back to article BENDY iPhone 6, you say? Pah, warp claims are bent out of shape: Consumer Reports

Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus mobes do not bend out of shape quite as easily as was claimed by bloggers earlier this week, according - that is - to a more rigorous test carried out by Consumer Reports. The US product reviews outfit used its lab equipment to see if there were obvious design weaknesses in Apple's anodised …

  1. William Donelson

    Blogger Fraud, even?

    Slate.com

    Apple BendGate Truthers Smell a Media Plot

    http://tinyurl.com/pxgybbq

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Facepalm

      Re: Blogger Fraud, even?

      Aye, that'll be it.

      And you know this iOS8 "bricker" update? It was fine when it left Apple towers - the damn networks corrupted the bits as it flew over to the handsets.

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: Blogger Fraud, even? @Bob

        What does the one thing have to do with the other?

        The Slate article appears to be about some idiot who badly faked a video of bending the thing with his own hands. But that was following the initial reports — of it bending of its own volition during the course of a wedding, etc — so is itself a complete side issue to the bendability of the thing.

        1. VinceH Silver badge

          Re: Blogger Fraud, even? @Bob

          "The Slate article appears to be about some idiot who badly faked a video of bending the thing with his own hands."

          Did he, though?

          Yes, there are some time discrepancies in that video - but there also appear to be two iPhone boxes on the table to the right (his left) in some shots.

          What may have happened is that after bending the first, and filming himself before and after talking about it, he then bent another to film the actual bending sequence - which would have resulted in the discrepancies. He probably didn't bother adjusting the time to avoid continuity errors because he wasn't making a Hollywood blockbuster.

          Or just didn't think of doing it.

          1. thames

            Re: Blogger Fraud, even? @Bob

            He actually did a second video standing in Dundas Square in Toronto with witnesses standing around him watching. The phone in that video bent even more easily.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ3Ds6uf0Yg

            1. Bob Vistakin
              Mushroom

              Re: Blogger Fraud, even? @Bob

              @thames Thanks for that link - wow, it bends much easier than I'd realised.

              I love the way Apples denial machine is going overboard, such as this "only 9 complaints so far" malarkey. The more they do it, the stupider they look when a month or two down the line they have to issue the inevitable recall, as the cumulative effect of normal daily use hits home. Or some crappy support frame for it, the same way bumpers were issued when, dammit, those darn stupid users just kept on holding it wrong.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Blogger Fraud, even? @Bob

                Personally I'm convinced the iPhone on the grassy knoll was bent

              2. DougS Silver badge

                @Bob Vistakin

                "Inevitable recall"? Really?

                So where's HTC's recall of the even more bendable M8, which has been known about for months now? Google "bent m8" to see the thread on Android forums.

              3. VinceH Silver badge
                Trollface

                Re: Blogger Fraud, even? @Bob

                "I love the way Apples denial machine is going overboard, such as this "only 9 complaints so far" malarkey."

                Hmm...

                "With normal use, a bend in iPhone is extremely rare and through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus."

                ...because the other iPhones that have bent ceased working altogether, and their owners had to use a different phone to contact us.

    2. zemerick

      Re: Blogger Fraud, even?

      Really?

      So, because someone doesn't film everything in sequential order, that makes it fraud? Last I checked, that was just proper film making.

      It's pretty clear what happened is he filmed the bend test first, then the conclusion ( which shows 1:59 ), then later films the intro. The time gap suggests he probably put the video together, and felt the intro he originally had wasn't cutting it. So, he refilmed it.

      I especially find it funny, considering this guy is (was?) largely on Apples side. He massively down plays the fact that he bent the phone by hand ( the bending part is shown without cutting, so the rest doesn't matter. ), and even admits that it's his own phone. ( Though, he might have switched to a Moto X now... as shown in his followup video for the conspiracy theorists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ3Ds6uf0Yg&feature=youtu.be which shows him bending the iphone 6 plus quite fast and easily actually. ) He does seem to dislike Apples comments on the matter though, and thinks they are downplaying the issue. ( Which of course, is exactly what Apple should do. You never want to scream the sky is falling regarding your own product. )

      It would be much more interesting to see the bend numbers at various times: 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, and 6 months. Of course, we have some time to go still for most of those, and at 6 months it will be closing in on being a moot point. ( Most Apple users update yearly instead of once every 2 or 3 years. )

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      iPhone 4 needed bumpers?

      iPhone 6 needs girders?

  2. Graham Dawson

    Laboratory conditions strike again!

    The problem with this test is that it doesn't appear to replicate the real-world conditions involved. The "bendgate" video showed uneven pressure being applied across a corner, which - unintentionally, I'm sure - is a more realistic representation of what would happen. A phone jammed in a front pocket, as reported at the start of the controversy, would be subjected to unequal pressure on one corner as its owner bent their leg to sit down and stand, or walk around. The problem is magnified if that corner is also the one with the controls, which present a significant weak spot.

    The full cross-section of the phone is a great deal stronger than a partial section across the corner. Testing the full cross-section doesn't address the demonstrated failure.

    The smaller phone is more robust due to the relative strength of the case material in cross-section. The larger phone is weaker. It's rare, but this bending issue obviously does happen, and it's a case of Apple apparently not realising that scaling the phone up without accounting for the square/cube law is asking for trouble.

