Consumer Reports stress test: Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus not very bendable at all

“Two days ago, the Internet erupted with photos of bent iPhone 6s, and a very-viral video of a guy creasing an iPhone 6 Plus with his bare hands. It seemed like a serious concern, yet everything about the uproar was highly unscientific. We don’t like unscientific, so we promised then that we would use our lab equipment to find out just how delicate the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus really are,” Consumer Reports reports. “We also promised to run the same tests on comparable smart phones. We’ve done that now, and our tests show that both iPhones seem tougher than the Internet fracas implies.”

MacDailyNews Take: Even grandma’s Consumer Reports sees this for what it is: FUD.

“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,” CR reports. “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.”

“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,” CR reports. “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… Bear in mind that it took significant force to do this kind of damage to all these phones. While nothing is (evidentally) indestructible, we expect that any of these phones should stand up to typical use.”

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Read more and video in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The End.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Tamir Cassel” and “Darkness” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Analysts: Ignore irrational ‘bendgate’ noise and buy Apple stock – September 26, 2014
Inside the facility where Apple tortures the iPhone 6 – September 26, 2014
Apple opens testing facility to reporters, details exhaustive iPhone 6 Plus durability tests – September 25, 2014
Apple’s gauntlet of five durability tests that iPhone 6 Plus passed with flying colors – September 25, 2014
Apple: Only nine customers have complained about bent iPhone 6 Plus units – September 25, 2014
If ‘bending’ is all Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus rivals have left, they’re roadkill – September 24, 2014

93 Comments

  1. The people who bent their phones, I’m reminded of the joke of the man who goes to the doctor and lifts his arm and says, “Doctor, it hurts when I go like this.” The Doctor says, “Don’t go like that.”

    1. No MDN and others. This is not the end. You guys completely ignore that the Note scored way higher on the test. 150 pounds vs 90 pounds for the iPhone Plus. Jesus you guys are delusional.

      And the stress point was not directly on the weakest part of the iPhone by the volume buttons.

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      2. So?
        I think 90 lbs is not too shabby. Since there have been how many millions sold in a week and only 9 reported bends I would say Apple has engineered the iPhone for better than normal human use.
        Have to admit, you win in spec, so why don’t you take that and five bucks to Starbucks and celebrate😉

      3. Actually, you are delusional that you buy into manufactured irrelevance. When nine people out of 15,000,000+ phones sold complain, this does not exist as a real world problem. My iPhone 6 has not bent in my pocket. I don’t need consumer reports to tell me what I know. You, on the other hand, need to go away, and never come near an iPhone.

        1. The iPhone 6+ sold NOWHERE NEAR 10,000,000 units let alone 15,000,000 units. I wish everyone would speak with more integrity that you are presenting. Don’t try to cloud or diminish the issue with using the overall sales numbers of both the 6 and 6+. The 6+ plus sold significantly way less units that the 6. So the ratios don’t work the way you’d like them to. Apple was smart to put that “9” number out there because that’s all anyone is going to focus on. I’d like to hear updated stats on this issue and a revised amount of phones that were returned (because it didn’t all of a sudden stop at 9.) Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll ever hear that, especially not within this Apple echo chamber.

          1. Oh, so it’s only the 6+ that the manufactured PR campaign has been harping on, huh? Well, Consumer Reports claims the 6+ is even harder to bend than the 6. In my family, we have three iPhones — none have bent. If you own an iPhone (and you don’t) and it bent (it didn’t), then take it back to Apple — they offered all nine of you a refund. And while you’re there, take a look at your own integrity.

            1. Wow! Ignorance must be bliss. Just based on the assumption that I don’t own any iPhones (2 iPhone 6’s and 1 5S) shows you’re talking out your ass. The primary phone that has been having bend issues is the 6+ not the 6. The phones bent in the Unboxed Therapy videos were 6+s. As far as Consumer Reports, it’s funny when they are proving what you want to hear, their word is gospel, when they have something negative to say about Apple, they’re either idiots or paid off. The Consumer Reports test was flawed because they did not use the weakest part of the phone as the pressure point. The volume rocker is where these phones bend because the structural integrity is the weakest there. That is where they should have applied the pressure, not the center of the phone. When I finally get my 6+, if it does bend, I will be taking it back, but honestly before all this came to light, if I found my phone bent I wouldn’t even think of taking it back because I would have thought that it was something I did and not due to a design deficiency.

