iFixit has reported a new plague haunting iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users as their phones no longer recognize their touch.
Many iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users are discovering that their phones are no longer working as they should. The phones will get a grey flickering bar across the top of the screen, and the phones no longer respond to touch.
Third party iPhone repair shops are seeing this issue all too frequently. Microsoldering.com states that they are seeing up to 100 iPhone 6 and 6 Pluses a month with the issue. STS Telecom states that “This issue is widespread enough that I feel like almost every iPhone 6/6+ has a touch of it (no pun intended) and are like ticking bombs just waiting to act up.” But Apple does not recognize it as an issue. Even if reps at Apple’s Genius bars do.
These repair shops quickly discovered that replacing the screen would not fix the issue. The screen is not the issue at all. Instead it is the two touchscreen controller chips, called Touch IC chips, located on the phones logic board.
It appears that these chips are either going bad, or more likely, are losing their connections to the boards due to flex. Yes, that’s right. Bendgate strikes again. As the phones flex, the Touch IC chips find their solder breaking from the board. This has been fixed in the iPhone 6s models via a few different methods. First, the chips have been moved from the logic board to the display assembly where less flex occurs.. Likewise, an underfill of solder has been added to strengthen the connection points. Older phones had a metal shield placed over the Touch IC chips which helped strengthen the area against flex. In the iPhone 6, this metal shield was replaced with a sticker.
Repair specialists have taken to replacing these chips in affected phones and adding their own shield over the chips to future proof against bends. As these repair specialists are working to fix people’s phones, what is Apple doing? The answer is absolutely nothing.
“[Apple doesn’t] tell customers they can get it fixed at an independent service center. They don’t offer repair of it at all. The only option that Apple offers to people who encounter this problem is ‘Would you like to buy a new iPhone?” says repairman Louis Rossmann, who also expects this to turn in to another class action lawsuit against Apple.
Apple is not only staying quiet in the subject, they’re also silencing others. Repair person Mark Shaffer had posted what the underlying issue was on Apple Support Forums, only to find his comment edited to remove the informative portion of the post, and found himself banned. See below for screenshots from the support forums before and after the editing taken from the iFixit blog.
Once again, another issue is befalling iPhone users due to Apple’s insistence to make thinner phones. Perhaps it’s time that Apple realize technology has not got to the point where they can make these hyper thin phones? The phones they are making bend, have horrible battery life, have been known to explode, and now, fail. All without Apple admitting to fault. I guess this time people were just touching it wrong.