Remember the Touch Disease? The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus were known to bend easily which ended up creating issues with the display of their device. Apple never publicly acknowledged the issue but it did launch a repair program for the Touch Disease. Now, internal documents obtained by the Motherboard confirm that Apple knew the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are more likely to bend than the iPhone 5s.
Apple found that the iPhone 6 is 3.3 times more likely to bend than the iPhone 5s, with the iPhone 6 Plus 7.2 times more likely to bend. Apple had mentioned these numbers in a document filed under seal in a class-action lawsuit against it for the touch disease. However, District Court Judge Lucy Koh made some of the information public while giving her opinion in the case.
The internal documents point to Apple knowing that an engineering change was necessary to prevent the touch disease from happening. And yet, the company never publicly acknowledged the issue. 1.5 years after the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were first launched, in May 2016, the company started reinforcing the logic board on the handsets to prevent the Touch Disease from happening.
“After internal investigation, Apple determined underfill was necessary to resolve the problems caused by the defect,” Koh wrote, referring to an epoxy used to stiffen the logic board. “Apple had used underfill on the preceding iPhone generation but did not start using it on the [touch disease-related] chip in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus until May 2016,” after millions of iPhones had been sold.
Apple launched a repair program for the iPhone 6 Plus but it required customers to pay $149 to fix the issue, instead of the usual $349 it was charging them before. Even when it announced the repair program, Apple never mentioned anything about the touch disease being a manufacturing issue.
It is really disappointing and shocking to see Apple charge iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners $149 to fix the touch disease despite knowing that it was being caused by a manufacturing issue. For a company that puts the experience of its customers upfront, lying through its teeth and then charging them for a manufacturing issue is absolutely unacceptable.