If your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus is on the fritz, it may be a case of the iPhone 6 Touch Disease. As you might guess from its name, the condition is related to the touchscreen. If you own an iPhone 6 and you don’t know what Touch Disease is, there’s a good chance you will eventually. You’re going along, using your phone to text, talk, and all the other things we do with our phones these days, when all of a sudden…nothing!
Touch disease refers to the screen’s loss of responsiveness. As any phone user knows, this means the end of the phone’s usefulness. The disease started right after the release of the first generation of iPhone 6 was released. Problems with Apple and the failure of the company to take responsibility led to a high repair charge. Some either paid the high price for an Apple repair while others traded their phones for a new model. If you still have an iPhone with Touch Disease, a more affordable option is to take it to a third-party repair store that specializes in iPhone repairs.
One option that most experts don’t recommend is attempting to fix your phone yourself. Unless you are an expert iPhone technician, the repair is too complex and more likely will to lead to even worse damage.
What Is iPhone Touch Disease and What Causes It?
The telltale symptom of iPhone 6 Touch Disease is a flickering gray bar across the top of the screen over the status bar. Soon after the gray bar appears, the screen stops responding to taps, pinching, or zooming.
Apple, the company that makes iPhone 6, failed to acknowledge the problem in the beginning. After a growing number of complaints from consumers, they finally offered a response in the form of their “Multi-Touch Repair Program.” The company continues to put the blame on the users, blaming the issues on misuse.
The company explains that the problem occurs after multiple drops on a hard surface. The company charges $149 for the repair if you qualify. The phone must be an iPhone 6 Plus, with the condition that it is in working order and doesn’t have a cracked or broken screen.
One obvious problem with this is that many of the phones with cracked screens actually have iPhone Touch Disease as well. The owner thinks the broken screen is the problem and that replacing the screen will solve the problem. They could dish out the cost of replacing the screen and still have a phone that doesn’t work. It’s better to take the phone to an iPhone repair store that can identify and repair the entire problem.
According to some reports, Apple sometimes doesn’t repair the phone at all. Instead, the affected phone is switched with a refurbished device. In other words, they replace your phone with another one that is just as likely to have the disease as your old one. This idea is especially disturbing when you just bought your phone and it is still under warranty.
In addition, if you haven’t backed up the data on your phone, you’re going to lose it. Add to that the short 90-day warranty on the so-called repair, and you don’t get a lot of security for your $149. Again, the company only repairs the 6 Plus. Users of the iPhone 6, 6S, and 6S Plus that develop the issue are left to find solutions on their own.
So, if dropping the phone isn’t the real cause of iPhone 6 Touch Disease, what is? Multiple theories exist, but one of the most common is that it results when the components inside bend. Many iPhone users note that although they have never dropped their phones, they also recall that they were bent when the issues began. The iPhone 6 Plus becomes bent just from keeping the phone in their back pockets. Sliding the phone strenuously on a case also contributes to the problem. This theory links the occurrence of iPhone Touch Disease with another situation called “Bendgate”
Original iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices sometimes bend under pressure, leading to the situation users called Bendgate. Apple didn’t acknowledge the problem directly but they did make the next generation iPhones from aircraft-grade aluminum, which stands up to pressure better than that of the material used in the earlier models. Tests showed that the phones tolerated more weight with the 6S versions.
While Apple places the blame for Touch Disease squarely on the user, other experts explain it’s a flaw in the phone’s design. They say that it has to do with the soldering of two touchscreen controller chips inside the phone. These two “Touch IC” connectors become unattached from the logic board when the phone bends. The result is the recognizable gray bars across the top and intermittent or total loss of touchscreen response.
While the problem of the thin, flexible material over the touch IC connectors was addressed with the second generation of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus one year after their original release, many people still have a phone with Touch Disease. Some have given up and put them in a drawer having since bought a new phone. Others have suffered with the phones, still using them when they work and complaining to whoever will listen when they don’t.
If you choose to have your iPhone repaired, you need to take it to a repair store that not only knows how to make the needed repairs but won’t simply switch your phone out without telling you.
The correct repair involves re-soldering the Touch IC chips into place. Apple doesn’t make the repair or inform customers that some third-party stores can make qualified repairs. You can also solve the problem with the installation of an additional metal shield, which adds strength and stiffness to the logic board.
Your odds of having your phone repaired at an independent shop are much greater than if you take it to the Apple Store. If it ends up needing to be replaced, you know your options and can choose to buy a new or refurbished phone on terms that you agree to.
