There's a problem with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus that makes it unusable

Some iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners are reporting that the touchscreens on their phones aren’t registering their fingers’ touch anymore, according to tech teardown and repair site iFixit.

The issue seems to coincide with a flickering grey bar that appears at the top of an affected iPhone’s screen.

That poses a huge problem as, apart from the physical buttons, the iPhone’s touchscreen is the primary way to use the device. Without the ability to tap the screen, you essentially can’t do anything with the iPhone, like making/answering phone calls or using apps.

Numerous people have reported this issue on Apple’s forums. Many believe a recent iOS update may be causing the problem, but iFixit’s report says the issue could be caused by changes in the way Apple built the iPhone 6 Plus compared to previous generations, which can lead to problems with the parts that help register taps on a touchscreen.

Iphone 6 touch ic partsiFixit/YouTubeThe Touch IC chips in the iPhone 6 Plus that could be causing the problem.

In iFixit’s report, tech repair company iPad Rehab shows how the relevant parts in an iPhone 5s are protected with a rigid metal shield, whereas the same parts on the iPhone 6 Plus are protected by a thin flimsy film that doesn’t appear like it would protect the parts as well as the metal shielding.

Iphone touchscreen parts problemsiFixit/YouTubeThe parts on the iPhone 5s (left) seem more protected with metal shielding than the parts on the iPhone 6 (right).

iPad Rehab suggests the relevant parts could become damaged when the phone is flexed or bent over time, which links the touchscreen issue to the iPhone 6 Plus’ notorious Bendgate debacle, where it was found to bend relatively easily under a certain amount of pressure.

Iphone 6 plus bending bendgateUnbox Therapy/YouTubeThe iPhone 6 Plus being bent with bare hands.

It’s not clear if the issue arises when iPhone 6 Plus is visibly bent, as it is in the picture above, or if the normal flexing and bending that the phone is subjected to during its lifetime is enough to damage the relevant parts. None of the user-submitted posts on the forums reported that their affected iPhones 6 Plus’ were bent.

Apple seems to have fixed the bending issue in the iPhone 6s Plus, as it’s much harder to bend than its predecessor. No one in the forums reported problems with the iPhone 6s Plus, either.

iPad Rehab also mentioned that the relevant parts in the iPhone 6 Plus aren’t supported by an extra layer of material called “underfill” that’s found in the iPhone 5s, which could help prevent issues caused by physical stress on the iPhone 6 Plus.

Apple seems to recognise the issue in its forums, and recommends that affected users to check out a support page relating to unresponsive touchscreens.

If Apple’s recommended fixes don’t work, you may have to get a free replacement if your iPhone is still under warranty. If not, you may have to buy a new phone outright, as Apple hasn’t yet initiated a repair or replacement program specifically for this issue.

Business Insider has reached out to Apple for a comment on the issue, but the company has yet to respond at the time of writing.


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