Apple Faces Karmic Retribution Over Touch Disease
For better or worse, Apple is a tech company often guilty of putting style over substance.
Since the days of Steve Jobs they’ve made a case not for delivering the best product but delivering one that’s good enough and presented in a way that makes customers feel good.
More specifically, one that makes them feel like they’re getting a premium technical experience – even that reality dissipates at the smallest sign of introspection. The responsiveness to the market to that strategy has won Apple plenty of gains, but it’s also an approach that’s given them a license to get away with shortcuts when it comes to things like their Apple-brand headphones.
Unfortunately, shortcuts often come with a hidden price-tag – as Apple is now learning.
Reports first emerged of the so-called “touch-disease” as early as the iPhone 6 but only this week has Apple finally owned up to the existence of the system flaw in their handsets.
The defining traits here are a grey bar at the top of the screen and, eventually, a failure in the responsiveness of the device’s touch screen.
Apple’s own repair program site tries to put the blame on careless users, saying that some iPhone 6 Plus devices could exhibit signs of the Touch Disease “after being dropped multiple times on a hard surface and then incurring further stress on the device.”
However, in reality, the fault lies with Apple.
As explained by iPadRehab, “A design change in the iPhone 5s did away with underfill on many of the chips, including the two chips that control the touch circuit on the board.”
This change was carried forward into the iPhone 6, where problems have emerged.
“Over time, normal daily use of the large, thin phone will eventually create a small crack or separation in one of the balls that underlie either of the touch ic chips on the board.”
“As the crack deepens into a full separation of the chip/board bond, the periods of no touch function become more frequent,” their hypothesis of the issue reads.
With the iPhone 6, Apple’s penchant for slim and stylish design has again trumped their desire to produce a product that just works. Only this time, it’s come back to bite them.
Any other tech company with an issue this prevalent would have issued a recall, but not Apple.
iPhone 6 Plus owners have been offered a solution to the ‘touch disease’ problem that affects touchscreen functionality and appearance: pay Apple $228.95 for a repair.
It’s an outrageous program that somehow managed to eclipse even Apple’s plans for a $429 art book for pretentiousness.
What’s more, it’s a program primed to milk more money out of customers sold a doomed-product and solve – in all likelihood – very little.
It’s not quite planned obsolescence – but it’s definitely too close for comfort.
Apple’s repair program simply replaces the components within the iPhone 6. They extend the lifespan of the handset but do little to address the underlying problem causing the issue.
The only solution for that is to upgrade an iPhone 7.