Touch Disease refers to an issue with Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones that causes the touch screen to become unresponsive due to a logic board connection failure. The failure can occur when the smartphones are bent and the connection between the logic board and the touchscreen controller chips is disrupted.
Touch Disease first emerged following the release of iPhone 6 as part of “Bendgate,” wherein users of their phones reported their phones were bending in some cases, especially when put in their back pockets, and at times the iPhones would become unresponsive because of the bending issues.
The Touch Disease Class-Action Lawsuits Against Apple
Touch Disease gained considerably more attention when a class-action lawsuit was filed on August 27th, 2016 against Apple for “Apple’s concealment of a material manufacturing defect that ultimately causes iPhone touchscreens to become unresponsive and fail for their essential purpose as smartphones.”
An updated lawsuit filed on October 7th of the same year named 12 plaintiffs in the Touch Disease case and referenced the intentions of an additional “9,539 class members who have experienced the Touchscreen Defect described herein.”
The plaintiffs in the Touch Disease lawsuit petitioned for Apple to be required to repair, recall and/or replace the iPhones, for monetary relief, for attorneys’ fees and costs, for any other relief that a court would deem appropriate, and for a trial by jury.
The Specific Cause of Touch Disease
At the heart of the Touch Disease in the iPhone 6 smartphones are two touch-screen controller chips, or Touch ICs, on the phone’s logic board. These ICs connect to the board via small solder balls, “like a plate resting on marbles,” per microsoldering specialist, Jessa Jones, with iPad Rehab.
iPhone 6 users prone to the Touch Disease issue typically stick their phones in their back pockets and then sit, squat, lean forward or do other movements that can cause the phones to twist and bend.
In doing so, the small solder balls that connect the Touch ICs to the logic board can come loose and then lose their connection. Once this happens, touch functionality can be sporadic at first and then become completely disabled in some cases.