A design fault in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is causing many handsets to become useless, according to reports.
iPhone repair specialists iFixit are reporting a huge increase in the number of iPhone 6 owners sending in their devices for repair after having a grey, flickering bar appear on the top of the display, with the issue being dubbed “touch disease”.
After the grey bar appears, the iPhone’s touch screen becomes unresponsive, rendering the phone useless.
iFixit claims the fault is the result of a flaw in the structural design of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and is linked to the infamous ‘BendGate’.
When the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were released in 2014, some users complained that their new devices had bent or become misshapen after being placed in their pocket.
The issue appeared to be rectified by Apple when it released its stronger and more durable iPhone 6S in 2015, which featured a reinforced case.
However, the iPhone 6 is not nearly as strong and if the case is even slightly bent, it can have a devastating effect on some of the internal components of the phone, iFixit claims.
Particularly affected are some of the chips that are needed to control the touchscreen, which are connected using solder. Slight flexes, often unnoticeable to the naked eye, are causing the solder to crack, meaning the chips for the touchscreen are unable to communicate with the logic board.
iFixit says that while some iPhone 6 models have experienced problem, they have received a “ton” of iPhone 6 Plus models that have needed to be repaired because of the fault.
“At first there may be no defect at all. Later you might notice that the screen is sometimes unresponsive, but it is quick to come back with a hard reset,” a spokesman for iFixit explained in the video.
“As the crack deepens into a full separation of the chipboard bong, the periods of no touch become more frequent.”
Twisting the phone or applying pressure to the screen can offer a short term fix but over time the “touch disease” spreads across the screen with phone becoming pretty much useless.
The news comes as Apple is set to launch the iPhone 7 next month, which is rumoured to include an improved A10 processor, 3GB RAM, upgraded camera, pressure sensitive home button and, controversially for some, no headphone jack.