Apple is being sued by iPhone 6 and 6s owners who claim that a critical design flaw made their handsets completely unusable.
“The iPhones are not fit for the purpose of use as smartphones because of the touchscreen defect,” according to a proposed US class-action lawsuit filed over the weekend in San Jose, California.
The problem, labelled “Touch Disease”, was first spotted last week by gadget repair specialist iFixit.
A growing number of customers complained that a flickering grey bar had appeared at the top of the their iPhone screens.
Shortly afterwards, the screens had stopped working altogether, rendering the handsets useless.
The issue was traced back to a structural flaw in the iPhone 6 and 6s, which became widely known as #Bendgate following the handsets’ release in 2014.
Some users found that the phones were prone to gradual bending, particularly if stored in a back pocket.
Apple addressed the issue by introducing a strengthened rear case on its subsequent iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus models.
However, the issue with the iPhone 6 remains.
It is thought that the bending may cause cracks in the solder that connects the phone’s touchscreen to the logic board, resulting in a loss of connection.
This could potentially cause the grey bar and the unresponsive screens.
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Todd Cleary of California, Jun Bai of Delaware and Thomas Davidson of Pennsylvania are the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which accuses Apple of fraud and violating California consumer protection laws.
The plaintiffs seek unspecified damages.
Apple has not yet made a statement on the lawsuit.
In July, Apple celebrated the sale of its one billionth iPhone.
“iPhone has become one of the most important, world-changing and successful products in history,” said Tim Cook.