As per third-party repair firms and users on Apple’s support forums, several units of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have been facing a display issue where a grey flickering band can sporadically be seen on top, accompanied by touch responsiveness issues.
Terming it as a “touch disease”, it points to the “pages and pages” of complaints on Cupertino giant’s support forums. Even after many complaints, Apple refuses to acknowledge or address the issue, leaving many users disgruntled.
The grey flickering bar on top sometimes disappears after you apply pressure or you gently twist the device, however it comes back and continues to get worse till the touch display goes completely kaput. When users head to Apple Store with the complaints, their devices are replaced if in warranty, and all those whose devices are out warranty, are merely told that the tech giant does not recognize the problem, and hence cannot provide a solution.
Apple owners experiencing the problem first notice a flickering grey bar on the top of the phone. The touch input on the device deteriorates over time. The issue affects the larger iPhone 6 Plus more than the iPhone 6. Twisting the phone or pressing the screen temporarily solves the problem, but makes it worse later on. The two touch screen controllers in the devices are connected to the logic board with solder balls. The amount of contact between the touch screen controllers and the logic board reduces over time; leading to touch that gets increasingly erratic, and eventually stops working altogether.
Other iPhone models do not suffer from this problem because of a rigid EMI shield. The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus have a flexible EMI shield. Repair shops are rigging a metal casing to improve the structural integrity, and prevent the problem from recurring. Another option to prevent the problem from happening again after the device drops or bends slightly is to replace the lead free solder balls that connect the touch screen controllers to the logic board with solder balls that do contain lead.
Customers who take the devices to Apple for repairs are being advised to buy new phones because Apple does not acknowledge the issue. Micro soldering experts can fix the problem, but these repairs are not authorised by Apple and void the warranty. Replacing the phone itself or the logic board are costly ways of permanently fixing the problem. Replacing the touch screen controllers is the cheapest way to fix the problem. In the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, the touch screen controllers are moved from the logic board to the display assembly, which does not cause the problem.