A new report from iFixit highlights a design defect in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that the company believes is affecting thousands of units. Referring to the problem as “Touch Disease,” iFixit describes a scenario where flickering gray lines appear at the top of the iPhone screen and touch functionality becomes glitchy or unresponsive. Apple Stores have generally refused to recognize the problem as an issue — particularly as many of the affected iPhones are now out of warranty — leaving many customers stuck with no choice but to purchase a new iPhone or pay for costly repairs. Notably, however, iFixit’s investigation claims that the problem is not even a function of the iPhone display, but is actually caused by two touchscreen controller chips located on the logic board.
While the report notes that the two Touch IC chips could simply be defective, iFixit postulates that this may actually be a symptom of flexing the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, causing the solder connections between the chips and the logic boards to break down. The iPhone 6s/Plus models are unaffected, the report suggests, as the phones have been strengthened against bending and the chips themselves were moved from the logic board to the display assembly in the later models. Users affected by the issue can apparently have the problem remedied by getting the two Touch ICs replaced — a procedure less expensive than replacing the iPhone logic board entirely, but one that cannot be undertaken by any official Apple authorized repair centers.