Apple iPhone users reporting unresponsive multi-touch displays

Just as we were starting to think that the Apple iPhone would make it through the launch windows relatively unscathed by hardware defects and technical faults, we’re getting reports of a small number of iPhones’ multi-touch displays going numb to touch-inputs.

Forum users at Apple Insider and MacRumors are complaining of a “dead strip” starting to plague some iPhones out there. The “dead strip” on the multi-touch display loses sensitivity to all touch-inputs, and seems to afflict the bottom or top portion of the screen. Explains one forum user, “”First the very bottom of the screen went out so I could not hit the space-bar on the keyboard, or change to the number/character screen. Then it got worse a few days later, now I cannot hit any of the main function buttons.”

iPhone dead multi touch display unresponsive to touch screen input

Updates, resets, restores – nothing seems to help the situation, indicating that a hardware fault is the root of the problem.Β  Apple seems to be aware of the situation, and they’re replacing afflicted handsets with few if any questions asked.

Our experience with Apple support has been quite positive, so it makes sense that Apple would make it easy on the consumer and readily replace these defective units. And, with the incredible production volumes that we’re dealing with here, it’s not all that surprising to see some iPhones getting hit hardware problems.

Drop us a line if you’ve been unlucky enough to have a defective iPhone.

[Via: Apple Insider]

  • paul

    I had a different failure with mine. The on screen slider bar that you use to turn it on or to answer calls stopped responding. I could sometimes get it to turn on (but it moved very jerkily) but if a call came in, I couldn’t answer it. I’d wait, work to get it to unlock (after it stopped ringing), and call them back. I did a restore of the software and it corrected the problem and nothing has gone wonky since.

  • synace

    i returned my iphone on day 15 and recieved a replacement.

    a horizontal section of the phone from end to end stopped responding to touch. it’s position was about the height of the QWERTY row in the keyboard screen. i could drag maps until reaching that position on the screen, at which point the drag would stop, and upon continuing further, the screen would begin responding further down and the drag would resume.

  • emilio mendoza

    My iphone has the upper line failure….. i bought it in mexico, (hacked) so i supose i will not gat a replacement…..

    waste of money

  • Yoni

    I have had my iphone since like mid august and the keypad section with the shift button, backspace, and the letters zxcvbnm is now dead. When you hold it horizontally those work and the W key wont work along with another. Restart, reset, restore; nothing worked. Apple is sending me a loaner and an envelope to send mine in with. Who knows…

  • Aravind

    my phone is also having similar problems with the touch screen… does not respond at all sometimes..i press both the lock and the main button and switched it off. after i powered it on.. it worked.

    will apple replace the phone?

    it has been 4wks i bought the phone… πŸ™


    I have problem that only upper 2cm of display is responding. I can not “slide to unlock” phone because bottom of display is death πŸ™ πŸ™
    Anyone knows how to reset this failure? This is FATAL BUG iPhone is useless with this issue πŸ™

  • Jessica

    Bought the iphone when it came out and am just now having issues. The top 1/3 to almost 1/2 of the screen is completely unresponsive. πŸ™ I can still use it for calls, and i can get to my texts via my contacts list, but i cant type web adresses in bc of the location so the internet is useless now πŸ™„ I have an appt tomorrow at the apple store. Im assuming they will just replace it since it is such a common issue. Looking forward to get a new shiney phone.. not looking forward to putting all my phone numbers back in the contact list! πŸ˜•

  • Will Park

    Just make sure you sync your iPhone with iTunes before you take it in to the Apple Store. Your contacts will be backed up, so that when you sync your new iPhone with iTunes, the contacts will also sync up. 😎

    Good luck, Apple customer service is incredible! Being a girl helps too, those Apple “Geniuses” are just nicer to girls for some reason… πŸ˜‰

  • thrasher

    Yep, I’m driving to my closest Apple store today after work… 2 hours away…
    The screen entirely stopped working yesterday and I went to the ATT by my house and they wouldn’t even talk to me! They wrote down a phone number and told me to call Apple… my phone is my primary means of contact so i had to ASK THEM to use their phone to call!! GRRR. Apple has been great with my choices of how to have it replaced, but ATT needs to work on their CS!!
    But I’m still bummed I have to drive so far to have this done… When can’t they just let me swap one out at ATT, ya know!?

