Apple admits to iPhone ‘touch disease,’ blames users and offers $149 fix

Apple has finally admitted to the existence of the mysterious iPhone ailment that caused unresponsive screens and came to be called the “touch disease.” The Cupertino firm’s diagnosis? User error. Or, more specifically, user fumbling.

“Apple has determined that some iPhone 6 Plus devices may exhibit display flickering or Multi-Touch issues after being dropped multiple times on a hard surface and then incurring further stress on the device,” Apple said in an online notice.

Some users and observers, however, saw the problem as a defect. In August, a nationwide class-action lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Jose, accusing Apple of fraud and violation of California consumer-protection law.

And there’s been a loud chorus of user discontent ever since, with iPhone 6 owners taking to Twitter and Facebook and a slew of online tech sites to tell the world their tales of Touch Disease-induced woe.

Motherboard reported in September that the problem was affecting “thousands and thousands” of iPhone 6 Plus phones.

“The company continues to ignore one of the worst hardware defects to ever plague its smartphone line,” according to Motherboard.

In August, the Mercury News reported that iPhone 6 Plus users and repair technicians believed the problem appeared to derive from the failure of chips or solder joints inside the phone.

One purported Bay Area iPhone 6 Plus owner who posted on an Apple forum said he’d brought his troubled phone to an Apple store in San Jose and gone over it with a staffer.

“He acknowledged the problem. He was very familiar with it, but said Apple doesn’t recognize it as an issue, and so there is not much he can do,” the purported iPhone owner said. “I can either replace my phone with identical one for $329 or I can get a $350 trade in on it if I want to upgrade. No offer of free replacement, no consolation, nothing. I left.”

Apple said it would repair affected phones, provided they’re in working order and have intact screens, for a $149 service price.

“Apple will contact customers who may have paid for a service repair related to this issue either through Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider to arrange reimbursement,” the company said. “If you have not been contacted but paid for a repair that you believe was related to this issue, please contact Apple.

“The reimbursement amount will equal the difference between the price you paid for the original service to your iPhone 6 Plus and the $149 service price.”

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Photo: Phil Schiller, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing, announces the new iPhone 6 at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 9, 2014 in Cupertino. Apple unveiled two new models: the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 

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  • John Lettish

    Really, I’ve never known Apple not to step up when there is a “real” issue. When lawyers get involved it introduces adjectives, drama and ultimately heavy doses of distortion. In this case I would side with Apple.

    • Jimmy1259

      How many times have they had to be threatened with a class action lawsuit to step up though? Like others above have said “Google is your friend ” it doesn’t take long to check it out.

  • Dan Fundarz

    If you are dropping your phone, why do you expect someone to fix your problems free? Take care of stuff or pay for it.

    • Christopher Diienno

      So im guessing your the odd ball who’s oh so perfect. So you have never dropped your phone more then once huh

      • MissoHawney

        I’ve never dropped my iPhone. I also have it protected in a substantial case. Possibly we’re not the odd balls but you’re a special snowflake because your mommy taught you that you should expect a medal just for showing up.

        • Christopher Diienno

          Who’s we? Apparently a lot of apple users have the same issue or else Apple would have not addressed the issue. That’s cute. You had to resort to name calling and the obvious yoyr mother jokes to try and feel superior in your own “substantial” way.

    • William Haynes

      wow you bought the company line on that one…. make a better product apple

  • costi.ro

    hahaha

  • Christopher Diienno

    Here’s an option apple; make a more durable phone instead.

    • Larry Sandwiches

      Do you throw your other electronics around too?

  • Howie Martin

    I’ve had this happen to me. My phone was a little over a year old, out of warranty, and it was never dropped. I paid the $149 to have it fixed.

    • William Haynes

      apple thanks you.

    • Larry Sandwiches

      Be more careful with your phone. Maybe you didnt drop it (which I doubt) but you definitely dont treat it well. Srop some money on a Otter Box if you wanna kick it around like a hackey sack or somethin

  • mkevinf

    I didn’t understand the last 2 paragraphs.

  • Boom Boom

    Typical CrApple.

  • duck79

    Back in the iPhone 3G days, Apple denied service to me for an obvious physical manufacturer defect because they said that one of the moisture indicator sticker had turned red (the phone was never dropped in water, and it had nothing to do with the issue I tried to get serviced). About 2 years later they were hit by a massive class action lawsuit for denying service based on those moisture indicators that were getting triggered by normal levels of daily humidity. I ended up getting over $300 from that settlement. Seems like this issue is heading in the same direction: Apple is saying “damage” occurred due to normal use that should have been anticipated during the design process and leaving customers to hold the bag. It’s only a matter of time before this goes class action. A number of other companies with popular products have been through the same process – Microsoft with Xbox 360, for example. The pattern is identical: first they deny the problem, then charge customers to fix. Next comes the massive class action lawsuits which usually result in settlements. Why not just treat the customer right in the first place?

