Apple offers $149 fix for iPhone 6 “touch disease”

Apple iPhone 6 Plus owners suffering from flickering displays or inconsistent multi-touch response finally have official recourse, though the service will hit affected iPhone owners in the pocketbook. Apple published a new page on its support site with guidelines for repair of what independent repair shops have been calling "Touch Disease." Apple avoids the use of this turn of phrase, but the fix doubtless involves the repair of a touch controller chip that can come loose from the logic board.

Owners will have to shell out $149 to have their phones fixed. Apple shirks responsibility for the problem, suggesting that the issue is brought about by "being dropped multiple times on a hard surface and then incurring further stress on the device." For now, only iPhone 6 Plus owners are eligible for any company-assisted repairs, though iFixit says iPhone 6 handsets are also affected to a lesser extent. Forbes reports that the problem is widespread and that several class action lawsuits have been filed over the issue.

Owners who have already paid for these repairs can file a claim with Apple for reimbursement of any payment in excess of the $149 manufacturer repair price. The repair is not offered for phones with broken or cracked screens. Some owners are upset about the costly repair in light of previous Apple campaigns to repair common issues on older iPhone models free of charge.

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    • frogg
    • 3 years ago

    From the company which is said to have 200 billions $ in offshore accounts !!!

    • PainIs4ThaWeak1
    • 3 years ago

    This type of non-sense is exactly why I don’t support Apple.

    Just when I think I’ve forgotten about [xyz last issue], they courteously remind me that they don’t want my money bad enough.

    • Entr0py
    • 3 years ago

    This is incredible. Apple has made a bad/defective product. These things happen. However, they’re admitting but charging their consumers for [b<]their[/b<] mistake. When Samsung messed up with the Note 7(albeit this was a much bigger problem), they took it upon themselves to reach out to customers and offer what they thought was a replacement. For free. Then, when the replacement failed, they recalled all of them completely. For free. And gave you all of your money back. From Apple, this is like a slap in the face to their consumers. "Hi, we're Apple and we messed up. Your phone doesn't work? You pay. Not us. It [i<]can't[/i<] be our fault. It must be your fault." This approach has been used by Apple in the past. Look at the iPhone 4 reception issue. "Stop holding it (in your hand)” (original text was "Stop holding it that way"). While this might have been an inconvenience, this did not make the phone completely unusable. Source: [url<]https://www.engadget.com/2010/06/24/apple-responds-over-iphone-4-reception-issues-youre-holding-th/[/url<] For a fortune 100 company to act with that much contempt with their consumers, who are their main source of revenue, is unacceptable. This is evidence of companies being allowed to throw their weight around and shift the blame to consumers when they mess up. The ability of a company to do that without widespread outrage from all of their customers and more is ridiculous. Edits: I can't format.

    • HERETIC
    • 3 years ago

    The disease is spreading to batteries
    [url<]http://www.fudzilla.com/news/mobile/42176-apple-to-replace-faulty-iphone-6s-batteries[/url<]

    • trackerben
    • 3 years ago

    Most people I know never get problems with Apple phones and tablets that weren’t dropped or dunked. Newer Apple hardware almost never cracks up (or blows up).

    Where I personally get a bit of inbound is in the OS and first-party apps. The niggling little UI issues plus the occassional showstopper like iBooks, is where it’s at, not these distractions. I agree that the place is getting a little boring, though…

    • credible
    • 3 years ago

    “being dropped multiple times on a hard surface and then incurring further stress on the device.”

    Apparently only the Iphone 6 gets dropped, wonder what tech Apple used to make the other phones undroppable…

      • BurntMyBacon
      • 3 years ago

      They emit a high tech RDF field that protects them from all [s<]scrutiny[/s<][b<]damage[/b<].

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Pay us $149 and we’ll make your phone great again!

    • christos_thski
    • 3 years ago

    Apple is not innovating. I’m an iphone user, and have not found a real reason to upgrade ever since my 5S – that’s three full generations now. They’re cutting corners, they’re pushing stupid crap such as the 3.5mm jack as innovation, and they’ve become very complacent. They’re selling iMacs with spinning platters in 2016. That’s beyond repugnant. A couple of years ago I had been so satisfied with my iphone (as opposed to a string of disappointing androids) that I was even flirting with switching over to Apple on the PC front. Today, I won’t touch them with a bargepole.

      • End User
      • 3 years ago

      I went from a 6 to a 7 Plus and the difference was striking.

      Desktop Macs are a cause for concern.

        • ronch
        • 3 years ago

        I read your comment and immediately knew whose comment it is even before seeing your username.

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      If you think about it, apart from fancy aesthetics (which many other companies are already catching up with, if not besting Apple) there doesn’t seem to be much to justify Apple’s crazy pricing. Of course other companies also have pricey stuff but Apple just seems to shamelessly get away with them. And their penchant for ditching standards like the 3.5mm jack and standard micro USB cables, and their inability (or restrictions) to send and receive via Bluetooth to/from other fully Bluetooth-compliant devices like Android phones and tablets just seems to strangle Apple users in daily life. As you say, folks are starting to realize this. If Apple doesn’t discover the Next Big Thing™ soon they’ll return to the pre-Jobs era, that’s for sure. Their only saving grace would be the hoards of cash they have in the bank.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    You’re dropping it wrong.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    A chip that gets loose when subjected to shock? I suppose they used paste instead of solder.

