Just in time for the release of a new model, older iPhones have started falling apart. Repair company iFixit published a blog post Tuesday detailing a design flaw it alleged has become a widespread problem: touch disease.
The ailment comes in the form of a flickering gray bar at the top of the screen on iPhone 6 and 6 Pluses. Eventually the touch screen capability doesn't work at all.
"The issue is ridiculously widespread and Apple should’ve issued a recall or maybe a free warranty repair on this problem already," Michael Huie, of microsoldering.com, told iFixit. "If you own an iPhone 6+ and haven’t experienced the problem yet, then I think the chances are pretty high that you’ll experience it during the lifetime of the phone."
The issue has to do with microchips inside the phone, which means internal soldering is required to get everything working again. Endgadget noted that Genius Bars inside Apple Stores can't do that kind of repair, so customers either have to replace their devices or seek out third-party help.
iFixit linked the unfolding touch disease scandal to Bendgate, the 2014 public relations disaster that occurred when iPhone customers realized their devices were bending in their pockets. Apple downplayed the issue at the time, but now iFixit alleges that the touch microchips are breaking because of the bendy phones.
BGR reported that, to avoid touch disease, you simply need to get a sturdy case for your phone. You should also tune into Apple's upcoming iPhone 7 announcement in case Apple CEO Tim Cook brings it up.
"This could quickly escalate into hysteria if Apple does not move quickly to control the story, answer the allegations and details a strategy to repair the faulty units," Forbes contributor Ewan Spence wrote earlier this week.