Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Bug Cellphones IOS Iphone The Courts Apple

Class Action Lawsuit Grows Over iPhone 6 Plus 'Touch Disease' (vice.com) 210

Nearly 10,000 people have joined a class action lawsuit against Apple over the screen-freezing "touch disease" afflicting many iPhone Six Plus phones. An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes Motherboard: Lawyers who filed a class action lawsuit against the company in California earlier this fall have signed on three additional law firms to support their case, and an additional class action lawsuit related to the issue has been filed against Apple in Utah... Apple will not perform logic board-level repairs for consumers, which require soldering and reseating of millimeter-size components. This means the only Apple-sanctioned "fix" for a touch diseased phone is to buy a new one... Apple has been replacing touch diseased iPhone 6 Pluses with $329 refurbished ones, some of which are showing symptoms of touch disease within days or weeks of being replaced.
Despite contacting Apple five separate times, the reporter has yet to receive any official response, although "I have gotten hundreds of emails from consumers who have had to buy new phones to replace their broken iPhone 6 Pluses."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Class Action Lawsuit Grows Over iPhone 6 Plus 'Touch Disease'

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 08, 2016 @11:39PM (#53040161)

    Steve Jobs must be rolling over in his iGrave

  • All about Courage (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 08, 2016 @11:41PM (#53040163)

    Samsung has courage to issue massive recall. Apple has courage to remove headphone jack.

    • Samsung has courage to issue massive recall. Apple has courage to remove headphone jack.

      The market has courage to shave a few more points off iPhone market share.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Please do not compare burning phones and degrading-over-time phones. Samsung wouldn't have issued a recall would the Note have iPhone symptoms (given how reluctant they were to issue the recall, after a lot of time and bad PR...).
      • Re:All about Courage (Score:5, Informative)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo AT world3 DOT net> on Sunday October 09, 2016 @06:45AM (#53041149) Homepage Journal

        Samsung issued the recall very early after the problems came to light. In comparison Apple usually waits a year or two before quietly issuing a replacement program, after many users threw their defective hardware away.

        • by mysidia ( 191772 )

          Samsung issued the recall very early after the problems came to light. In comparison Apple usually waits a year or two before quietly issuing a replacement program,

          You're comparing Apples and Oranges: : "It explodes risking customer safety issue at launch" VS "Sometimes some units stop working after years" issue.

          I'll bet that in the first case Apple or Samsung would recall.

          In the second case.... it's just planned obsolescence, particularly if it tends to happen after warranty is up.

          No recall......

    • by frnic ( 98517 )

      Very courageous - oh, except the replacement phones are now exploding and they kind of forgot to mention that part...

  • by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Saturday October 08, 2016 @11:47PM (#53040189)

    Apple has been replacing touch diseased iPhone 6 Pluses with $329 refurbished ones

    Stay classy, Apple

    • What's the problem with that? Refurbished effectively is the same as repaired. Would people prefer to have their phones sent back to China for repair and wait 2 weeks? Or is this some sense of entitlement to a brand new phone I don't understand?

      • Re:Refurbished (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @05:32AM (#53041043)

        Apple first sells the customer an expensive phone with a serious engineering defect, then adds insult to injury by replacing it by one infused with somebody else's snot. Nothing is done about the customer's wasted time or poor user experience. Classy or not classy? I leave that determination to the interested reader. Keep in mind that a new unit costs Apple much less than it costs the user.

        • one infused with somebody else's snot

          That's called second hand, not refurbished.
          Classy or not classy doesn't come into it. The sense of entitlement that people believe they should get a brand new phone is incredible. Maybe people should be forced to wait 3 weeks for a repair would that make you happier?

          Keep in mind that a new unit costs Apple much less than it costs the user.

          To say nothing of e-waste, inability to pass on a perfectly good device, and the idea that Apple should take a full 50% hit on margins everytime someone's device has a hiccup. Again not a single other company does this. Why do you expect it from

          • The sense of entitlement that people believe they should get a brand new phone is incredible.

            They expected to get a properly engineered device when it was new. They never did, instead Apple sold them Bendgate 2[tm].

            To say nothing of e-waste, inability to pass on a perfectly good device...

            Apple is free to sell the refurbished phone as a refurbished phone to somebody who doesn't mind sacrificing the shiny new experience to save a few bucks. To their poor abused Bendgate 2 customer, Apple ought to provide a shiny new phone (which doesn't cost them a whole lot) in an attempt restore their battered image. But whatever. It's no skin off my nose if Apple abuses its customers th

          • You don't know what "refurbished" means in Applespeak.

