The iPhone 6 BendGate Controversy : Read this first

ManageWPIfManageWP ManageWPyou have been waiting for the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus for sometime as a replacement for your Samsung Galaxy Note, perhaps it would be wiser to hold off your purchase of Apple’s latest smart phone model for now.

The iPhone 6 has been long touted to be revolutionary, with various new features like the Healthkit app, a better built-in camera with a f/2.2 lens, Apple Pay, among other features. However, the discovery that the iPhone 6 Plus bends under a certain amount of pressure on the edge of the phone, comes to a shock to many as it was never advertised on Apple’s marketing materials on the iPhone 6.

What does the iPhone 6 BendGate controversy mean?

If you are an avid Apple fan like us, that may mean holding on your purchase for awhile, while waiting for the new batch of iPhone 6 to be released. This is as components of the iPhone, while still working in the bent condition, might malfunction or explode. This is particularly true for batteries, as iPhone did not include specially bendable batteries, unlike LG’s specially made to be flexible batteries.

To be fair, the iPhone 6 is found to be weak at the volume control part of the smart phone, which is located on the side of the phone and not the middle. As such, some netizens have commented that the iPhone shouldn’t bend under normal conditions, while others believe otherwise.

LG Flex

However, in the most recently released report by Consumer Reports however, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus is found to be not as bendable as previously believed. 1

Read Consumer Report’s Test Results on the iPhone 6 BendGate Controversy below

Our test (of the iPhone 6 BendGate and various other phones)

To stress test these phones, we used what’s called a “three-point flexural test,” in which the phone is supported at two points on either end, then force is applied at a third point on the top—you can see the testing for yourself in our video. We applied and measured the force using a high-precision Instron compression test machine. Along with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, we tested the LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and HTC One (M8), and for those wondering about their old iPhones, we tested the iPhone 5 as well. We used one sample of each phone.

Yesterday, while we were testing and the “#bendgate” controversy was still swirling, Apple invited some journalists into its labs to show how the company stress tests iPhones. According to published reports, it seems that one of the tests Apple uses is the same three-point flexural test on a similar Instron machine.

The reports stated that Apple applies 25 kilograms (slightly more than 55 pounds) of force to an iPhone 6 Plus to test flex. What does 55 pounds mean in context? Using our Instron, we found that it’s approximately the force required to break three pencils.

Consumer Reports’ tests pushed the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus much further than 55 pounds. We started light, applying 10 pounds of force for 30 seconds, then releasing the force. Then we increased the force in 10-pound increments, noted when the phones first started to deform (that’s what our engineers call it) and stopped the test for each phone when we saw the screen come loose from the case.

The results

All the phones we tested showed themselves to be pretty tough. The iPhone 6 Plus, the more robust of the new iPhones in our testing, started to deform when we reached 90 pounds of force, and came apart with 110 pounds of force. With those numbers, it slightly outperformed the HTC One (which is largely regarded as a sturdy, solid phone), as well as the smaller iPhone 6, yet underperformed some other smart phones.

Throughout most of our test, the LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 bent, then recovered completely from each step up in force. But at 130 pounds, the case of the G3 fractured. At 150 pounds of force, the Note 3’s screen splintered and it stopped working.

Impressively, despite some serious damage from our Instron machine, some of the phones continued to work. Several of the screens illuminated and were functional to the touch; we even completed a call from one phone to another.

Below you can see the pictures of the smart phone carnage, but bear in mind that it took significant force to do this kind of damage to all these phones. While nothing is (evidently) indestructible, we expect that any of these phones should stand up to typical use.

 

The video of the test done is below

 

The iPhone 6 BendGate Conclusion :

While the iPhone 6 might have a weak point at the button area, we find it hard to justify that bending the iPhone 6 with such force to test whether it bends or not. After all, exerting such force on other digital gadgets might often cause it to break or deform.

However, for a peace of mind, perhaps holding off the iPhone 6 purchase till November or December would help, as Apple has been known to make mini changes and improvements to their products as time goes on.

 


  1. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/09/consumer-reports-tests-iphone-6-bendgate/index.htm ?

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