In August 2007, we first reported on an issue where certain spots on the iPhone?s MultiTouch screen ? particularly a strip about 1/2 inch in height somewhere below the top of the screen ? will not accept input. Hope held that this issue was restricted to a bad run of touchscreens and slowly disappear. Unfortunately, users are still reporting the issue, even with recently purchased iPhones, in droves.
Now users are reporting manifestation of the dead touchscreen issue days or weeks outside Apple's 1-year warranty, necessitating costly replacement or out-of-pocket repairs.
One iPhone Atlas reader writes:
"I have this dead spot about 3/4" up the screen of my first gen iphone. I went to the apple store today and they were not help, since my phone is about 30 days over warranty."
"I purchased an iPhone 2G back in July, 2007. 20 days past the 1-year anniversary, the bottom of my touchscreen stopped responding with the Virtual Keyboard. The proximity touch feature allows selection of the various buttons that float across the bottom, but with the keyboard in vertical position, you can't shift, use the number keys, or space bar, etc. The bad news is that Apple wants $219.00 to have the phone repaired. Full price for a phone initially, making this an $800 toy at this point."
If a hardware defect is to blame and your iPhone is out of warranty, screen replacement service may be your only option. Before seeking repair/replacement, however, try the following workaround:
- Reset your iPhone Sometimes, ostensibly dead spots on the screen are merely the result of frozen applications or an unresponsive interface rather than actual hardware failure. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button (on the top of the unit) and the Home button simultaneously for several seconds until the Apple logo appears and check for persistence of the issue.
- Clean the screen It may sound trite, but a glaze of any foreign substance can cause operational difficulties for the iPhone?s screen. Clean the screen with the cleaning cloth that came in the box with the iPhone.
- Restore your iPhone As a last resort, try restoring. This can remove lingering software issues that might be causing a lack of screen response. To perform a restore, Connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC and, in iTunes, click the Restore button under the Summary tab. Restoring the phone will erase contacts, calendars, photos and other data on the phone, but will restore automatically backed-up information including text messages, notes, call history, contact favorites, sound settings, widget settings, etc.