    Deplorable. This pales in comparison to what Samsung went through to get those Note 7s fixed. Yes, Samsung’s situation was more dire but still.

      • synthtel2
      • 3 years ago

      How do you plan to solder such a thing in mass production if not with paste?

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 3 years ago

        It’s been decades since I worked in a circuit board factory, but it’s not uncommon to put a dollop of adhesive under a chip package to hold it in place while the solder paste is reflowed. Normally, the solder joint is pretty strong, but modern lead-free solder tends to be more brittle than the old lead-tin eutectic was.

        • ronch
        • 3 years ago

        I was actually referring to good ol’ low tech paste made of water and flour.

    • blitzy
    • 3 years ago

    Pay for a design fault? Dat RDF tho

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      I bet only Apple can do that. Sheeple are a very special kind of people.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    I work in a huge design studio that you’d expect to be full of Apple loyalists and two or three years ago you’d have been right.

    Not any more; “Apple people” seem to be getting fed up en-masse. I think it’s a combination of silly-high pricing, lack of any major innovations, vulnerably fragile screens and a host of reliability issues that have shifted Apple from “the untouchable king of smartphones” to “just another phone manufacturer”

    When you flaunt your MicroSD, AMOLED screens, VR headset integration and courageous headphone sockets, Apple users get upset to realise that their phone can’t even claim to be the best anymore because it’s simply missing loads of features. Then they ask to borrow a charger because their different-to-everything-else cable has fallen apart all by itself again and you rub it in that they bought an Apple which is the only brand [i<]not[/i<] to work with the same cable everything else uses.

      • HERETIC
      • 3 years ago

      Ye old apple 1-2-3 still rings true.
      1.K.I.S.S.
      2.Make it pretty
      3.Con everyone into believing the high price they pay is because it’s the best.

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      Speaking of fragile screens, I know several folks who have cracked iPhone screens, mostly iPhone 6. On the contrary, given the greater number of folks I know who use Android phones, I don’t recall any one of them having cracked screens.

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      And speaking of proprietary chargers, my wife is the only person at home who has an iPhone, so she has to take care that she doesn’t lose her charging cable or leave it in the car otherwise we can’t help her. Given the price of ‘original’ iPhone cables, she doesn’t want to buy a new one either. Me, I have something like 5 or 6 standard Type-B micro-USB cables from various Android devices that I had and still have, and if I suddenly, for whatever silly reason, lose them all, I can easily borrow one from just about anyone. There’s no way I’d accept an iPhone even if you gave me one.

        • UberGerbil
        • 3 years ago

        So in the midst of election night at my local pub, one of my friends was running low on battery on his iPhone. The two Lightning chargers the bar keeps in the back were already in use. I offered to go get my battery pack (I live across the street) but of course while I have dozens of USB cables (even a mini-to-micro adapter and USB-to-go) I have nothing for an iPhone. He was reduced to pushing his way around the packed room looking for “iPhone people” who might loan him a cable.

      • Meadows
      • 3 years ago

      Looks like the Steve Jobs momentum is nearing its end at last.

        • HERETIC
        • 3 years ago

        When we had Steve we had “Innovation”(via stealing) Now we have “Bling”(touchbar)

          • Meadows
          • 3 years ago

          “Stealing” ideas is a valid business decision, as long as your execution is entirely your own. You see this all the time in gaming and fast food, but for some reason it’s reviled in higher cost segment areas.

          Thing is, since 2011 Apple can’t seem to tell the difference between innovation and iteration anymore, and at the same time, they’ve taken up “less is more” as their mantra to a literal fault. It was only a matter of time before this bit them in the arse.

            • sweatshopking
            • 3 years ago

            they get called out for it because they pretend they’re somehow better and more innovative, not because they do the same thing everyone else does.

        • Rza79
        • 3 years ago

        IMO, a pretty undeserved momentum.

      • End User
      • 3 years ago

      Why do I need a MicroSD slot when I have 256GB of storage? VR on the phone is just one step away from Google Glass. The 3.5mm port is dead to me. AMOLED would be a nice to have.

      Not only do those lightning cable begging fuckers borrow your lightning cable, they never bring it back. I fucking hate other Apple users.

        • Chrispy_
        • 3 years ago

        I get it; You want to dismiss the advantages of other phones that can do things yours can’t.

        At the moment, you don’t care for those features so the inferior apple product that is missing these things still is the best phone [i<]for you[/i<]. The problem with Apple is that the group of people for who the iPhone is the best phone is getting smaller and smaller as other features that Apple lack keep becoming more popular. It's a sign that they've stopped innovating and they have definitely stopped growing at the rate they did under Jobs. In the BCG matrix they've definitely moved from a star to a cash cow and the entirety of business history says that you want to get out whilst you can once that happens.