      • You would understand what the problem is with replacing with a refurbished phone is if you read the article. The refurbished phones can have the same defect.

        They are entitled to a phone that won't soon suffer the same problem, ie a phone that has had the defect corrected as opposed to someone else's problem phone that has been buffed, polished and repackaged.

        • You would understand what the problem is with replacing with a refurbished phone is if you read the article. The refurbished phones can have the same defect.

          And if the refurbishment suffers the same defect there's no reason to believe the new ones are any better. This was after all a design flaw. If it's been fixed and they are knowingly selling refurbed units with the fault then that is a very specific bit of asshattery that should be dealt with, it in no way implies that ever little problem should result in a brand new phone.

      • The problem is they are NOT repairing the DESIGN DEFECT (thin bendy non supported PCB results in cracked BGA joints under touch sensing chip).
        Previous models had metal can (rf shielding) over the BGA chips, this metal can offered reinforcement and provided stiffness. But it added 0.1mm thickness, cant have that, in Iphone 6 Apple replaced metal can with a STICKER.

  • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Saturday October 08, 2016 @11:54PM (#53040227)

    Seriously, how can you fuck up the touch experience on a touchscreen device?

    • Easy. Bend it.

      Your iPhone is a very expensive piece of precision computing technology. Put it in a hard case, and DON'T put it in your back pocket!
      • Your iPhone is a very expensive piece of precision computing technology. Put it in a hard case, and DON'T put it in your back pocket!

        Better yet, always leave your iPhone at home on your bedside table. That way it will never bend. As a bonus it won't run out of power in less than a day.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Zxern ( 766543 )

      Weak solder and no support backing. Between heat cycling and flexing the FPGA solder weakens till it quits working.

  • Never again. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09, 2016 @12:00AM (#53040255)

    My wife and I both bought the 6+ when it came out.

    I'm on my 9th replacement unit. She's on her 7th.

    Every time we need to get our phones replaced, it takes about 1-2 days of messing around at the Apple store to make it happen. We've tried to get new phones (like, boxed units), but they won't do it. We always have to wait for a refurbished replacement. This is somewhat strange because I had a lemon MBP several years ago and after the third repair they just gave me a brand new machine. I know others who have had similar experiences with other Apple equipment- but not on the 6+. They simply flat out refuse to give us new phones.

    Furthermore, the quality of the refurbished units is below average to say the least. Some of mine have had scratches/dings/dents on the chassis (I take good care of my equipment, when I had to give them my original 6+ it was literally in NIB condition, so I think it's fair for me to expect a replacement device in equivalent condition). Others have had marks across the LCD screen. One had an intermittent headphones connector (good thing that's no longer a problem on the iPhone 7), one had an intermittent lightning connector, and yet another had a touch ID sensor that wouldn't work 100% of the time. Every time I get a new device, there appears to be more things wrong with it and the quality of the device OOTB seems to be lower than the one before it.

    It's pretty much a cluster fuck, and I'm wondering why we dropped over $1K/pop on a "premium" device only to be treated this way.

    We're both at the point where we just want reliable working hardware. We no longer care what that is, our brand loyalty towards Apple has been eroded over the years and the iPhone 6+ issues are just the icing on the cake.

    My current iPhone 6+ is already flaking out again (WiFi is intermittent, it keeps acting like airplane mode is enabled but it's not), I don't doubt it'll be long before I have to take it in again. Her iPhone is already showing signs of display corruption. We've both agreed that the next time we get them replaced, they're both going on Craigslist and we'll be switching to Android or some other hardware that we can at least depend on for 2-3 years of reliable service.

    Neither of us care about slimmer phones. We'd both happily pay upwards of $2K for a device that lasts a good 4-5 years with a battery that lasts more than a day of hard use. It's sad that Apple doesn't seem interested in taking our money, but there's not much we can do about that except to vote with our wallets, which is precisely what we'll be doing from now on.

    • Re:Never again. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09, 2016 @12:55AM (#53040453)

      We've both agreed that the next time we get them replaced, they're both going on Craigslist

      You're selling broken phones to people on Craigslist, but how dare someone sell a broken phone to you? You're part of the problem.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        You're selling broken phones to people on Craigslist, but how dare someone sell a broken phone to you? You're part of the problem.

        Not if he tells the people on Craigslist that the item they are purchasing will be a broken phone.