  • Rajesh

    My 4day old unlocked iphone16GB 1.1.4 has frozen.
    When i switch it on-only an apple icon is displayed.
    No home screen.
    Please can one help me

  • Kim Ginnerup

    I have had my I phone for a month. Today the upper half of the screen became unresponsive.
    The phone is bought in England and I live in Denmark.
    (which implies that I had to hack it to get it to work in Denmark). So I guess it leaves me with no option to get it repaired. I really like the iPhone so it irritates me quite a lot to run into this kind of problem.

  • Brenna

    This JUST happened to my phone. My boyfriend called my phone and I couldn’t pick up because the screen was being unresponsive. And I ended up being able to call him back, but when no one picked up, i couldn’t hang up. So I refreshed my phone to hang up and hopefully to get it to work and still, no good. (it did hang up though) I tried it again, but found that I could get the top of the screen to work. There also seems to be a problem with the speaker now. When the phone rings, the speakers are very faint and hard to hear. I ended up having to call my boyfriend through a VP (a phone made for deaf people).

    You all should be fine with the 1 year warranty.
    I have the $600 dollar version and it’s about 1 year old, so i don’t know if I can get it replaced

    And unless somehow apple can get my phone numbers, email addresses, and calendar events, those will all be lost.

    I’m now charging it, hoping that will somehow help. If not, i’ll let the battery die and hope that helps.

  • Kim Ginnerup

    I think I will just write about the next part of my unresponsive iPhone I wrote about on May 31th.
    I was on a trip to London and thought why not try and see what Apple have to say about my unlocked but unresponsive iPhone. I got an immediate appointment to the Genious Bar and after a 10 minute wait I had one of the Genious guys looking at my iPhone. They restored it back to default to see if it was the unlocking that was causing the problem. They found that the iPhone still didn’t work and gave me a new one.
    So now I am the happy owner of a brand new iPhone which I can see is a never version and had 1.1.4 preinstalled. I am back in Denmark again, with a nice working iPhone.
    In the meantime I have washed my headset in the washing machine. ;-( Don’t do that the earplugs still works, but the microphone is dead. Cannot blame Apple for that. Nice service Apple.

    • reg

      i bought unlock iphone 3gs after 2 weeks the bottom screen is not sensitive to touch, i went to apple store they said unlock iphones cannot be replace, but you said they replace yours, what did you tell them please reply asap

  • Marlee

    I bought my iPhone on day 1. Just last night I was surfing the web on it. Woke up in the AM and for no reason at all the strip where the QWERTY is for Safari/789 on the phone keypad no longer works. Dead. Unresponsive. Guess I’ll wait a week until I get home from vacation and take it into the Apple store. Maybe they’ll replace it with a 3G. Or maybe since the warranty for all us day one purchasers just expired, I’ll have to buy a new one. Smart of them.

    • alymae

      Almost the same thing happened to me… one month after the 1 year warranty, my “dead zone” happens to be my space bar. Can’t text at all.
      Apple won’t send me a refurbished phone for under $199.00, which is, coincidentally the same price as getting the 3g from AT&T with a new contract. Seems a bit premeditated….
      So, I wanted to get the new phone anyway, but wanted to pass this one on to my teenager — can’t do that with no texting capabilities.
      I’m a little angry.

  • Nabeel

    Helo everyone, I bought my iPhone last summer, and today I am having problem clicking on the main function buttons, but the “slide to unlock” bar is working fine.
    I have restored and upgraded the device firware to 1.1.4 and still having the same problem.

    Anybody have a fix to this problem, pls. share it with us.


  • mike

    I just got the dreaded unresponsive strip on the top of my iPhone. I can’t access the first two rows of icons. The bottom have works. I bought the iPhone in London only 4 months ago. I don’t know if I want a phone that is going to break just outside the mandatory 1 year replacement period. Apple will have to replace the phone this time, but I can’t wait for the argument with them after 12 months….. This sucks.