            2. Listen, you obviously are the expert on bendable iPhones, and you are admirably trying to help all the foolish iPhone 6 owners that think their phones are fine. Since you’re such a man of high integrity, I’m assuming you’re sounding off because your two iPhones are bent and you’ll be getting you’re getting your refund soon as a matter of principle. Enjoy your excellent Andriod phones.

            3. Again, nothing to do with the iPhone 6. The 6+ is the phone of concern due to it’s larger size. I never once said anyone who owns a 6 or buys a 6 is foolish nor do I think it. My only issue is with those who treat this issue with a blind ignorance and typical Apple arrogance. Immediately I’m a troll because I speak a word of dissent. If everyone drinks the kool-aide who’s going to be left to challenge those in power and hold them accountable for their mistakes? I plan on getting a 6+, because I want an iPhone and I want the larger screen, but I’m making an informed decision not a blind one.

      4. And everyone is ignoring the fact that the iPhones score far higher than rivals in independent drop tests. Dropping is a far more likely way to damage a phone. No outrage about how much easier it is to break your Galaxy when it slips out of your hands. Actually, no publicity whatsoever.

      5. While Consumer Reports clearly showed how much force is required to do damage to any of those phones, what their test failed to factor in was … can the average American fat ass inflict that kind of damage to a phone?

        I would think even in the worse case – a back pocket – the phones would imbed themselves in the subcutaneous layer of fat and muscle of the buttocks before bending. Making these devices bend under test equipment is interesting, but I still want to see someone make one bend just from sitting on it.

      6. 150 pounds and 90 pounds are both ridiculously high levels of force that no normal person is ever going to exert on their phone. In the context of regular day to day use, the iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy Note are both unbendable.

        It’s over.

      7. this is a BS test. they only moved the blocks for the iPhone 5 test.

        For the other tests, they did not center the iPhone 6 Plus, or the iPhone 6, which are shorter than the LG or the Samsung Note, so the blocks should have been moved relative to the phone size to provide the same “lever” relative to the body length of the phone.

        On the bend test when one edge is not centered and the phone is allowed to slip on the sharp wooden corner of the wood block, there is an additional slipping and torsion applied to the phone. The phones with the most surface area on both of the wooden blocks withstood the most pressure.

      8. @sligt Someone who gets it and sees through the fraud of those trying to prove that the 6+ doesn’t really bend. Adjust the pressure to where the stress point is the weakest and see the results. I want to see an “industrial” test that applies the force to the volume rockers, where the structural integrity seems to be the weakest, and then see how much force it takes to make it bend.

        @everyone else Unbox Therapy made an additional video, in the streets of Totonto, where he gives you an uncut video of him doing the same bend test and the 6+ performs worse than the first one. How do you explain away that? Unfortunately, I have absolute faith that you will be able to, and once again call Unboxed Therapy’s integrity into question.

        1. You anonymous arsehat. No one said that it would not bend. You said that.

          What has been said and proven is that neither the iPhone 6 or Plus should bend under reasonable use conditions. They are both well-designed devices and are more resistant to damage in the bend test than some competitors.

          In addition, bending is only one way to damage a cell phone. As has been pointed out by many, cell phones are far more likely to be damaged by dropping them. Previous models of Apple’s iPhones have been shown to be relatively more robust than its competitor phones when dropped.

          But you want to troll and spew FUD. Do it elsewhere.

          1. I must have struck a cord if your first and last responses are name calling. I guess your arguments just drop off so that’s all you can really cling to. It’s too bad that you’ve been ingesting a steady diet of Apple’s propaganda, because it has totally destroyed your ability for critical thinking.

      9. Notice the bent battery? Do you think that loading the battery and putting a crimp in it is a safe thing?

        Notice the extra thickness and weight? If you want a brick, then buy one.