You have three options available to get your phone fixed.
1) Order a repair kit from Amazon along with a roll of electrical tape. This is the cheapest option but it should be left as a last resort. This method allows you to reinforce the Touch IC chips using the electrical tape. If you have the skills to open your phone and feel like you have nothing to lose if you mess it up, it could work. A number of users have successfully repaired their phones in this way.
2) A safer solution is to take your phone to a third-party repair service with the knowledge that you need to have the Touch IC Chips replaced. This option is a little pricier than the DIY version but it’s not nearly as risky. The important thing here is to choose a shop that specializes in iPhone repair. Take the time to check out their reputation and get testimonials from previous clients.
3) At this point in time, a number of users have already purchased a new phone. If you are still holding on to yours, try out the first two options before investing in a new phone. Even if you’re tempted to get a new iPhone 7 with all the bells and whistles, keep in mind that the newer the version is, the higher the price tag goes.
There is a fourth option that some users swear by but it is likely to cause more harm than good. Since bending causes iPhone Touch Disease in the first place, bending it back in the right direction works for some people. Some have even developed a certain “little twist” that gets their phone back in working order again. The obvious problem with this technique is that it’s more likely to make things worse, not better.
iPhone 6 Users Living with the Issues of iPhone 6 Touch Disease
The stories all start in the same way. First comes the gray bar and then the unresponsive screen. After that, the process differs among users. For some, the horror story comes from trying to contact Apple and get something done about their failing phones. Many report that the company advised them to restore the OS and restart their phone. No matter how many times the problem occurred, the user received the same advice.
Some phones would fail to work only part of the time while others never came back from the abyss. Owners had to wait for their phone to become responsive before they could take the “restart and restore” steps Apple provided.
Sometimes phones seemed to heal, at least to some degree. Many users have reported having problems with the camera not working intermittently and missed important photos when the phone stopped working at the worst possible times.
Some phones go back and forth between a frozen screen and responding again with only a few minutes in each phase. Some of those with frozen screens relied on Siri to send text messages.
Of those people who did attempt to have their phones repaired at the Apple store, some have gone through multiple replacements. Many never realized the policy of replacing the phone with a refurbished one even when theirs was only a few months old. Some spent hours waiting in line while others spent hours on the phone troubleshooting. The end result usually ended up confirming that it was Touch Disease as they suspected in the first place. Once they learned of the high price of repair, some made the decision to buy a new phone, sometimes in a newer model.
Consumers’ Issues with Apple
People take their iPhones seriously these days. They use them for everything from posting on social media to finding the latest grocery coupons, to taking pictures for special occasions. Once you pay hundreds of dollars with the expectation that it will work, dealing with issues like those related to iPhone Touch Disease is more than a little frustrating.
The biggest complaint heard by iPhone 6 owners during the initial reports of Touch Disease was that Apple knew about the problem and refused to acknowledge it. They preferred to blame the user, their customers, for failing to care for their phones correctly.
The first weekend after the iPhone was released in September of 2014, Apple sold more than 10 million. Maybe Apple didn’t think the number of reports about the issue was important in comparison to the total number of users; at least, in the beginning.
Once the number of reports began to grow, they adopted the Multi-Touch Repair Program. This still didn’t satisfy consumers because they were still expected to pay for repairs that they felt Apple knew were due to a manufacturing fault.
Disgruntled consumers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple that is still moving forward in the court system. The same fact that frustrated so many Apple customers has prevented the court from dismissing it. In fact, the number of lawsuits is at thirty as of 2018.
iPhones don’t really get viruses but iPhone Touch Disease is very real. Buyers have legitimate expectations from these devices and they pay enough to get a lot of satisfactory use from them. Once you have a phone that doesn’t work, who do you trust to get it back to operating order?
Why a Third-Party Repair Shop Is Your Best Option
Even if you’ve had your iPhone 6 repaired multiple times, don’t give up on it now. If it’s sitting in the drawer while you enjoy the even more expensive iPhone 7, set it free! Even if you don’t need it anymore, you shouldn’t let your investment go to waste.
San Diego Tech Experts specializes in iPhone repair. We can fix your phone within 30 minutes to an hour and give you a Limited Lifetime Warranty. Whether you have a cracked screen, iPhone Touch Disease, or you really aren’t sure what the extent of your problem is, we can help. We offer trustworthy, affordable, and reliable repair service you can count on. We also buy and sell iPhones so you can still get something back from your investment even after you don’t need it.
Contact us today and see why we’re San Diego’s first choice in iPhone repair!