  • Lizzy Bizzy

    what a great gig. sell a defective phone and then charge the people that purchase it $149 to fix it.

  • SiRWimP

    i thought apple was the best…..love my android 😉

  • JW

    If it’s strictly user fault why did Apple change the type of connection on the next phone?

  • Shodan

    “Touch disease” is nothing compared to the smartphone addiction suffered by millions upon millions across the country, much less across the world. Take their phone away for 30 minutes and they experience everything from fainting spells and seizures to hysteria and drug-withdrawal symptoms. God forbid one of them should actually have to place a call or even talk to another person because their “txt msging” toy is unavailable.

    • Μικε

      What? You can talk to someone else? Other than Siri?

  • Martin G

    I dropped my coffee cup this morning and it broke. Who do I sue?

    Some of you need to take a good look at how much crap is stuffed inside a phone these days. It’s amazing that more of them don’t break when you drop them. Or maybe you prefer that they burst into flames?

    There’s a definite issue with the phone, but it only gets triggered when you drop it. So Apple’s response seems reasonable. Fix the 700.00 phone for 149.00 after you drop it.

    You want something tough? Go find an old Motorola startac. Didn’t do anything fancy, but you could hit it with a baseball bat and it would still work.

  • Dan Rather

    I’m a long time iPhone user as well as my wife and kids who are extremely hard on their devices. The phones are typically very durable but if you bring in a device that is defective and has no signs of physical abuse it should be replaced under warranty. The warranty guarantees against material defects not caused by abuse (easy to see) or misuse (a little harder to detect). Phones that have obvious dings or dents can have a warranty denied pretty easily. Phones that get dropped without apparent damage and develop problems have durability issues and should be replaced under warranty. Silly for Apple to blame the consumer if their phones are so “fragile” that dropping them or rough treatment that does not result in external damage makes them malfunction.

    Sorry Apple, but you need to stand behind your product a little more, especially now with the Samsung debacle you have an opportunity to swing a lot of Android users your way and keep them with a little customer service.

  • Ron Collins

    Apple blames users………..sounds like it has adopted the clinton disease……….

    • Atlas Flowers

      Ha@ Sounds to me like Apple talks a good line about Making Their Phones Great Again, but on the inside, they are really pieces of S**t. Just like Trump.

      • Ron Collins

        Guess what? Trump’s the President-elect. Your lying liberal criminal hillary is NOT.

        • Robert H Hodges

          This is about apple, not political debate. I’m. Just trying to wrap my head around why it should cost 150.00. In my previous job that would be enough to come to your house and spend about a hour to fix it?? Maybe I’m in wrong line of work…

          • William Haynes

            Whats funny is that apple builds a new phone for $220 in parts according to ifixit.com and other sites….

        • srjsac

          Yes, but he didn’t actually win the vote. Why people think some filthy rich crook will represent their little lives is amazing.

          • William Haynes

            The “VOTE” game was not what was played… its called Electoral College

            Trump didn’t bother to campaign in California, Hillary didn’t campaign in Texas… If popular vote was the game it would have been a different election.
            If you like trump and live in Ca, you might have not voted because of the Electoral college…

            so Hillary lost…. get over it

          • srjsac

            Yep, one man, one vote isn’t really the drill. I didn’t need anyone to make America great again. In my world America is all ready great.
            I will be just fine, those that see Medicare and Social Security cut and privatized, well they may be unhappy. For me, I spent Election Day soaking up the sun and drinking margaritas in Mexico.

  • Some guy

    …But seriously it’s insane how they shirk culpability regarding a flagship product they’ve made SO much money on. The performance of my iPhone 7 leaves much to be desired as well. It’ll take some convincing for me to purchase another going forward

  • Ex Isheep

    Apple always blame users, unlike Samsung even knowing most the note 7 caught fire are user error still Samsung took the blame and recall all note 7

    • Larry Sandwiches

      Yeah, iPhones arent catching fire tho

  • Nathan Denlinger

    The headline is misleading. Apple never “admitted” instead they put the blame, and due to the amount of pressure from lawsuits, people and media..Apple only gave a discount knowing that people will have to get them repaired. But to say that Apple “admitted” is wrong, and misleading.

