Apple Is Charging $149 to Fix iPhones with a Known Design Flaw

If you’re the owner of an iPhone 6 Plus, your device probably struggled with a periodically locked screen -- a known flaw you could secretly exploit. This issue, known as “touch disease,” has ballooned in its scope, with scores of customers complaining of randomly unresponsive devices. Finally, Apple is dealing with the problem through a repair program, but will charge customers $149 to participate, no pittance for an already expensive phone.

“Apple has determined that some iPhone 6 Plus devices may exhibit display flickering or Multi-Touch issues after being dropped multiple times on a hard surface and then incurring further stress on the device,” the company’s website reads. “If your iPhone 6 Plus is exhibiting the symptoms noted above, is in working order, and the screen is not cracked or broken, Apple will repair your device for a service price of $149.”

Apple’s motive for charging a fee for the repair service speaks to the long, winding fallout stemming from the “touch disease” issue. The problem was discovered after the hardware gurus iFixit released a report, explaining that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus’ suffered from faulty Touch IC Chips, which are meant to respond when a user touches the phone screen.

Previously, Thrillist learned that Apple had an unadvertised policy of replacing items with defective hardware free of charge. Customers would occasionally exploit that rule though, using it as a loophole fix for more common problems, such as phones with cracked screens. But given how the company’s been sued over the “touch disease” issue, it’s now a big enough controversy that Apple has been forced to acknowledge it and charge for fixes.

The tech giant adds that it will reimburse customers who’ve already paid for a repair related to the issue, noting that “the reimbursement amount will equal the difference between the price you paid for the original service to your iPhone 6 Plus and the $149 service price.”

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.