Apple to Repair Unresponsive iPhone 11 Touch Screens

image credit: Rafael Fernandez

published by Chand Bellur
December 5, 2020 at 2:11 p.m.

 

  • Apple will repair unresponsive touch screens on select iPhone 11 models caused by a manufacturing defect.
  • According to Apple, the touch screen flaw affects few iPhone 11 units.

iPhone 11 Display Module Replacement Program for Touch Issues

Apple recently acknowledged a severe manufacturing flaw, allegedly affecting only a few iPhone 11 devices. Over time, affected iPhone 11 models become unresponsive to touch. Fixing this problem is somewhat costly, as it requires replacement of the iPhone 11 display module.

The replacement program is only for the base iPhone 11 model. The service program does not cover the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max versions.

If your iPhone 11 is unresponsive to touch, you must first visit the Apple Support website and enter your device’s serial number. Finding your iPhone’s serial number is easy if your touch screen works. Simply tap on Settings > General > About to view your iPhone’s serial number. Enter this number into the form field, and Apple’s backend service will determine if your iPhone is eligible for free repair.

Apple will only cover iPhone 11 models for two years after the date of sale. If the issue surfaces later, you’ll have to pay for repairs out of pocket, even though it’s the result of a manufacturing flaw.

If you already paid to repair your device, there’s some good news. Apple will refund service costs for any eligible model. Refund information can be found on the relevant Apple Support page.

Why Touch Screen is Unresponsive

An iPhone’s touch screen can become unresponsive for a variety of reasons. Before you bring your iPhone in for service, it’s best to eliminate other possibilities.

Some screen protectors and cases may render your iPhone’s screen unresponsive. Try removing these accessories to see if they’re impeding proper screen function.

iOS isn’t perfect, and if Apple’s mobile operating system ends up freezing, it can appear as though the touch screen is unresponsive. Apple suggests that certain accessories may cause the touch screen to malfunction. Make sure to unplug any attached accessories before restarting your iPhone 11. If removing accessories solves the issue, there’s no need to restart your iPhone.

Try restarting your device by holding down the side button and any volume button until the “slide to power down” message appears. Of course, with a broken touch screen, you might not be able to slide the on-screen switch.

If your touch screen is defective to the point that you can’t restart your device, you’ll need to do a manual soft reset. First, press the volume up button once, then the volume down button once. Next, press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo. Ignore the “slide to power off” message. If your touch screen is unresponsive, that won’t work.

When your iPhone boots up, the touch screen may still be unresponsive, indicating a deeper hardware issue. Please don’t attempt to fix this yourself, as it may void your warranty.

The iPhone 6 and 6S also experienced touch screen issues due to design. The 6S, in particular, was Apple’s first large-screen smartphone. When pocketed, the device’s flexibility stressed and damaged the touch controller, resulting in unresponsiveness.

The problem with the new iPhone 11 is likely a manufacturing defect and not a design flaw. It should only affect users purchasing devices made between November 2019 and May 2020. That may be tens of millions of devices, yet Apple says it affected few. Specific production runs may have resulted in the flaw due to defective parts or incorrect manufacturing techniques.

Apple’s Quality Decline

No tech corporation is perfect, but that doesn’t stop Apple’s PR and marketing from portraying products as flawless. Many Apple analysts and high profile users have noticed Apple’s quality is in decline. This is largely due to Apple’s tremendous growth.

Apple was a relatively small company until the iPhone took off. Although the iMac and iPod generated significant revenues, Apple’s wealth and size increased tremendously when the iPhone became a “must-have” product.

Apple used to have a few products. When Steve Jobs returned, they had the Macintosh and little else. Gradually, they released the iMac, iPod, and then the iPhone. After that, a surge of derivative products — essentially iPhones with different screen sizes — emerged: the iPod touch, Apple Watch, iPad, and Apple TV. Apple achieved high quality when it only had a few products in its lineup. With so many products and models, this advantage diminishes significantly.

Organizational theorist Mancur Olson contends that large corporations or groups become latent due to complexities in structure complicating communications. Add to this the fact that Silicon Valley’s best and brightest do not work for Apple. They start their own companies or join startups offering the possibility of becoming a billionaire.

Apple can no longer offer the brightest engineers obscene wealth. The consequence of Apple’s stratospheric stock price is that new hires will likely make little gains from stock option grants.

Sheer size and the inability to attract top talent contribute to Apple’s craftsmanship slump. When they lost Bob Mansfield, the Mac’s quality declined significantly. The iPhone is about as good as it gets. Apple’s flagship product gets more attention than any other device. It still has manufacturing flaws, software defects, and obsolete components.

Even if you get a “perfect” iPhone, the screen, battery, and cameras aren’t as good as top-of-the-line Android devices. Performance gains from its ultra-fast A14 Bionic processor are mitigated by having less than half the RAM of competing Android devices.

Apple seems to be in a downward spiral. Although the company has never been perfect, its products appear more defective than ever. The Cupertino company typically handles manufacturing defects and design flaws well, but not always.

The last two Macs I purchased broke for no apparent reason, and Apple’s support did a poor job handling these problems. I’ve personally stopped purchasing Apple products, other than the bare minimum I need to write for Appledystopia.

In all of my life and career using Windows machines, even the cheapest models, none of them have failed as spectacularly as my last two Macs. Apple’s emperor wears no clothes. Once the lavish robes of marketing and PR fall away, they’re worse than any other tech company, selling defective, outdated products at premium prices. 

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