  • pawsaremagic

    it also affects the iphone 5s

  • Lord Helmet

    Apple is done posting profits after this fiscal year. Count on it.

    • William Haynes

      no, people are dumb enough to trade in the 6 with a problem and finance a 7 on the trade in program. Apple will make them disappear at consumers exspense

  • George Jefferson

    Samsung could learn something, they should have just blamed exploding devices on the consumer…

    • William Haynes

      at least they recalled them, may have took longer than it should have… but they took 100% blame

  • John Smith

    So what about my iPhone 6 that has the exact same problem? I was told “Tough” by the Apple store employees when I brought it in even though they admitted it was also a problem with the 6.

    • William Haynes

      Open up your wallet and pay $149, Apple users can ‘AFFORD’ it…

      • Larry Sandwiches

        Exactly

    • Larry Sandwiches

      If you dropped your phone, why should Apple pay for it?

      Do you toss your computers around too? How about anything else electronic or costs a couple hundo?

      Do treat you iPhone like you treat your car keys next time.

  • Larry Sandwiches

    Stop droppin your phones people.

    Pretty simple.

  • Bruce Ruttan

    Just buy a much cheaper phone in the first place and toss it when it don’t work no mo.

  • Truthbetold

    cook is destroying the company piece by piece and getting paid to do it. Jobs wife is asleep at the wheel. Jobs himself would fire cook at this point. The fact jobs picked him makes no difference. He would still fire the screwball.

    • Μικε

      The products were never that good.

      • Truthbetold

        not very good? It is / was a multi billion dollar product . people stand in lines for them, blocks long and pay close to 1 grand for one. When jobs ran the company they were happy after purchase because he made sure they worked as advertised before they went on sale. Cook rushes them out the door, people still stand in lines and pay even more , but after purchase now they all want their money back, or sue in class actions. Cook ignores it all and thinks he just needs to issue another version upgrade right away. The lines to buy are getting shorter and shorter. there are more lost customers now that will never return to the product, than there are new ones. It is whats called a dying product line. Slow death. Cook is a moron. Jobs wife seems to be lost trying to make one and only one decision. . There is only one decision to make. Fire cook, Jobs would.

        • Μικε

          Ford and GM used to be worth loads too but their cars were not very good. VW used to sell on quality until they were outed for cheating emissions control. You can’t judge a product by its sales.

  • disqus_9TbA7Pajr7

    Haven’t you all learned? Apple is perfect and doesn’t make mistakes. Any problems with an i-device is YOUR fault.

    • William Haynes

      1st mistake was buying it in the first place. They don’t support problems well..

    • Larry Sandwiches

      Only poor people complain about Apple

      • oneyedmonkey

        Only Apple sheep come up with excuses for a company that charges them for a defect to be fixed in one of the products.

        • Larry Sandwiches

          Some people gotta always have someone to blame for their woes, i guess…

      • disqus_9TbA7Pajr7

        Must not feed trolls., must not feed trolls, must not feed trolls

        • Larry Sandwiches

          Most the folks in here prob dont even have iPhones. They just seen a opportunity to talk trash about it. Its hilarious. Less than 1% of iphone users are experiencing this issue.

          • JasonBorchard

            Who’s talking trash?

            “Only poor people complain about Apple”

            Less than 1% of the population is more idiotic than you.

          • Larry Sandwiches

            Thats not talking trash, thats facts. People complain about Apple’s prices because they want them, but cant afford it. How dumb is it that somebody who didnt want something, would complain about that somethings price? Not how it works bruv.

          • JasonBorchard

            In your initial post you didn’t write “Only poor people complain about Apple’s [prices]”. You wrote “Only poor people complain about Apple”.

            There are plenty of reasons to complain about Apple that are valid regardless of the price of their products.

            You have zero understanding of the word “facts”. You have zero understanding, period.

          • Larry Sandwiches

            If they made the repair free, you wouldnt be complaining…boom

          • Etek Dav

            You are the biggest Apple fanboy I’ve ever seen. You are the master sheep of all sheeple. I hope you enjoy letting Apple control you.

          • Larry Sandwiches

            You mad right now

          • Etek Dav

            No, the robot is.

          • Inskey

            funny you bring percentiles into it, considering only around 0.01% of note 7 users had any issues. And yet Samsung replaced for free, did a world wide recall, and publicly apologized. How stupid can you be to support apple after this. Lol morons

          • Larry Sandwiches

            They wete lighting on fire and gurting people bruh. Apples got a couple screen freezes after you drop it. Not comparable

      • Etek Dav

        And smart people stay away.