    • Re:Never again. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Princeofcups ( 150855 ) <john@princeofcups.com> on Sunday October 09, 2016 @01:29AM (#53040561) Homepage

      My wife and I both bought the 6+ when it came out.

      I'm on my 9th replacement unit. She's on her 7th.

      Assuming that this story is correct, and the fact that most with the phone never experience the described problem, it is quite obvious that you are doing something destructive with your phones to get that many to fail.

      • Re:Never again. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <`gaygirlie' `at' `hotmail.com'> on Sunday October 09, 2016 @01:58AM (#53040633) Homepage

        Not necessarily. On the PCB there is a controller whose contacts eventually come loose and that is the fault here. The OP says he and his wife are both heavy users of their respective phones, which could indicate that the phones go through a lot of contraction - and expansion - cycles due to heating up and cooling down, thus likely hastening the process of those contacts coming loose. A user who doesn't use their phone that much also won't see the issue that quickly.

        I've experienced similar issues myself several times, like e.g. the tablet I have got replaced by the manufacturer after its WiFi-chipset lost contacts due to the tablet heating; the tablet had worked great for half a year or so, but I got the Android-version of X-Com and played it quite a lot, then during the middle of one play-session the tablet lost WiFi-connection. After rebooting the tablet WiFi was gone, the system couldn't find WiFi-hardware at all. And these old laptops I have: one of them had a loose connection to the display and one of them had the connections from the GPU to the PCB loose -- both fixed with a bit of a heat-gun applied at the right spot to reflow the solder.

        • Re:Never again. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by willy_me ( 212994 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @05:28AM (#53041039)

          Hell no. We are not talking about a 100W CPU/GPU, we are talking about a touch controller IC that uses almost no power. Thermal cycling due to regular use is not an issue. I am not saying that the solder connection is not to blame, just that the cause of the problem is not thermal cycling. If one is having repeated failures then they are obviously carrying the phone in such a way that it bends. The back pocket is the worst place to carry a phone, but the front pocket can also be bad. Some people do not even realize they are doing it. But one thing is certain, if you have 9 successive failures, it's you. Better odds of winning a lottery then having 9 successive failures -- or at least it is close.

          I noticed that the iPhone 7 is not any thinner then the 6+. A tiny bit thicker even. This bodes well for the durability of the 7 so it is possible Apple learned from their mistake. Not that the 6+ is defective, but it could definitely be stronger.

          • by GNious ( 953874 )

            As long as "carrying phone in back/front pocket" is standard procedure, phones should probably be designed to handle it, outside of people sitting down with their phone in the back pocket.

          • Re:Never again. (Score:5, Interesting)

            by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo AT world3 DOT net> on Sunday October 09, 2016 @09:06AM (#53041439) Homepage Journal

            The iPhone 6 requires about half the amount of force to bend as a comparable Samsung. Not sure about the 6+. You may recall there was a bit of a scandal at the time, the so called bendgate.

            It looks like that flexing is finally having an effect on the solder joints. People who wear tight clothing and keep the phone in their pockets are more likely to be affected.

          • by Imrik ( 148191 )

            Successive failures in new phones would be rare, successive failures in phones that already failed once and got sent back are probably considerably more common.

          • by Khyber ( 864651 )

            "Hell no. We are not talking about a 100W CPU/GPU, we are talking about a touch controller IC that uses almost no power. Thermal cycling due to regular use is not an issue"

            Thermal cycling is an issue for ANY electronic component; even quarter-watt LEDs get hot enough to melt themselves if not given proper thermal dissipation.

            • Thermal cycling is an issue for ANY electronic component; even quarter-watt LEDs get hot enough to melt themselves if not given proper thermal dissipation.

              Erm no, electronics don't magically burn up. They can only use the power provided and for the vast majority of small signal devices thermal cycling is such a non-issue that many of the parts won't show up at all on a thermal camera. Claiming that all devices exhibit this problem is just plain wrong.

              • by Agripa ( 139780 )

                Erm no, electronics don't magically burn up. They can only use the power provided and for the vast majority of small signal devices thermal cycling is such a non-issue that many of the parts won't show up at all on a thermal camera. Claiming that all devices exhibit this problem is just plain wrong.

                If the design is fragile enough, then ambient temperature changes can be enough over time to cause problems and even with low power dissipation, heat from neighboring devices will increase the temperature change.

