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Some Bad News for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Users

iPhone 6
Some Bad News for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Users
The condition is "incredibly common", according to iFixit, a respected US-based repair advocacy group. One repair expert contacted by the organization went as far to say that "chances are pretty high" that every iPhone 6 Plus could eventually succumb.

The problem is so prevalent that iFixit have even given this condition a name: "touch disease". The malfunction is also being widely reported on Apple's own support forums.

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 "[Touch disease] has been creeping up on us," iFixit co-founder Kyle Wiens​ told Fairfax Media. "I first saw it a year ago but as these phones get older it's getting more and more common."

Patrick Lee, a director of repair chain iExperts Sydney, describes the issue as "widespread". "I would estimate that we have seen about 100 cases to date," he told Fairfax Media.

Shaun Moffatt, the owner of the Sydney mobile phone repairer Fone Fix, says he saw the same problem for the first time on an iPhone 6 Plus that was presented for repair at one of his shops just a few days ago.

The problem stems from what Wiens calls "design anorexia" — the imperative to make smartphones ever thinner and lighter.

It relates to the 2014 "bend-gate" incident, when some iPhone 6 Plus owners found that their devices had been bent out of shape after carrying them in their back pockets.

After first denying it was a big issue, Apple subsequently upgraded the quality of the aluminium used for the casing on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in what was seen as a tacit admission that the material used in the earlier model was flawed.
Jessa Jones, another US-based independent iPhone repair specialist, says the "Touch Disease" problem lies with the placement of the two touch screen controller chips and the method used to attach these Touch IC chips to the phone's logic board.

Fone Fix's Shaun Moffatt says repair of the chips is an "extremely difficult" task and something he would not normally carry out unless the iPhone is a goner and the task is just data recovery. For a repair job, he would normally refer customers to the Apple Store.

In recent development, understanding the criticality of the situation, Apple rolled out an urgent update to iOS overnight to fix three pressing and unrelated security flaws, advising customers to update to iOS 9.3.5 as soon as possible. 

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