  • LtP

    I’ve had my iphone 3G for about two weeks and it’s now making a grinding sound whenever it rings or a ringtone is played (alarm clock etc). It sounds as if there are gears rubbing together or something is loose and off kilter internally, yet I’ve not dropped it, banged it, or jarred it in any way. I’m with Rogers in Canada and cannot wait to see what kind of run around I will get regarding replacement…. Has anyone else experienced this type of issue?

  • imad

    I bought an Iphone 2G from online, the seller miss advertised it, in other word I was cheated, it was advertised with a “touch screen occasionally freezing”.

    Make the story short I ended up with a dead screen phone.

    the phone was in immaculate shape, I called 800myiphone, spoke with couple of people to find out that the warranty expired 55 days ago.

    I asked for a supervisor who ended up advising me to take it to an AT@T store and have it activated, ignorant as he is, he told me the screen is unresponsive because the phone don’t have an At@t simm, yeh right.

    Did I mention I used Pwnage and everything worked like a charm, except the screen still didn’t work, and off course I did restore the phone using Itune couple of times with no avail.

    Did I also mention I’m a T-mobile customer.

    Make the story long, the next day I called apple again and lied saying I went to an AT@T store to activate the phone and that the store manager concluded that the screen is dead and that my only option was to get back with Apple.

    Apple told me I had 2 options, either send it for repair and pay $199 or they could schedule ma an appointment at an Apple store, they call it Genius bar.

    off course I decided to sit with one of the geniuses, who could turn down such opportunity?

    The genius asked me a series of questions, such as if I tried activating the phone with ATT, he also checked to see if the phone was dropped, any dents, then he told me the warranty expired 56 days ago, but because he felt bad for me……. he went and got me a new one for free.

    Conclusion, it doesn’t hurt to try, just make sure you walk into apple store with a credible story.

    No wonder I only use Apple computers

  • Matthew, SF, CA

    Same problem as Nabeel :

    Since a week ago, I cannot click on the main function buttons or make use of the bottom 1/8th of the screen except that the β€œslide to unlock” bar is working fine.

    Unlocked > 1-year old 2.0.1 phone on AT&T. Seems fishy to me…

    Anybody have a fix to this problem, pls. share it with us. Will try Genius bar…


  • AndrΓ© de Jongh

    I experience now also a non responsive keypad in the phone section of my iPhone… the line ” * 0 #” is not sensitive anymore to touches. In stead the key above or under one of the concerned keys is being activated.

    Strange thing though is that when I unlock my sim card, all the keys appearing in that window (similar to the keypad of the phone application) ARE functioning to all touches….

    I live in The Netherlands.

    • reg

      i have the same proble, as yours. i bought unlocked iphone 3gs after 2 weeks *#0 on the key is not responsive to touch, im worried now because the iphone is unlocked apple might not replace it or repair but im still covered with the one year warranty the only thing is it is i dont what to do, ddi i only waste my money

  • Paul

    I’d posted earlier about my screen having issues, well, 2 months outside of the 1 year warranty, the touch screen stopped responding altogether and I had to pay full price for a replacement (got a 3G). This time I paid the extra amount to have it covered for another year.

  • jorge

    yea i have had the 4gb iphone for quite some time
    and just today this happend and i cant use the phone anymore
    πŸ™ only the upper half works but not the rest πŸ™

  • shadaan

    I stay in India and i got this phone through a friend in US..the lower part of screen is not responding i.e space bar numericals etc so cant send sms πŸ™ its useless phone for me now and i dont have any genius to help me πŸ™

  • Clarissa

    same problem what can i do my phone is out of warrenty by three months what can i do to fix this?

  • emilio

    One month after getting my iphone (from Orange in switzerland) I noticed that a narrow horizontal band across the screen at around the location of the second row of icons had stopped responding. This is particularly a pain in the ass because the sim unlock button is right in that line. This means that if I have to turn the phone off for any reason… I won’t be able to turn it on for quite a while until the strip starts working again… I have to say that most of the time now it doesn’t respond. The guy at Orange tried to tell me that I needed a software update ..hmpf! I told him clearly it’s a hardware fault and I wanted a replacement. All he could do was to suggest that he could send the phone back to Apple. He said if they couldn’t fix it they would replace it. I will have it back in 2 weeks. I have synced my baby up and I’m just on my way to hand it in. I will let you know of the outcome.

