Now as much as I don’t like the iPhone, it’s a fine piece of machinery. Sure they’ve had their share of scandals like Antennagate and Bendgate but they were quickly resolved or found to be greatly exaggerated (other phones having the same problem were a dime a dozen). However, the iPhone was always lauded for its great design and software and anecdotal evidence as well as statistics say that it is durable. But this new “touch disease” is being revealed as more of a slap in the face of customers than any thing else.
It starts with a small, flickering, grey bar on the top of your screen in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. This leads to the top of the screen becoming unresponsive to touch. There are some DIY fixes going around like twisting the phone a little or putting pressure on it. These might work temporarily but the issue can return. Overtime this grey bar may extend further and further until it eclipses the whole screen. Hence, your iPhone is essentially useless. Is this simply a sporadic issue blown out of proportion? The answer is swiftly becoming a plain “No”.
Apple Insider reports “about 11 percent of an Apple Store’s daily iPhone service traffic to be related to the so-called “touch disease” problem, eclipsing all other individual issues dealt with by retail personnel on a day-to-day basis”. This data was gathered over a period of six days from “high traffic Apple stores”. The big shocker is that more and more people started coming in with this problem since it was reported in the media. Apple Insider, in the same article, reports that 11.7 percent of iPhone 6 owners and 37.4 percent of 6 Plus owners reported the same problem since the big reveal in the media.
Digging deep in to the iPhone’s body reveals that the issue stems from the Touch IC chips. They apparently are separating from the logic board in the same way that caused the Xbox 360’s red ring of death issue. The only way to get rid of the problem is to replace the chip. But Apple store geniuses aren’t equipped to do that.
Engadget reports that a certain Jessa Jones, micro-soldering specialist, has said that soldering a metal shield over the sticker shield can work and fix this issue permanently. And yet Apple doesn’t condone this sort of fix for its devices. As a result, Jessa and her friends have been banned from Apple forums for posting this advice.
But the most troubling thing is that Apple almost seems to know this was going to happen. If you look at the insides of the iPhone 6S series, the issue has been fixed by altering the placement of the chip. And since the problem is basically a time bomb waiting to go off just in time for the iPhone 7 launch, Apple doesn’t much care to fix it.
Now I could be wrong and Apple might offer a fix relatively soon but this is what Apple does. It updates its software that the old hardware can’t run without compromising on battery life so you have to get the new iOS device. It offers temporary fixes for its devices so that you can hold out until the next model comes out. However, this touch disease seems almost primed for the launch of the iPhone 7, as if Apple truly wanted everyone to ditch the iPhone 6 in time to buy the next phone.