                • If the design is fragile enough, then ambient temperature changes can be enough over time to cause problems and even with low power dissipation

                  Nope still going with no. A device design may be fragile by design, but individual general purpose components used in consumer devices are entirely unphased through standard ambient temperature changes, especially given we're talking about non-high power devices here. Also if you're picking up heat from neighbouring devices then that's part of the general check and the reason you IR scan devices in the first place.

                  So no under any normal and a myriad of abnormal cases "ANY" component is not affected.

              • by Khyber ( 864651 )

                "Erm no, electronics don't magically burn up."

                Uh, yea, they usually do. I can tell you've never released the magic smoke from a capacitor or resistor, or blown up a transformer, let alone done any EE design.

          • I noticed that the iPhone 7 is not any thinner then the 6+. A tiny bit thicker even.

            No way. I was told without any uncertainty that the reason the headphone connector was removed was to make the device thinner! Are you telling me the iFans lied?

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I'm kinda surprised that Apple didn't stop replacing their phones. The only explanation is that Apple figured it wasn't the user's fault, and to be fair touch issues and WiFi being unreliable are known common faults in the 6+.

        • There are other explanations. The 6 came out about two years ago, and they may still be on warranty or Applecare or something. Also, Apple is known for great and often generous customer service. Of course, the question I want to ask is exactly what that guy and his wife do with their phones, since they're statistical outliers big-time.

      • by Imrik ( 148191 )

        To be fair, all but one of each of their phones were previously destroyed by someone else and sent back.

      • Assuming that this story is correct, and the fact that most with the phone never experience the described problem

        what do you think 'class action' means? most users DO experience this problem just like most macbooks with defective nvidia chips died. Those are design defects.

    • Re:Never again. (Score:5, Informative)

      by lucm ( 889690 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @01:36AM (#53040571)

      So it took 3 replacements of your Macbook and 16 replacements of your iPhones to erode your brand loyalty towards Apple?

      Maybe you need to join Al-Anon because you sir are an enabler.

    • If you are having that many problems with that many devices, it's probably you and not the devices.
    • They simply flat out refuse to give us new phones.

      And what would a new one give you? As far as anyone can tell it's a design issue. Do you think they just crank new ones out and throw the old ones away everytime someone reports a problem with the device? Be happy you get an on the spot swap and don't need to send it off for repair like nearly every other piece of electronics that suffers failure.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Many manufacturers do continuous improvement of their products during their lifetimes. Cars are well known for outwardly identical looking models being different under the bonnet, but actually most consumer goods are made that way.

        Additionally, quality control improves as issues are identified and tests for them developed.

        Unfortunately Apple don't seem to do this.

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      Furthermore, the quality of the refurbished units is below average to say the least. Some of mine have had scratches/dings/dents on the chassis (I take good care of my equipment, when I had to give them my original 6+ it was literally in NIB condition, so I think it's fair for me to expect a replacement device in equivalent condition)

      Yes. If their "solution" to your problem is to replace your phone, then the replacement must not only have defects under warranty repaired;
      it also must not have any new

  • by pgn674 ( 995941 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @12:04AM (#53040279) Homepage
    Sounds like a violation of the Maine implied warranty law [maine.gov]. I don't know what the state can do to Apple, but there is an Apple store in the state's largest mall.

    The Maine Implied Warranty is the little known law that protects Maine consumers from being sold seriously defective items. It can be an Unfair Trade Practice to refuse to honor the Maine Implied Warranty Law within four years of sale. The basic test for possible implied warranty violations is as follows: The item is seriously defective, The consumer did not damage the item, The item is still within its useful life and is not simply worn out.

    No class action needed.

    • No class action needed.

      That depends on the specifics. Just because someone is replacing something for free doesn't mean it isn't a burden. Look up at the post that someone is on their 9th device and each time has to spend 1-2 days talking to apple, driving to the store, etc to get it replaced. Even with warranty replacement, being given a device as a result that is still defective is grounds for some kind of complaint as the point of warranty was to replace a defective device with a non-defective one. It doesn't sound like this i

      • The AC is either fictionalizing or doing something strange to his and his wife's phones. This is way beyond the point of statistical believability. Warranties generally exclude abuse.

    • But that law only applies in Maine, plus, you have to detail the design flaw, not just, 'It doesn't do what it was designed to do'.  I imagine the cost to get an engineer to essentially, reverse engineer the design, and to come up with a new design to show that the old design was flawed is going to be a bit expensive.
  • I vaguely remember Dell going through something like this except is was bad capacitors that leaked and affected systems blue screen and Dell told the phone support people to "Do everything you can to blame it on the customer" and not to do any warranty replacements.