  • Leigh

    Small knock from couch to floor and the whole screen went unresponsive, reboot doesn’t help. I’ve got a $2000 clock now. Any advice?

  • mike muir

    the function button on my iphone is not responding. in order to change from app to app i have to power down the phone. two questions – is powering down the phone over and over a problem? can the function key be replaced?
    mike muir

  • Colleen

    The bottom strip on my iphone stopped working while it was in the charging station. Never been dropped. However AT&T will not replace, because it is out of warranty they want me to spend the $199 to replace. It is a 8GB and not worth that price to replace. I am not at all happy with the product and am not willing now to buy a new one for fear of the same problem.

  • Jairo

    Yea me too I feel like crying when they don’t want you to get a new handset & it sucks….

  • Bear

    I just started having this problem (upper half of screen) today.
    It’s an original 8GB unit, running OS 3.0.
    I did a full factory reset/restore…no luck.
    Phone is 23 months old at this point.

    I will someone had an add-on external keyboard, similar to the Android G1 or T-Mobile Sidekick keyboard. That would be huge…

  • Merrill T

    I have a Gen.1 iPhone (bought on day 2 of release), on installing OS 3.0, a deadband on the Multi touch screen installed as well. Very small on the bottom of the screen and a pretty wide one in the middle. Since 3.0 lets you change the screen orientation in most applications, I can work around it. “G” and “V” won’t work in landscape (large keyboard) and “send” in text messaging won’t work either. Problem is getting more acute. Went to the Genius bar today and the “Genius” said that OS 3.0 and the screen problems are unrelated and there is no documented case similar to mine. I had to instruct him to document my case… I mean, if they tell everyone that no one else has a problem, but don’t document the problems that are brought in, then everyone has a “unique” problem. The only option according to the “Genius” is to replace the phone. Clearly a design or manufacturing defect of either the hardware or the OS. Why won’t Apple own up to this?

    • SeanP

      I have the exact same problem. 1st gen 2g iPhone with 3.1.2 and wide dead strip in the middle of the screen. Cannot use G or V in landscape and cannot hit send when in vertical. I can work around this but its very annoying when you need to sign into an app and the sign in button is in the middle, with no landscape option. Your case is not unique. I tried restore and no go. I’m left with screen replacement. I was sold the phone in mint shape and it is, with the exeption of the dead strip. πŸ™ Other than that its my 2nd iPhone, 1st was the 4gig never had a problem with that one.

  • Gassy

    I bought my 3G S in September and now I’ve got a vertical dead strip on the right of my screen. So when I’m typing in portrait mode I can’t press o, k, m and delete. And I can’t use some apps (though I’m able to launch all) cos the buttons lie along the dead strip.

  • Roberto Basa

    Does anyone have known fix for this unresponsive touch screen of an i phone 3G?
    My i phone 3g became unresponsive after i cleaned up my screen with a paper towel and a dash of windex. does anyone have any solution to this know problem? Please any solutions that made their phone work would really be nice to hear from.

  • Mohammad Tariqul Alam

    My 2G i phone is having prob with upper 2 row. Initially it was only 2nd row. Then I found also bottom.But bottom become ok but 1st row also unresponsive now. I wasted the money. Bad luck. helpless………….

  • Gustav Moorhouse

    My 2G started not replying to touch inputs a couple of weeks ago on the upper half of the screen. Since today the entire screen doesn’t react anymore. Restores, software-updates and re-syncing didn’t change anything! What should I do now?

  • Narrowfeather

    Just got a dead strip on mine too, I take it the only fix is to go buy a Droid?

  • Victoria

    On my ipod. I started off having an u nresponsive row so I couldn’t press o, p or anything in those two vertical rows. It also has hypersensitive multi touch but, how do I fix this?

  • sundaresh iyer

    Having the same problem here , upper and lower portions dead . Restored it , updated it , but nothing works ……

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