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Apple activates iPhone 6 Plus repair program to address 'touch disease'

In what appears to be a response to the so-called "touch disease" problem, Apple on Thursday initiated a special program to repair iPhone 6 Plus devices exhibiting screen flicker issues due to multiple drops on a hard surface.

Dubbed the multi-touch repair program for iPhone 6 Plus, Apple's new repair initiative allows customers affected by a rare screen flicker issue to fix their faulty unit for a flat $149 service fee. The company failed to detail which component or components are causing the ongoing issues, but intimated users are partially at fault.

"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 said.

Referred to as "touch disease," the problem presents as a thin grey flickering band located toward the top of an affected iPhone 6 or 6 Plus display. In extreme cases, the band progressively extends further down the screen, ultimately impacting touch response.

Following user complaints in August, AppleInsider discovered the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus malady accounted for roughly 11 percent of an Apple store's daily iPhone service volume. At the time, sources said the issue was related to iPhone's touch controller.

Specifically, some units were affected by the degradation of solder joints connecting the touch controller chip to the logic board, while others saw the chip simply fail. Both scenarios could logically be tied to multiple drops on a hard surface, as Apple claims.

Users who believe their iPhone 6 Plus is experiencing the multi-touch problem described above should contact Apple or take their phone in to an Apple retail store or Apple Authorized Service Provider for inspection.

As part of the new program, Apple is reaching out to reimburse iPhone 6 Plus owners sought repairs related to the multi-touch issue through Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider. Customers who paid for repairs and have not yet been contacted can send a request for reimbursement directly to Apple.