Apple replaces malfunctioning iPhone 11 touchscreens

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Latest iPhone was 1 out of every 10 smartphones sold in US last quarter
A just-announced Apple service program will repair an iPhone 11 touchscreen problem affecting some units.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple launched an iPhone 11 Display Module Replacement Program late on Friday. It’s intended to repair a small percentage of units that are experiencing problems with the touchscreen.

These units “may stop responding to touch due to an issue with the display module,” according to Apple.


A permanent fix for iPhone 11 touchscreen problem

The replacement program doesn’t cover every iPhone 11. Users of the device can check their serial number on the Apple support website to see if their unit is part of the program. All affected devices were manufactured between November 2019 and May 2020.

The serial number check likely indicates that Apple determined that the malfunctioning touchscreens were made by just one of its parts suppliers. Other iPhone 11 units have touchscreens made by one or more other companies, and these apparently aren’t failing. Especially as Apple emphasizes that the problem affects only small percentage of units.

Plus, Cupertino made it clear that the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max do not have the malfunctioning touchscreens. “No other iPhone models are part of this program,” said the company.

But devices that do have the iPhone 11 touchscreen problem will need to be taken to an Apple retail store, an authorized service provider, or shipped to the Apple Repair Center. Anyone who already paid to have their iPhone 11 touchscreen replaced is eligible for a refund.

For those who are not part of the iPhone 11 Display Module Replacement Program but whose handset’s digitizer is having problems, there are other reasons why an iPhone screen might temporarily stop responding. Sometimes the problem is a poorly written-third-party application. Apple has a list of suggestions for fixes.

The current problem is reminiscent of “touch disease” that affected the iPhone 6 years ago.