Apple accused of iPhone 6 ‘touch disease’ defect

“Apple has been accused of failing to address a ‘design flaw’ said to be causing many iPhone 6 and 6S handsets’ screens to flicker and become unresponsive to touch,” Leo Kelion reports for BBC News. “The repair specialist iFixit published a lengthy blog on Tuesday detailing the issue, and emailed its thousands of followers. It suggests the cause is two chips that it says are at risk of detaching from a circuit board over time.”

“One independent expert expressed caution about the claim, which has since been widely reported,” Kelion reports. “‘There doesn’t seem to be any quantification about precisely what percentage of iPhones have been affected, so it’s difficult to tell if this is a minor or major problem,’ Neil Mawston, from Strategy Analytics, told the BBC.”

“iFixit claims that ‘a tonne’ of iPhone 6 Plus handsets have experienced the problem – which it dubs ‘touch disease’ – as well as a smaller percentage of smaller iPhone 6 models. Both went on sale in 2014. ‘Every repair tech we spoke to told us that the problem is incredibly common,’ iFixit said,” Kelion reports. “But some of the commentators on its blog remained sceptical. ‘I personally cannot say I’ve ever seen this issue – and I work in a cellular retail location as the de facto tech on-site,’ wrote one user who did not provide their name. ‘I’m not saying the issue does not exist, only that it is likely not as extreme in its severity as described.'”

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?

Common design defect said to cause failure in many iPhone 6 Plus units – August 23, 2016
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


  1. Got the dreaded gray bar, then flickering. Then non-responsive touch / freezes on my ’05 6 Plus. Verizon replaced then replacement had
    same problem (!) This is for real.

    1. Correction to original post – 1st replacement from Verizon due to original 6 plus having cellular connectivity issues. Verizon’s replacement (overnighted – no charge) had gray bar / touch freezes. 2nd replacement (no charge again) has no issues for one week now.

  2. I’ve suffered this problem for some 6 months, now. It’s still in its leather case, never bent and only showing one small scratch near the microphone port. It doesn’t happen every day but when it does you have to sleep it and the reawaken. This may take several attempts. Sometimes it just goes berserk, calling people flashing across to web pages, all the time whilst just lying on the table. Not had the grey top bit that others have mentioned. It’s working fine today but was unusable yesterday.

    I’m going to get a 7 but hope Apple are going to fix this.

    1. Well yesterday the iPhone managed to keep working for me to post that comment. In the evening it just went berserk , opening apps, web pages and then the recorder, all whilst sat on the table with no hands near it! It’s doing it again today and why I’m having to post this on the iPad.

      Come on Apple do something!!!!

  3. If this is truly due to bending, then I think I should be okay, since I’ve kept my 6 in a hard Otter Box case since about a month after I bought it. I doubt the phone has ever bent that much in this hard shell.


  4. 3 out of 4 phones in my household have experienced this problem, leading to several swaps. I’ve never experienced this on previous hardware. I’ve heard of many other friends and acquaintances having this issue also.

  5. Its Real.

    I had my Iphone 6 Plus replaced by Apple in Sydney, in late June, after having the problem since November. It was intermittent at first. Once and day then, once or twice a week. By May it was a couple of times a day. The only way to fix it was to soft boot it with either the power button or the home button or both.

    Bending was not the issue. My phone was in a rigid hard case from day one. The phone was purchased about 6 weeks after release when they were still hard to get.

    By mid June the lines were across the top and it was almost unusable 3/4 of the day. Most of the time I could only answer a call from my watch. The point of no return was that it tried to transfer € 1000 (a repetition of an earlier transaction) which may have gone through if I touched the home button which was a default way to fix the problem. After that it took a few days to get a Genius bar appointment.

    I went well armed with video taken from my Ipad of the problem and research from the forums. The speculation,in the forums was, that it related to a particular batch of Serial Numbers and to get the Genius Bar to check that first. Of course, after complementing me on my unusual level of diligence, they initially ignored me and were going to replace the screen and I would have to wait an hour. In processing the order and entering the serial number the system spouted out the phone could not be repaired and must be replaced.

    The replacement is working fine although the instructions I was given in relation to the Apple Watch when restoring a replacement phone were wrong. I won’t go into it here but there are three keys things you must do to be able to restore a phone if you have a watch. Clunky!

    If you ask why I waited so long, I had a tempered glass screen protector on the phone most of the time I had it and I had thought it was that causing the problem. Although I haven’t yet dropped a phone, I’m old enough to slip and don’t like having it unprotected. Particularly that even with Apple Care Plus its going to cost over $100 to fix. I didn’t want to take it in and have that blamed as the problem. As it was I went ‘naked’ for the last month. If anything the problem then became worse.

    I have no complaints and I did not get the impression the numbers were that great. The genius staff in the store I went to seemed generally unaware of the problem.

  6. Apple has always been very reluctant (and late when it does do it) to use the “R” word when a design defect is discovered, one of my very few complaints about Apple.
    Fortunately, my 6 Plus fine for now.

  7. My 18-month-old iPhone 6 Plus has “touch disease”. I first noticed it in June. I have since bought an SE. I have always looked after my iPhones carefully. I carried mine in a bag since it would not fit in my pocket. Sadly my iPhone 6 has no resale value.

        1. That’s BS Fred and you know it. Lee – just take your phone to the Apple Store. They will replace it for you free of charge. They’ll even throw in Fred’s apology as Fred won’t.

  8. I am, seriously, on my fifth iPhone 6+ at this point. I’ve had bendgate problems (which led to the symptoms mentioned in this article), I’ve had the microphone for the external speaker die on me (twice, my current iPhone 6+ suffers from this but it’s out of warranty so I’m living with it).

    Can’t want for the new “SE” model to arrive. I want something thick and smaller that won’t bend in my front pocket as has happened with the iP6+. Been an Apple purchaser since my first Apple II in 1979. If I get another phone as crappy as this 6+ has been, I will have to find a different solution. I will miss the big screen for reading news, but the 5s was a pretty damn good phone and I’m looking forward to going back to that form factor when the new SE arrives.

  9. Have an iPhone 6 from release day and have no problems.

    The only thing I have seen is the tendency to overheat when sitting on a carseat in the sunshine even in an Air Conditioned interior. You get a message about the phone being too hot and shutting down.

  10. My iPhone 6 Plus started having this problem after almost 2 years. It has always been in a case and I have taken very good care of it. Apple Store said they can not replace it since the warranty is out. $329 to give me a new one. They claim it is a known issue and they see 2-3 a day with the issue. Apple won’t acknowledge it they said.

  11. My iPhone 6 Plus developed this as well. I’d had it almost 16 months and it was an excellent phone up until that time. It went downhill quickly over about two weeks. Genius replaced it no questions asked. Seems to have cured my issue.

  12. problem first happened to me with the Galaxy (3) Prime or whatever that nexus-y product was called back then, it was due to the STUPID curved screen which when ANY pressure was applied to it would crack. I can’t imagine the motherboard fares any better, leading to these GIANT IPHONE problems. your GIANT IPHONES can still bend even tho you have them in a hard case.

    In my opinion, you buy a giant smartphone, and keep it in your pocket where you’re going to occasionally lay on it or have pressure applied to it (when lifting something, falling, or some other non-intended way), you’re going to run the risk of problems. This is why they sell Applecare.

    now maybe if we’re all lucky, apple will solve the GIANT SMARTPHONE problem by improving the materials so that it’s indestructible, but until then, i’d suggest all you video-centric GIANT SCREEN loving freaks get used to problems and stop blaming them on the manufacturer who’s simply giving you want yuou’ve asked for (thin light GIANT phones).

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