    • by lucm ( 889690 )

      If you can find a link for that I'd be curious to see it.

      Would it be possible that the story you recall involves HP instead of Dell? While HP will gladly sell garbage to anyone with a credit card, in my experience Dell is usually very customer-oriented. There's even a famous story of Dell chartering a jet to ship a replacement part to an important enterprise customer because the fastest Fedex wasn't fast enough.

    • Re:Seems familier... (Score:5, Informative)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @03:12AM (#53040767) Journal
      GX270/280-era 'capacitor plague'. I forget the exciting story of industrial espionage and vendor shoddiness; but for some reason a lot of substandard electrolytic capacitors made it into the supply chain. They had a tendency to swell, leak; or just derate far faster than expected. When the capacitors are supposed to be part of the circuit that supplies the CPU with appropriately regulated power, this does wonders for reliability.

      It wasn't exclusive to dell, pretty much all desktop motherboards of the period used electrolytics, and the flawed capacitors were widespread; but they had a massive number of affected units and did their best to be total scum about honoring warranties, so they came off looking pretty bad.
      • Re:Seems familier... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @06:18AM (#53041105)

        Luminous Town Electric, a capacitor manufacturer, hired a scientist who worked for Rubycon Corporation, another and rather more up-market capacitor manufacturer. As part of the 'unwritten' terms of employment, he was supposed to steal Rubycon's far superior electrolyte formulation, a trade secret mix of chemicals that make Rubycon's capacitors so good. But he screwed up - accounts differ as to if he made an error, or if Rubycon management found out about the industrial espionage and swapped the formula on file for a deliberately defective one. Either way, Luminous got hold of a dud - and, thinking they now had Rubycon's famous electrolyte formula, went straight into production without testing it. They made and sold a lot of capacitors before customers realised that the new Luminous capacitors were prone to explode after a while.

  • by zenlessyank ( 748553 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @12:33AM (#53040391)

    This is what you get. It repeats over & over. We all know the difference between ignorant and stupid. Keep buying Apple so I can keep laughing at you and pre-judging you. When I see that logo I know I am dealing with an idiot. /discuss

  • Apple thought that they could just screw their loyal customers. But now with a class action suit the class action lawyers will make millions and the consumers will get $100 coupons that they can only use towards future Apple purchases (and then the cycle will repeat).
  • These days electronics, along with just about everything else, are not made to last. This is precisely why I buy cheap, easily replaceable Android smartphones. There is no point in spending 800 some dollars on an iPhone 6 Plus when you could just buy a laptop. I'm laughing at the sheep that buy the iPhone because it is perceived as a status symbol.
  • by stevez67 ( 2374822 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @09:02AM (#53041427)

    A person buys a $700 smart phone phablet that is ~7 mm thick. There are postings on the internet of the phablets bending under stress.They don't protect it with a case or they buy a flexible case for it. They know the phone is not unbreakable, not water-proof, fragile when dropped from height. They do something to bend the phone over and over and over for months. They're surprised when the phone begins to fail. They insist that they're "entitled" to have the phone they broke replaced with a new, or upgraded model, for free. Internet rage ensues. Brand warfare postings abound and flame-wars erupt. Hilarious.

    • I forgot to mention the benevolent legal warriors who have stepped in, out of the goodness of their hearts, to lead a crusade against the vile manufacturer who dared to make a phablet that would fail under repeated abuse.

      • Pretty much sums up this case. Please don't put long, thin phones in your (back, especially) pocket.
    • A person buys a $700 smart phone phablet that is ~7 mm thick. There are postings on the internet of the phablets bending under stress.They don't protect it with a case or they buy a flexible case for it.

      Are you saying the iPhone 7 is a defective device not suitable for general use unless a certain accessory is added? This is worthy of another lawsuit.

      • Anyone remember the overblown antenna issue with the 4S? I was going to buy a case for it, but Apple sent me one I liked for free.

        • The not so overblown issue that Apple acknowledged was a problem enough to make a custom device to resolve it? Yeah I remember that. Now where's my hardened titanium strengthening case to protect my bendy phone! The precedence is set! Sue away!

  • Apple is building a new campus with Norman Foster that is estimated to cost $5 billion. [fastcodesign.com]

    It seems to me that Apple is degrading rapidly. It is apparently very difficult to get manager like Steve Jobs.
  • I'm noticing the same symptoms on my iPod Touch. (I know, but I don't need a cell phone.)

The goal of science is to build better mousetraps. The goal of nature is to build better mice.

Working...