plus we baby our iPhones and treat them like the valuable pocket computers they are).

If so, do/did you every tend to keep your iPhone is a pocket where bendable force could be applied to it?

SEE ALSO:
New iPhone 6s bend test reveals super-strong aluminum shell – August 19, 2015
Analyst: Apple’s ‘iPhone 6s’ to feature stronger 7000 series aluminum, slightly thicker for Force Touch – June 17, 2015
Next-Gen iPhones could adopt Apple Watch Sport’s 7000 Series Aluminum Alloy – April 16, 2015

20 Comments

  1. Just had this issue two weeks ago. Exact issue as described. iPhone6 Plus. I took my phone in to get the screen repaired and it only worked for 6 hours before the same issue appear.

    I ended up getting a newer 6s Plus. I wish I could have waited for the new iPhones to be released but I had to have a phone to use.

    1. and yes, I kept my phone in the back pocket which caused it to bend a little bit. When the issue first started I noticed if I tried twisting the phone it would fix the display and touch issue. For a few weeks I managed to keep my phone operational by flipping the way my phone was put into my back pocket bending it back in place. Eventually it gave out and no amount of bending it would make my phone work.

  2. Happened to my partner’s 6+ a month ago. Immediately took it to an Apple (store). Effect did not occur while speaking with a genius, but when described the gray bar and touch issues… he checked for damage then immediately went to the back to swap it out …no questions asked. Obviously a well known issue. In and out in 20 minutes.

  3. I recently got a brand new (or maybe refurbished) iPhone 6 Plus due to a warranty issue. The ‘new’ iPhone had this touch issue right from the start. I don’t carry the phone in my back pocket.

  4. My original iPhone 6+ had that issue after about a month. The replacement had that issue after only two days. I could flex the screen and make the grey bar go away and return (temporary) functionality on both phones. I started to think it was the Survivor case that I was using for both phones. The original was good for the three weeks it took me to settle on a case, and it was corrupt within two days. The replacement went straight into the case and was bad within a day. I didn’t put the third one into that case. I think the bending and twisting required to squeeze the phones into that case was causing my issues.

  5. My 6 Plus has been running like a champ for almost 2 years. I play resource intense games, surf the web, use live video apps, etc. all day long on the thing. I’ve also banged it hard a few times on the side of a shelf and dropped it once without a case. The device runs like new with zero hardware issues.

  6. Wish I read this 2 weeks ago. My dad had one like this. Apple said his warranty was up and it would cost hundreds to fix, AT&T said basically the same thing and to try a third party company. We said screw it and I just got him a brand new iPhone SE instead and we shipped his old one off to Gazelle as a broken unit. If this is this widespread then Apple should be fixing it for free. Ridiculous.

    1. You have documentation. So do they. Go back and talk to a manager. They will hook you up. If they don’t, call apple..be nice but don’t back down (you have nothing to lose), and you’ll get a new phone or apple credit.

  7. Front pocket, started seeng this problem a few months ago. The articles I’ve seen indicated that “improper backfill” behind the chip is the culprit — that Apple did not take into account the increased flex of the larger design. It’s going to cost me $150 to get it repaired. Also, if you go on the public boards you will see a lot of feedback that Apple is removing these discussions from their treads. Not a great situation.

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