Earlier this month, I reported that the touchscreens of thousands upon thousands of iPhone 6 Plus devices are failing due to an engineering flaw. And while Apple the company has yet to publicly acknowledge that these phones are breaking under normal use, employees who work at Apple’s retail stores tell Motherboard that the company is well aware of the flaw and has left its in-store “geniuses” to be the bearer of bad news to customers.
Two Apple store employees, one current and one who recently quit, contacted Motherboard after we initially published our story about iPhone 6 Plus touchscreen problems. They both told me that they have been informed both explicitly by their supervisors and subtly by the company’s internal repair tracking system that so-called “touch disease” is a known issue.
I go into detail in my earlier story about what has caused iPhone 6 Plus touchscreens to stop working, but, essentially, an engineering flaw associated with “bendgate” allows the phone’s logic board to flex ever-so-slightly whenever the phone is pulled out of a pocket, or put into a case, or is dropped. After thousands of flexes, the phone’s two “Touch IC” chips become unseated from the logic board, causing the touchscreen to work intermittently or not at all. Often, the problem causes flickering grey bars to appear along the top of the device’s display. The flaw, which repair experts previously told Motherboard is due to a fundamental issue with the design of the iPhone 6 Plus, was fixed for the iPhone 6S.