Ahead Of iPhone 7 Release, Touch ID Problems And Software Issues Are Wounding Apple’s Reputation

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With the iPhone 7 release date right around the corner, Apple's reputation is suffering hits because of issues with Touch ID and software failures. New report deems Android "more reliable." Getty Images

Ahead of the iPhone 7 release date, problems with iPhone Touch ID, software and other platform issues are putting a hurt on Apple’s reputation. Find out what issues are plaguing iOS users’ devices and why a new report deems Android "more reliable."


This year has been rife with problems for Apple’s users’ devices. From problems iPhone Touch ID failure, app crashes and other software issues, consumer confidence in the product is slightly waning and for the first time ever, Android devices have actually been named “more reliable.”

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In 2016 Q2 a study by BTG showed a 58% performance failure rating for Apple iPhones. Photo: BTG

In a  study conducted  by mobile technology service provider Blancco Technology Group (BTG), during the second quarter of 2016, iOS devices saw a 58 percent performance failure rate, while Android devices only 35 percent. Incidences like apps crashing, Wi-Fi connectivity issues and problems with headsets were among the top complaints from iOS users cited in the report. The study also notes that iOS users experienced more app crashes than Andorid users in the second quarter with Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram topping the list as the apps that crashed most often.

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The iPhone 6 shows the highest Apple device failure rate in a new study by BTG Photo: BTG

Touch ID Problems A Major Concern For iOS Users

Outside of BTG's report, Apple has also dealt with some alarming hardware issues this year -- namely involving the Touch ID. In February, a widespread issue with Touch ID-equipped iPhones that had undergone screen replacements becoming bricked by an “Error 53” message grabbed the attention of the media and gained mass coverage.

Meanwhile, other issues with the Touch ID in various iPhone models, most notably the iPhone 5S, 6, and 6 Plus, has a growing number of Apple devotees questioning the quality of the devices the company is producing.

In an in-depth post by iFixit’s Jessica Bluff, she outlines a critical problem iPhone repair shops are seeing with Touch ID equipped devices – particularly the iPhone 6 Plus. The issue, which iFixit it dubs “Touch Disease” is one of the primary reasons iPhone users are coming to repair shops for help. In many cases, users report an issue where the iPhone screen has a flickering gray bar running across the top and using the Touch ID becomes glitchy and inconsistent.

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The flickering grey bar and Touch ID not working have become a widespread problem for Apple users, particularly with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Photo: iFixit

According to one iPhone repairperson, Rami Odeh, he has roughly 100 iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices coming into his shop with this Touch ID disease.

“This issue is widespread enough that I feel like almost every iPhone 6/6+ has a touch of it (no pun intended) and are like ticking bombs just waiting to act up,” Jason Villmer, of  STS Telecom repair shop told iFixit.

But third party repair shops aren’t the only ones aware of the iPhone Touch ID problems. Apple Genuis Bar employees are quite familiar with the issue as well. Unfortunately, Apple has yet to acknowledge the Touch ID as a real issue and so if the device is taken into an Apple Store out of warranty, there’s no solution but to purchase a new device.

There’s no clear indicator of why these devices are getting the Touch ID disease. iFixit theorizes, however, that the issue may deal with chips in the device being displaced by “bendgate” or the problem with the thinner iPhone 6, 6+ bending if kept in a back pocket and sat on.

The combination of the BTG report and rampant Touch ID issues may certainly point to why Apple has seen consumers indifferent towards the upcoming iPhone 7 release. In the last year, Apple stock has struggled to gain ground as its hardware device sales appear to have reached a plateau. With the next iPhone 7 model scheduled to release just about a month from now, Apple has some work to do to ensure consumers make the decision to choose their devices over Android.



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