  • disqus_9TbA7Pajr7

    Yes they are, but they are almost pleasant when compared to Apple fanboys/fangirls who think a person’s life is magically transformed when an android user tries an iphone for the first time.

    • William Haynes

      I had one for work, glad that Phucker is gone…. have “OTHER” phone now and I’m happy.

  • P Lingadeez

    I have had the same issue and I have never dropped my phone.

  • Chase Brown

    Apple – “We know there is a problem and we have a fix. Just give us $150 and all your problems are solved. Well….until you drop it again and have to give us another $150 to fix it”

    What a pathetic excuse of a company and a fan base that buys their crap like it is candy. Fools get what fools deserve!

    • Larry Sandwiches

      Lots of jealousy and bitterness i sense…enjoy whatever free phone you got tho.

      • ericthemadman

        No such thing as a free phone,LOL!!

        • Larry Sandwiches

          Eggzactly

      • Chase Brown

        Oh yeah mean the one that I have total control over? Very jealous of being controlled by the “man”.

        • Larry Sandwiches

          Who’s the man?

          (If you say Ed Lover and Dr Dre, we’ll be friends forever)

          • Chase Brown

            Ain’t nothing but a G thing!

          • Larry Sandwiches

            Haha!! Ill take it!!

  • Dan Murphey

    Apple blames the people just like obama

    • ericthemadman

      Shut up fool!

      • Dan Murphey

        Shut up hermaphrodite

    • Vicious

      I bet you also blame touch disease on Trump.

    • Chad Cordero

      No, it’s a hoax orchestrated by the Chinese 😉

    • Ikeman232

      ITS RIGGED

    • Food4Thot

      @danmurphey:disqus …And people wonder why we are divided; it’s unsolicited and unwarranted to associate non-issues with Obama (or Bush, or Trump for that matter).

      Grow up and be a True American.

  • nope….

    I’m actually having a lot of those issue with the Iphone 7 plus. Never had those with the 6plus

    • danx3

      i have a regular 7 and i also had one instance where the screen would not respond at all. It only happened once since then so hopefully it wont come back

      • Anthony

        My 7 plus did it for the first time yesterday. Crossing fingers it was just a one time thing…

    • Ikeman232

      I had the same issues with my Iphone 7 plus too

  • Gary Soldan

    My iPhone 6 has this issue. Although it has NOT been dropped multiple times…. Where is my money apple, sick of these random phantom touches…

    • Vicious

      Must be because the phone was put under some sort of stress in a pocket or by sitting on it. The iPhone 6’s were notorious for using a really weak aluminium that would bend even under light pressure. Honestly, Apple should be fixing this for free or offering free replacements, as newer iPhones use a much stronger aluminium that doesn’t bend.

      • Larry Sandwiches

        People shouldve done there research and waited before buying. Thats not Apple’s fault. If the newer iPhones are stronger, then they should go buy one so they dont have the issues their lifestyles create

        • Vicious

          Obviously that wasn’t possible if someone bought their phone before the 6S/7 even came out.

          • Larry Sandwiches

            They just had to have it on the day it came out, right?

          • Joshua Hepworth

            yeah that logic didn’t work in Toyota’s favor or any other company for that matter

          • Larry Sandwiches

            Are you saying great marketing is your excuse for poor decision making?

          • Joshua Hepworth

            (I don’t have this phone; I go with year-old to save money)

            Anyway the legal system, the consumer market, and all of Apple’s competitors are in agreement. Samsung didn’t back out of their recall, which cost consumers a fraction as much despite the media frenzy.

            This isn’t China. If a product is faulty, the producer is responsible. This has been the case for decades and your idea has been tried and shot down, many times.

          • Larry Sandwiches

            Then what are you complaining about? You did it the smart way. Why are sticking up for the numbskulls?

          • Joshua Hepworth

            That’s an odd question. Most people don’t restrict their opinions/actions to the self-serving.

            But I suppose I can rationalize it. I produce a small fraction of what I consume. It is directly in my interest to advocate for consumer protections. I work in robotics, and I actually do get a lot of materials from China. Half of them don’t work. Bad system. Don’t want it to spread.

          • Larry Sandwiches

            Or people could be smarter about their purchases, no?

    • Cory Grimmer

      Check out this article. This has been happening for many years now ever since the I Phone 6/6+ came out. It isn’t “if” it happens as they say but when. https://ifixit.org/blog/8309/iphone-6-plus-gray-flicker-touch-death/

  • Jenn

    I am having the same issue with Iphone 5 after the last software upgrade. So I am not sure it is about chips and shoulder joints

  • This phone is intended to be held. But Apple makes their product “so slippery”that your going to drop it at some point. Make it to where you can keep a hold of the thing.

