in Apple iPhone Mobile Phones

IPhone 6 Plus Bending controversy. What to make of it? Is it a big flaw?

The launch of IPhone 6 Plus was much awaited with people queuing up in the wee hours of the morning to lay hands on the new Smartphone. The Smartphone which debuted in September 19th clocked sales worth 10 million from the date of launch. Initial euphoria extolling the features soon lead to reports of the device susceptible to bending. Most of the reports pertained to instances where the phone was kept in the pocket for hours altogether leading to phones being bent.

IPHONE 6 PLUS

IPHONE 6 PLUS

Image Source: Flickr

Very soon the initial trickle turned into a flood with various users uploading the pictures of bent phones in the various popular media sites much to Apple’s embarrassment. So what do we make of it? Is it a serious flaw or can it be sidestepped in view of the enhanced features and performance of the new Smartphone? Let’s find out!

IPHONE 6 PLUS

IPHONE 6 PLUS

Now there are new reports suggesting that the phones leading to a bend when kept in the pocket may have been blown out of proportions.

An independent, nonprofit organization which conducted a test to check whether the complaints are true have reported that the iPhone6 Plus bent under considerable force only. This force when applied to other Smartphones such as the HTC’s One M8 also bent due to the same force applied. But the tests also showed that iPhone 5 released in 2012 was much stronger.

Next both the iPhone 6 and Plus and even the iPhone5 was pitted against LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and HTC One M8.  The phones were tested by placing the Smartphones under a compression testing machine. It was found that all these phones withstood the pressure of a typical normal usage. The iPhone6 Plus with its 6.9mm thickness showed permanent bending when a force of 31.8 kg was applied on its back at the center.

The HTC One M8 also bent at the same force and it completely separated at 40 kgs whereas  the LG G3 withstood force up to 58 kgs  which the same as the iPhone5.The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 however, could withstand a  force up to a whopping 68 kgs making it the strongest in the segment.

Based on the above observations, it was concluded that the there was no serious flaw in the structural design of Iphone6 Plus. The phone  continued to function even after severe deformation  and required another 10-13 kgs for the screen of the Smartphone to completely separate from the frame.

Apple on the other hand has also issued a statement and have stressed that all its Smartphones go through a similar pressure test where a force of 24kgs is applied during the quality and resilience test.

The phones are put through rigorous tests like 3 point bending, pressure point cycling, sit, and torsion and user studies.

iphone 6 plus bending

iphone 6 plus bending

Apple has released a statement saying they have received only 9 complaints so far from consumers about the bending phones. It has given a statement that it has checked close to 15000 phones post receiving the 9 complaints. This means that the phone does not bend under normal use and is described as “extremely rare” by Apple.

Apple further went on to explain that the phones are equipped with steel or titanium casings and the screen is fitted with ion strengthened glass that keeps the iPhone6 from getting bent from normal use. It said   that the materials were chosen for their strength and durability.

The phones therefore are equipped to meet or exceed the highest quality standards set by Apple. 

Several iPhone users however have revealed that phone bends slightly even without applying pressure, but the deformation is hardly perceived by the naked eye. Only when it is checked at close quarters does the imperfection reveal itself.

It was reported the phone bends when it   undergoes stress of the person sitting, standing, removing the phone in &out and moving around with the phone snug tightly in the pocket. The bending happens if one is sitting under an extreme posture or position (for example, if he pulls his knees hard against his chest) so that myth has been busted.

One of other reasons provided for the bending is its thickness.  The phone at 6.9 mm is a super sleek phone compared to other phones like the Samsung galaxy S5. It has a straight flat back flap made of aluminium casing which makes it susceptible for bending whereas other Smartphones use magnesium or polycarbonate casing.

The phone bends when pressure is applied with the fingers on the backside where it is at its lowest pressure point.  The thin aluminium casing offered no resistance when the phone was tried to bend applying the thumb pressure.

One can protect the iphone6 Plus by opting for a strong protective casing so that the phone does not bend under extreme pressure.

The controversies surrounding the new iPhone6 Plus have resulted in “Bend Gate” and most of the companies have jumped into the fray to cash in, prominent among them being Samsung who is the main competitor for Apple. They were not happy with the phenomenal sales and have fast tracked the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to October 17th.

The wide publicity that iPhone6 Plus has received proved that its users expect the best from Apple. Other smart phones do bend, but do not receive the same media attention as an iPhone6 Plus. Notwithstanding the controversy, the iPhone 6 Plus is till proving to be a best seller with most of the retailers posting the “sold out” signs on their doors and windows indicating its popularity.

In conclusion one needs to remember that the stress is not limited to this Smartphone alone, but also for other slim Smartphones in the market which shows signs of bending under extreme pressure.

The strongest defense offered for the deformation sensitivity of the iPhone 6 plus is its specifications. As the manufacturer’s aim at providing better screens, bigger frames and the best technology the strength of the Smartphone is often relegated to the background. A sturdier phone may not bend, but also may not be aesthetically and lightweight like the iPhone6 Plus.

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