Touchscreen problems are affecting the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus



According to smartphone repair chain iFixit, older Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus units are being hit with a problem that Apple is aware of, but refuses to consider an issue. You can read all about it on Apple's support forum where there are a number of complaints about an unresponsive touchscreen, accompanied by a horizontal flickering gray bar at the top of the screen.

The problem has been dubbed "Touch Disease" by iFixit, and many independent phone repair experts have seen it on the 2015 iPhone models. Consider the experience of New Orleans based repair expert Rami Odeh. He sees 100 iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units a month with touchscreen problems. Jason Villmer owns a board repair shop in Missouri called STS Telecom. Every week, a few more iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets are brought in for a touchscreen repair. He says, "This issue is widespread enough that I feel like almost every iPhone 6/6+ has a touch of it and are like ticking bombs just waiting to act up."

While Apple employees are familiar with the problem, a number of them have told owners of an affected device that Apple does not recognize the touchscreen problem as an issue. If your warranty has expired, as is quite likely, Apple will tell you that your only option is to buy a new phone.


Twisting the phone, or pushing on the screen, will provide some temporary relief. But the disease comes back, hitting even harder than before with the gray bar covering more real estate on the screen. The display then gets worse and worse until it doesn't work at all. Replacing the screen also provides only a short term fix. Eventually, the gray bar reappears on the new screen.

Repair experts have zeroed in on a pair of touchscreen controller chips located on the motherboard inside the handset. The chips turn your finger-pressing input into directions for the touchscreen to follow. Because Apple Geniuses aren't trained to work on the motherboard, taking the phone to the Apple Store is a waste of time for this problem.

Theories as to the cause of the problem have been narrowed down by most repair pros to two. One theory is the U2402 Meson Touch IC chip has a manufacturing defect. The other possibility has to do with bendgate. As the phone naturally bends, solder balls used on the motherboard start to crack and lose contact with the board. This prevents touch inputs from turning into the signals required to make the touchscreen work properly.

Most of the things that an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus owner can do to repair the issue are expensive. Buying a new phone or replacing the motherboard both come with a high price tag. It is less costly to replace the IC chips. The suggestions made by iFixit are pretty clear cut. If you still have a valid warranty, use it. If you're out of warranty, go to a repair center that handles board-level repairs and have them replace the two Touch IC chips. This could be done for less than the price of a new iPhone. And some repair centers will also reinforce the motherboard to prevent them from flexing.

To see what this issue looks like live, click on the video at the top of this story.


source: AppleSupportForum, iFixit via Forbes

Related phones

iPhone 6
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1810 mAh(14h 3G talk time)
iPhone 6 Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2915 mAh(24h 3G talk time)

FEATURED VIDEO

146 Comments

1. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Lmao PhoneArena describing this like it's some global epidemic special on BBC news

4. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Apple programmed the iPhone6/6 Plus to automaticaly begin to malfunction after a year to force iFans to upgrade... smh

5. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Two years

25. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

cnour! I've known people who had hardware malfunctions in their iPhone 6 after a year of use, though it wasn't the display.

59. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Yeah, out of nowhere, my jailbroken iPhone 4s speakers went mute in the middle of a call after approximately 1.5 years of use. I got it replaced with the speaker from another iPhone 4s, which had been taken apart for parts at a repair shop. The technician mentioned the same problem, in a joking manner, of apple's device components having some self-destruct timer. Less than 6 months later, that replacement speaker went mute too out of nowhere. Given apple's stupid planned obsolescence with iOS updates, I wouldn't put it past them to have such self-destruct timers as planned obsolescence for the hardware. Fortunately, replacing the speaker was pretty cheap the two times I did it ($10 the first time, $25 the second), and I've finally sold it.

71. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

But how many people out of the hundreds of millions of iPhone users actually have a problem? I know three people with iPhone 6's, myself included - owned for two years, no problem. If this was thousands of people it might be enough to call it a design fault or longevity issue, it just seems to be "some" people and a bit of anecdotal evidence from a repair centre, if even 10% of iPhone 6's had this problem (enough to call it a design issue) then there would be millions of people complaining. There aren't.

73. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Why does it matter how many? Any amount is to much. They should fix it. Either way they ca afford it Just replace the phone and be done with it.

80. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Does every other company do that with out of warranty product? Does any company do that? My friend's Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has had problems from day one, crap battery life (I mean really crap as well, she turns WiFi, location and Bluetooth off just to get through a working day, just!) which they've had it back for and say it's fine, a red line vertically through the screen that it's been repaired for (under warranty) once but now has come back (out of warranty) and they won't repair it. Anecdotally that's more problems than I've ever had with any Apple device - are there articles and "gates" about it? No? Because no-one cares unless it's Apple. Oh, and by the way - next time you go into one of your Samsung is best rants, quoting all the reasons such as power, battery life etc etc - please be sure to quote which variant - 820 or Exynos because they seem to be quite different, you can't pick and choose the headline figures from both while ignoring the slower speed/worse battery life from either at the other end. Again - if Apple supplied two vastly different models to different customers for the same price and with the same name you guys would be creaming yourselves with glee at the dishonesty and shafting of customers.

82. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Oh wait, I just did some "research" on the red line (5 seconds on Google) - seems "many" people have it! s**t! It's line-gate for Samsung!! Quick, we need articles and free replacements! Lawsuits! http://forums.androidcentral.com/samsung-galaxy-s6-edge/515935-why-there-straight-vertical-line-going-top-bottom-my-cellphone-screen.html No? Why not?

104. willard12 unregistered

Your 5 second Google search came across an article from a year and a half ago that includes comments such as "Verizon replaced it"and "it goes away after a restart." The legitimate issues were apparently dealt with. So, how is this relevant to an article that says that when there is a problem, then buy a new one?

119. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Because, if you actually read my previous post - my friend had the problem, they fixed it, it came back, now it's out of warranty they won't fix it - just like this particular problem with Apple. ALL the companies do the same thing.

91. iushnt

Posts: 3138; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

This article is about iPhone 6 being damaged..nothing to do with Samsung

103. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Oh look, deflecting from my points! This works exactly the same when it's the other way around, any problem with Android and it's turned back to Apple...

102. tezzz

Posts: 24; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

My wife has owned iPhone 4, 5, 6. All of them developed a problem within 1 year and were replaced at some stores. The 4 the home button stopped working, the 5 the battery stopped charging, the 6 had incredibly poor signal strength. I assumed it was the norm to have problems with iPhones. Which is why I haven't purchased one.

108. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Yeah and my 4 yo 4S is still going strong without any problems

122. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

As is my iPhone 4 - I still have a working 3G too! My wife uses my four year old iPhone 5, no problems. In-fact no-one I know with an iPhone has a problem with it... It seems some people must be very unlucky... My iPad 2 had two dead pixels from new, they swapped it and the replacement is still working fine. This is actually part of the reason I stay with Apple, I've had perfect service from them.

148. AlikMalix unregistered

Our 5 is now used by my sister because her year old galaxy failed to work. It's tuning latest iOS update and running smooth. - she's waiting to hear from Samsung but hopes to switch to iPhones after using the 5 for a few days. My 5s is now used as a remote camera and a second gaming device when we play AfterPulse and other games with friends that have android device.

7. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

Bad selling == cripple older device to force them to upgrade

8. Unordinary unregistered

Funny. My iPad 2, a dinosaur, runs smoother and faster than most Android phones released 2 years ago hahaha. Keep trying

29. razmahtaz001

Posts: 501; Member since: May 11, 2013

comparing a tablet to a smartphone eh? LOL besides, a smartphone is used more in a 24 hour period than someone using a tablet (ipad or android) everytime there is a glitch found with an iphone, an ifan have to always back up their idevice by saying that their devices runs smoother than android LOL and that android dominates worldwide sales 85% to 15%, that an ifan will come back with the "but apples makes the most profit" ifan say the s-pen is a joke, but look at the i-pencil LOL curved egdes for what? iphone to implement that too LOL iris scanner a gimmick? iphone tio implement that too LOL amoled or retina? iphone to implement amoled too LOL list can go on and on LOL ifan with every answer in the book LOL

42. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1185; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Considering we don't really see Android tablets these days, what should we compare it to then? Android tablets to iPad are almost 1:10 at the place I live and work, so, hmm, it's true Android wasn't very smooth until KitKat, after KitKat Android just skyrocketed in smoothness. I love Android, it's very smooth right now, but I do have a tablet (tab pro 8.4) which has a snapdragon 800, it kind of lags on marshmallow, not intolerable but yes it lags a bit. I wouldn't say Android works well on all hardware, but at least it doesn't lag on the flagships each year when they are released, I would say they are on par with iOS right now, just as iOS lags a bit on phones 3 years old, androids does so to. Marketshare proves it's a very adaptable os, can be used on almost any hardware, you could buy a 50 USD Android phone or a 900USD Android phone, but iPhone has a much smaller customer base, 400USD-900USD I believe? about 70% of households in this world makes less than 10000USD per year, mind you this is a whole family, I doubt anyone one member on these family would waste 600-800USD on a phone, not to say they barely have enough savings after their life cost to waste on a 600-800USD phone. I believe on 15-20% of the world population (families) make over 25000USD, they might be able to afford an expensive phone very 2-3 years? So I would argue Apple is not doing bad, at least according to the proportion of wealth, they are doing normal, if not good.

33. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

34. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Unless you updated it to iOS 8 or 9. iOS 9 runs better than 8 though, but not as fast as it was pre-iOS 7.

72. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

The last few updates to iOS 9 have been to finalise it as the last update for the older generation devices, smoothing things out as much as possible - my iPad 2 runs very well on it, not quite as fast as at launch but then it's 4 years old so I accept that...

36. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

yeah.. since most of android phones is low-end and mid-ranger.. and most of it is much much cheaper than iPad2.. try to compare it with 2 years old Nvidia Shield, or any flagships

45. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1185; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Hmmm, 2 year old nvidia shield vs iPad air 2, I would still take iPad air 2 over it any day. Though they never were in the same price range because nvidia never could sell them too well. I would say comparing Nexus 9 to iPad would be a better comparison.

48. Unordinary unregistered

Ill compare it to a Note 7, which probably opens apps just as fast as the iPad 2 hahahahah.

79. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

So you'd pick an iPad 2 over a Note 7?

83. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1185; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

He's a bit of a troll, even I would take note 7 over it any day

84. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

A bit? I don't think so.

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