For several months now, some owners of iPhone 6 Plus devices and independent repair technicians have been complaining about “touch disease” whose symptoms include a flickering gray bar that displays across the top section of an iPhone 6 Plus’ display and inconsistent responsiveness on the touch screen. These symptoms are said to get worse, eventually rendering the affected unit basically useless.
Well, Apple is now starting to address the issue (finally). In a support page entitled Multi-Touch Repair Program for iPhone 6 Plus, the tech giant has indicated that the problem is likely caused by the device being dropped more than once. Apple then stated that it will be repairing affected units (even those without cracked display screens) for $149, adding that this repair program will still be made available even half a decade after the date of original purchase.
Sure, the $149 repair price is certainly cheaper than the $329 from the regular out of warranty repair fee. But it does not help those who have chosen to replace their defective iPhone 6 Plus unit because Apple took too long to offer to fix it. And $149 is not exactly free. The frustration is definitely there -- some of the affected iPhone 6 Plus owners have even taken to suing Apple because of this touch disease. Apple did say that it will be reimbursing the difference between the repair cost and $149, for those who have had their iPhone 6 Plus unit repaired by Apple’s service or an authorized tech.
Interestingly, Apple is not offering the repair program for the smaller iPhone 6, although a number of owners have already reported similar issues. Some have reason to believe that the iPhone 6 Plus is more prone to touch disease. Jessa Jones, repair technician for iFixit, for instance wrote in a blog post, the bigger iPhone is more likely to have the problem due to its tendency to bend, despite some structural reinforcements in the physical design. It appears that the real cause of the issue involves the touch controller chip that separates from the device’s logic board, which explains how twisting the handset often results to a temporary fix.
But then it gets more interesting -- Kyle Wiens, the chief executive officer of iFixit, has claimed that some users are claiming their iPhone 6 has touch disease even if their unit was never dropped. And then there is talk that Apple will not actually repair the damaged unit, but merely exchange it with a refurbished device. For more of Wiens’ statement, head to this page.
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