        It is you who are delusional. As I and other asserted several days ago, the original viral video test was misleading and unscientific.

        No, the iPhone 6 and Plus are not the strongest in the bend test. But they are quite strong — plenty strong for its purpose and better than some of the competition which have not been attacked in this manner.

        People are not necessarily delusional just because they do not agree with you. But you are delusional if you refuse to accept valid scientific evidence.

      10. In addition, it is clear that most people do not understand loading conditions. The three point bend test shown in the CR video creates shear loads at the supported ends and a bending load in the middle of the span defined by the applied load and the moment arm.

        Do not equate the test loads with a person’s body weight. If you put a phone in a tight back pocket and sit, you can create a lot of bending load (lb-ft or N-m). It is certainly possible to bend a phone in your pocket. The larger and thinner the phone, the more likely that scenario becomes.

        So be careful – take care of your phone. If you treat it reasonably well, it won’t bend. If you plan on abusing it, then buy an Android phone, because it is a crime to abuse a fine piece of equipment like an iPhone.

    2. Where is Samson when you need him?
      He at least new how to deal with gates, gateposts, antennagates, bendgates, u2gates and all manner of gates and then have a laugh at his own handiwork 🙂

    1. Not just their lifeline, I’ve been wondering if they’re behind the whole thing anyway. They seemed to have some pretty slick responses for twitter ready when the hashtag took off.

  2. As I said in an earlier post, just a visual inspection will tell you that the phones I saw was bent by artificial means. That kind of damage didn’t occur from ordinary use.

  3. Hold it the test results show something a little different:
    The 6 at a deformation at 70 pounds of force compared to the 5 at 130 pounds is considerably LESS strong. 70 pounds is a significant amount of force but here is the problem: your back pocket 70 pounds of force is doable by half ones body weight (“one cheek” 😃 ) while 130 is NOT.

    Apple might have a problem.

    1. Not at all. Why would anyone sit on their phone? I could understand occasionally, as in an accident, but regularly? No wonder so many people have back problems.

      The iPhone 6+ is HUGE. Why anyone would even try to fit that thing in a back pocket (never mind creating an opportunity for an alert thief) is a bit of a mystery.

    2. in the test the pounds of force are exerted at a narrow band which is very different than a person sitting on it with a soft ass. Think ‘knife’, if you exert just a little pressure the knife cuts, surface area makes a difference. If the device CR used was WIDER you’ll get different poundage.

    3. The test results show the 6 Plus to begin bending at 90 lbs of force, just like it says in the article. So no, the test results don’t show anything different.

      And what kind of idiot would put their phone in their back pocket? Not only would it break, it would be extremely uncomfortable and very easily stolen.

      1. My 240 lb step son has managed to sit on and destroy 3 android phones. One Sony and two Samsung phones. All three were cheap “Feature” phones.

        He still puts his crap phone in his back pocket. Hasn’t figured out how they keep breaking.

    4. So, not only do you have to weigh at least 140 pounds and “sit weird” so as to put half of your entire weight on the phone in your back pocket, you also have to have a bottom with such a small radius that 70 pounds more pressure is being applied to the middle of the phone than to the ends. An interesting image.

    5. All I’m saying is the results show less force is required then the 5s.

      I’m thinking right now in normal use this shouldn’t be a problem but the door is open for real world results.

      We will know if this is a problem in about 6 to 8 weeks. This very well could be a very big problem.

      I’m still under contract with my 5s, so I can’t upgrade at this point. One thing I know is I will not buy a 6 knowing I’ll need a case to achieve durability needed for the phone to last 2+ years.

      If this IS a problem with 10+ million iphone 6 units in the real world, we will know shortly.

    6. PS: my back pocket one cheek example above is half a joke but just a thought experiment how 70 pounds of force could be exerted unintentionally on a phone.

      70 pounds is significant but the guy in the video is doing it with his thumbs. There are lots of ways to apply this much force in real world situations. Sitting on your phone is one dumb way to do this. Sticking the phone on a car seat and putting box on top of it is another.

      Does this matter in the real world? I’m saying “maybe” and we will know in a few weeks.

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