    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    Wonder if they’ll pull the whole 2011 Macbook Pro solder flaw again. Push the cost to customers, and then 6 years later after most of them have moved on, admit the mistake and quietly issue a repair program.

    • cynan
    • 3 years ago

    From the linked article (on how to spend even more on a repair that you potentially shouldn’t be culpable for in the first place) :

    [quote<]Make sure the shop you choose replaces the chips, and doesn’t just reflow them, warns Jessa. Reflowing—or heating up the chips until the solder melts and reconnects to the joint—doesn’t fix the loss of touch in the long run. The problem tends to come back.)[/quote<] I'm no electrical engineer, but come again? The problem seems to stem from a PCB that is a bit too flexible to sustain the integrity of the tiny solder joints on the chip legs after a bit of wear and tear... They're just surface mount chips. Either they work or they don't. If they work, how is replacing them (which is likely to result in a costlier repair bill), improve the outcome? What does this level of nickel and diming say about Apple's self confidence in its long-term status as mobile market leader?

      • just brew it!
      • 3 years ago

      Well, it could be argued that using some fresh solder and flux will result in a better repair. The surface of the old solder will have oxidized a bit by now, which (especially without flux) will result in some of the oxides getting incorporated into the new joint when it is reflowed.

      Using good ol’ fashioned lead solder would probably help too, since it is more resistant to stress fractures than the lead-free stuff used in all consumer electronics these days.

      But you’re right, none of this addresses the underlying mechanical design issue, namely that the PCB seems to flex too much.

        • Lord.Blue
        • 3 years ago

        Well, as I recall, the 6 Plus had a problem with flexing too much as a unit, not just the PCB.

    • mkk
    • 3 years ago

    It’s not the phones, but the wallet that people are holding wrong. Rotate 180 degrees, then shake shake shake.

      • Voldenuit
      • 3 years ago

      Joke’s on them, I did that and got some lint.

      • POLAR
      • 3 years ago

      And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
      But the wallets gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
      I shake it off, I shake it off
      Touch buttons gonna break, break, break, break, break
      And the fake antenna reception gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
      But the wallets gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
      I shake it off, I shake it off

    • flip-mode
    • 3 years ago

    Holy crap, that’s really disgusting. Doesn’t Apple have like $500 billion in the bank? Man, I’d be really really really pissed if I owned an affected phone knowing it’s a manufacturing problem and a company with enormous cash reserves who charges high prices for the phone to begin with is then going to make me pay $150 for the fix. Eff that, that would cause me to dump Apple.

      • Lord.Blue
      • 3 years ago

      Hence the several class action suits over this issue. This fee only adds fuel to those.

      • juzz86
      • 3 years ago

      You don’t get rich by fixing your cock-ups!

        • ronch
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah! Just look at Samsung. Man, did they screw up on that one! Not the Note 7 problem, mind you, I mean replacing everyone’s phones and putting up kiosks in airports! What poor money-making sense! 😀 😀 😀

        • VincentHanna
        • 3 years ago

        Apple for president.

        • Wirko
        • 3 years ago

        You don’t get rich by fixing your cook-ups!

        (iOS safe word filter fixed that for you.)

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    All right.
    I’ve got something to say.
    It’s better to burn out.
    Than to fade away.
    — [s<]Def Leppard[/s<] [u<]Samsung[/u<]

      • Redundant
      • 3 years ago

      Cause for Apple loyalists to think love bites

      • atari030
      • 3 years ago

      I thought you were The Kurgan for a second…

      • GTVic
      • 3 years ago

      I’m pretty sure Neil Young was in few bands but not Def Leppard

    • nico1982
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]Apple shirks responsibility for the problem, suggesting that the issue is brought about by "being dropped multiple times on a hard surface and then incurring further stress on the device." [...] Forbes reports that the problem is widespread and that several class action lawsuits have been filed over the issue.[/quote<] Looks like plenty of people never learn and continue to hold it wrong.

      • Lord.Blue
      • 3 years ago

      Or don’t get a decent case for their $600+ phone.

      • UberGerbil
      • 3 years ago

      You know, the fact that there are class-action suits already brewing is probably leading to this behavior. If they’d quietly fixed the problems as they’d come up without advertising a general recall, they’d have been fine. (They wouldn’t want to offer a recall or otherwise publicize it because then they’d have to fix [i<]every[/i<] iPhone whether it had the problem or not). But now that there's a legal issue, their lawyers will be telling them to stake out the most aggressive position they can take, which is that it's entirely user error and they'll only fix it if the user pays for "abusing" the phone. Since nobody has data on what happened to the phones in question (amusingly, Apple could've done airplane-style black box recording to know what kind of G's the phones have endured, but AFAIK they don't), Apple will point to that, forcing the other side to prove it's actually a design flaw that occurs under "normal" handling.

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