Remember the entire “bendgate” issue with the Apple iPhone 6 and how the company maintained that there were no issues while manufacturing the smartphone? It is okay to take the company on its word about its statements in response to such issues. However, a new report by Motherboard reveals that the company was already aware of the issue. This information was obtained after the publication carried out a court filing. The documents revealed that “bendgate” where the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus would bend more than iPhone 5S was not the only issue that the company was aware of.
The company was also aware of “touch disease” where the touchscreen would not function properly because of bending. The documents in question are still sealed as part of a class-action lawsuit against Apple for misleading its customers about the touch disease. Despite the seal, the report added that “US District Court Judge Lucy Koh made some of the information public in a recent opinion in the case.”
The documents pointed out that Apple was aware that iPhone 6 was 3.3 more likely to bend while the iPhone 6 Plus was 7.2 times more likely to bend when compared to the iPhone 5s. Apple considered bending of the phones as “expected behavior”. The internal document also revealed that “engineering changes were necessary to prevent touch disease”. Regardless of this information, Apple maintained that there were no engineering or design-related issues when it came to both the devices in question.
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Apple quietly started to reinforce the part of the logic board that was associated with the touch disease, of both the devices in May 2016. A whole year and a half after both the devices were launched in the market. The document also added that Apple was also aware of the solution for the issue at the time but took more than a year to actually do something about it. In fact, the company used the “underfill” procedure on its older generation of iPhone and did not use it with the 6 and 6 Plus. What is surprising is that Apple issues a public notice adding that touch disease only happened if the user dropped their iPhones “multiple times on a hard surface and then incurred further stress”.
To recap, it took nearly two years for Apple to admit the issue in November 2016. During the admission, Apple added that it would charge $149 for replacing the iPhones with touch disease. As part of the admission, the company did not reveal that it had made any changes in the engineering of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple has not issued any official statement about the report at the time of writing.