“Touch Disease” Defect Is Now Killing IPhones

A new report is warning iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users of a problem that could be threatening their phones. If you notice that your phone has a flickering gray bar at the top of the screen, it might be afflicted with what’s being called “touch disease,” eventually leaving the touch screen unresponsive.

The report comes from iFixit.org, which found that more and more phone repair pros kept encountering users who found the mysterious grey bars flickering at the top of their phones. The problem is being blamed on an Apple design flaw, ZDNet reports.

The flaw originates from two chips on the phone’s logic board that can become loose from the phone’s soldering as it is stressed and bent during use. At first, this flaw shows itself in the form of an occasionally unresponsive touch screen. When the problem gets worse, the touch screen will no longer work at all.

Mainly, the problem has been found in iPhone 6 Plus phones, but it has also been reported in a smaller number of iPhone 6 models as well.

According to iFixit, if your phone is under warranty, Apple will repair it, but if it’s out of warranty you’ll have to either pay to replace the logic board or buy a completely new phone.

“Apple’s repair Geniuses aren’t equipped to make specialized repairs to the logic board in-house, so they can’t actually fix Touch Disease,” writes iFixIt’s Julia Bluff. “But skilled, third-party microsoldering specialists (most ‘unauthorized’ to do Apple repairs, according to official company policy) can fix phones with symptoms of Touch Disease. And they can do it a whole lot cheaper than the cost of a new logic board or an out-of-warranty phone replacement. Which is precisely why so many of these damaged iPhones are finding their way into repair shops around the world.”

It is unknown exactly how widespread this problem is.