    • Larry Sandwiches

      Try Stick’Em…

      • Μικε

        Never mind, Apple will be implanting the iPhone 10 inside the skulls of their users. They discovered there’s plenty of room in there.

        • Larry Sandwiches

          Android users love coming on Apple articles. Its hilarious. You guys are sniveling peasants.

  • pieslapper

    Of course it’s user error, otherwise they couldn’t charge you to fix their defective product.

  • Buck

    “In August, the Mercury News reported
    that iPhone 6 Plus users and repair technicians believed the problem
    appeared to derive from the failure of chips or solder joints inside the
    phone.”

    Well that’s the price you pay when you have your phones made by the cheapest Chinese bidder.

  • BGuss72

    B.S.! I’ve never dropped my phone, and I experience this. The fact that Apple can push updates to our phones without our consent or knowledge, says a lot. If they can do this, I have no doubt they can do other things without our consent or knowledge. Another example, just after iOS 10.x came out, my phone started acting unusual. Batter now drains much faster than normal. Yet, I’ve don’t nothing new to my phone. Didn’t change any settings, haven’t used any new apps. But just checking Facebook, Instagram or emails, my phone gets very hot, and drains 5% within a matter of couple of minutes. And when I talked to someone at the genius bar or Apple Care, the first thing they say is “update to the latest iOS”. “Can’t help you unless you update to the latest iOS”. And I refuse to update just because they say so. 5 of my friends who’ve updated (even to the latest version), have told me NOT to update. They are experiencing a lot of issues since updating.

  • C.M. Dawson

    Samsung.

  • Ikeman232

    My Iphone 7 plus does this out of the box

  • The dude

    What happened to Apple “they just work” products? They’ve gone downhill since Steve jobs died

    • Sam Johnson

      LOL as if Jobs had anything to do with how an iPhone works.

      • The dude

        Maybe not. But he held the company to a certain standard which has fallen since his death. Btw when I mentioned products I was referencing to all of apples PRODUCTS and not just iPhones. They do make non-iPhone products in case you haven’t heard.

  • thank god it hasnt affected my iphone 6

    • Bassil Ibrahimm

      mostly Iphone 6 Plus.

    • Sam Johnson

      Not yet. And what’s God got to do with it?

    • Jimmy1259

      My son has an IPhone 6+ 128GB at home. He upgraded from it to a Note 5. I may check it out next weekend to see if it has any issues.

  • Cory Grimmer

    I have had two I Phone 6+ with touch disease. The first I was able to get replaced due to being under warranty but I had to pay my co-pay. The second was out of warranty and I ended up dumping. Apple refused to take action. They have lost my business for good.

  • Anthony Larsson

    Apple has products for people with more money than brains.

  • James

    RIP Steve Jobs. Apple users may have to realize that Apple products are worse than their competitors now. They have also been 6-12 months behind their competitors regarding features and utility. Now with quality coming into question people are seeing how Apple customer service has always been… not user-friendly. All my Android and Blackberry phones (yes I have owned a BB some years ago) still use the same chargers and headphones. I have saved hundreds of dollars on those connectors alone. I am just not cool enough, nor do I have enough disposable income for Apple products. Hopefully they fix their problems after Jobs, because I did buy some Apple stock with my extra money.

    • Μικε

      Silly!

  • RazorsEdge

    Hahahaha…$149.00! Does that come with a free jar of Vaseline or do you have to bring your own when you bend over and have it fixed!

    Well, at least they are catching on fire…yet!

  • Jesse Maiolo

    I’ve been experiencing this for a while now.Just happened a few minutes ago…again.

  • SP

    so… Apple admits to the “touch disease” and will fix it but users has to pay $149 to get it fixed? hmm something is wrong with that deal. I’m not paying $149 for something they admitted that is faulty.

    • John Antonczak

      I thought I was the only that felt that way. Doesn’t make sense to me, Apple admits its a defect and they want to charge me to correct it? I was born at night but not last night!

    • Sam Johnson

      Yes you will.

  • Mos Def

    The same thing has happened to me on my Iphone 8 and my iphone 1.5.

    • Brian

      Yeah, me too Mos Def. On my iPhone 32.

  • Jose Montana

    this has been happening since the recent update, my phone also now drops calls… My phone has never been dropped and it is a military spec case.

  • constina

    Mine constantly does it just freezes!

 
 
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