Apple has formally launched the ‘iPhone 6 Plus Multi-Touch Repair Program’ to address damaged devices after it was reported that in the last few months a small subset of iPhone 6 Plus users have had problems with their touchscreens.
However, users wishing to repair their phone will have to pay $149 for the service.
The price tag might seem big for a fault, but Apple notes that the problems, which include difficulties in registering touchscreen input and flickering on the display is due to “being dropped multiple times on a hard surface and then incurring further stress on the device.”
It’s a departure from previous repair programs such as power button and battery issues on the iPhone 5, and camera problems on the iPhone 6 Plus, which didn’t incur a $149 fee. However, the program won’t apply to devices with a cracked or broken screen – Apple says the device needs to be “in working order.” Users that have previously had their devices repaired that may have paid more than $149 can apply for reimbursement from Apple.
It’s believed that the fix will cure what’s been called “Touch Disease” which was reported by iFixit in August. The problem was reportedly down to touchscreen chips coming loose from the logic board, a problem that was (perhaps inadvertently) fixed in later devices when the chips were moved from the logic board to the display itself.
The fee itself is clearly a compromise from Apple, as the price of a new screen would usually go beyond $149, and appears to acknowledge that though it might be caused by heavy-handedness or misuse, the placement of the chips might still have been a design flaw.
If you’re experiencing issues and wish to sign up to the repair program, you can do so by visiting the relevant support page on Apple.com.