iPhones around the world are dying in a peculiar way, and Apple isn’t doing right by affected users, asserts a lawsuit filed over the weekend. The plaintiffs are three in number for now but hope to elevate the case to class action status.
It all concerns “Touch Disease,” a problem an unspecified but apparently large number of users (i.e. at least several thousand and perhaps far more) have encountered in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The screen becomes unresponsive and a grey bar appears along the top of the display; it can be banished temporarily by manipulating the phone correctly (a bit like beating on the TV), but the disease is, ultimately, fatal.
A report from iFixit last week asserted that this problem is the result of a design flaw, essentially the same one observed when the phones came out: they’re bendy. While “Bendgate” died down pretty quickly, the lack of rigidity may be the culprit in unseating a critical touchscreen control chip from the logic board.
The complaint, filed in California’s Northern District federal court, alleges that Apple is aware of the design flaw and has concealed it from consumers by refusing to acknowledge or repair it. It also suggests that the 5s and 5c protected against this problem in various ways, so it’s not as if Apple didn’t know it was a possibility. The 6s and Plus got stiffened to prevent bending, as well.
The plaintiffs are being represented by the law firm McCuneWright, and they’re clearly seeking to expand the suit to anyone who bought one of the affected phones. Whether that happens is up to the judge, of course. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment.