Apple Faces Legal Fight Over iPhone 'Touch Disease'
Apparent manufacturing defect seems to affect iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
By Daniel Kay,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2016 8:19 AM CDT
In this Sept. 19, 2014, file photo, a customer looks at the screen size on an iPhone 6 Plus.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

(Newser) – Apple is facing class-action lawsuits in the US and Canada over iPhones that owners say are freezing up, the CBC reports. At the heart of the suits is a big functionality problem: People say the touch screens on their iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus phones occasionally stop working, and the complaints are so widespread that a blog post at ifixit.org has labeled it "Touch Disease." The lawsuits say Apple knew about the problem and didn't fix it. "They brushed it under the rug," says Canadian attorney Tony Merchant, who adds that Apple has told customers that they must pay about $300 to have the issue fixed. The company has not publicly commented on the lawsuits.

"You miss calls, you can't text, it's a horrible piece of crap," says the lead plaintiff in the Canadian legal action. (At least one class-action suit has been filed in the US.) Independent repair shops and analysts have isolated the cause of these failures, according to Motherboard. It's related to another Apple problem: the "bendgate" controversy that marred the launch of the iPhone 6 Plus. The soft housing on the large phone is prone to bending, which can dislodge two small chip connectors responsible for translating touchscreen inputs into on-screen actions. Simply replacing the screen won't fix the issue—the chips must be resoldered—and the ifixit blog post says the problem worsens over time. (A French man destroyed every phone he could inside an Apple store.)
 

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