    1. william 10

      Agree,

      70lbs of pressure does not seem much. I have an LG G3 and I'm already looking at replacing the Circle case as the current one has already taken significant damage from being inserted and removed from close fitting front pocket, cycling when in said pocket, climbing over fences (and this from a 50 year old) I hate to think what would happen if my son had a iPhone 6.

  3. Kaltern
    Happy

    Laboratory Street

    This lab test is brought to you by the words 'Apple' and 'Dollar', and by a very large number indeed.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Laboratory Street

      Consumer Reports is a thoroughly trusted organisatiom with an 80-year history. There's zero evidence of corruption here.

      If you're the sort of person that jumped to that conclusion then here are some more facts that may rock your world: man really did land on the moon, the Earth is round, Obama was born in Hawaii.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Laboratory Street

        "Consumer Reports is a thoroughly trusted organisatiom..."

        Have you ever wondered how a subscription based model can last so long without knowing but a handful of PEOPLE that buy a subscription? If it isn't people solely supporting them, who could it be...hmmm?

        Also, what I did not know until now, is that they have apparently NEVER lost a lawsuit. Apparently, like Apple, they can do no wrong. How convenient for Apple's contributions advertising.

        1. Irony Deficient

          Re: Laboratory Street

          MyBackDoor, you can answer your own question by looking at the data on the Consumer Reports annual reports page, where you can also find tax returns and audited financial statements for Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports. As an example, between 2012-06-01 and 2013-05-31, they had 234 M$ of subscription and newsstand sales. Do you expect to know all of their four million subscribers personally?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Laboratory Street

        I'm sorry but my world revolves around dogma, bile and narrow mindedness, so none of your facts here please.

      3. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Laboratory Street

        "Consumer Reports is a thoroughly trusted organisation..."

        Not exactly. They've recommended Toyota brand cars far too often, considering...

        1. 404 Silver badge

          Re: Laboratory Street

          <Tinfoil Hat Activation>

          Obviously the tests were completed by researchers who use iPhones personally, therefore skewed the results to substantiate their intelligent choice in phone hardware. Misery loves company.

          Obviously.

          </Tinfoil Hat Activation>

          ;)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Laboratory Street

          I had a Toyota, US manufactured.

          I drove it into the ground, 200,000+ km. It took me over 20 years to kill it - best car I ever owned.

          1. Brandon 2

            Re: Laboratory Street

            I still own mine. 10 years, 225,000 km and counting... will probably last another 100,000. <shrug> I often worry about having a phone in my pocket and leaning up against something causing the screen to crack or bend or whatever... ah well. I hate iOS, so note 4 here I come. Lots of fanboi downvotes in the comments on this article :)

    2. Franklin

      Re: Laboratory Street

      "This lab test is brought to you by the words 'Apple' and 'Dollar', and by a very large number indeed."

      You might want to do some research.

      Consumers Union, the outfit behind Consumer Reports, refuses to accept money from any maker of any of the products they test. They will not even accept test samples from manufacturers--they buy everything they test retail. The magazine itself contains no advertising. They have shown themselves willing to go up against car manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and other wealthy, entrenched interests.

      Complain about the test methodology if you like. Criticize the test apparatus if you like. But saying Apple bought them off just makes you look profoundly ignorant.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Laboratory Street

        The Consumer Association in the UK is similar - its monthly magazine is called 'Which?'. It has no advertising, and is financed by its subscribers.

        They test all sorts of consumer goods, and they explain their methods which often involve a lot of real testing in controlled conditions. Recommendations are made, but the results of the tests and specifications of all tested products are always shown in a matrix.

        Its subscribers give Which? a group of consumers with varied and broad interests who are willing to participate in surveys. They know that this information will not be used to sell stuff to them. Instead, the information will be processed and given back to them.

        Such surveys include customer service from retailers, or the reliability of products.

        It would be very difficult for any one company to 'game' these surveys, due to the range of products and services the subscribers are quizzed about.

    3. Kaltern

      Re: Laboratory Street

      Downvote me all you want, but the tests that were done on the device were not in any way 'real world' examples of the actual stresses put on a phone in the pocket like people are claiming.

      I could prove an egg cannot be broken by testing it's innate strength to support weight, with positive results.

      And yes, call me cynical if you wish but I don't believe any organisation, anywhere ever in the world, is free from corruption, self-interest, bribery or suchlike.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

    End of story.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

      It's a shame they didn't test any regularly-sized Samusungs; they're probably even more sturdy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

      The reality is it's not twice as strong - if you suffered a force sufficient to break the iPhone (i.e. heavy fall onto a hard surface) it would probably be sufficient to break both.

      Get Applecare Plus which now also includes accidental damage - up to 2 replacements over 2 years for a £55 excess on a £500-700 phone - so assume even if you do drop it into a pint or out of a window you can get it fixed / replaced by the manufacturer. Think it's about a £70 extra but over 2 years that's not even £3 a month.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Holmes

        Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

        @AC - "up to 2 replacements over 2 years for a £55 excess on a £500-700 phone"

        What do you do when you bend the third one then? Besides giving up and buying a Samsung instead?

        1. Mike Bell

          Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

          Open invitation to Fandroids: Go to an Apple Store and try to bend one. The staff won't stop you. I did. It didn't bend.

          1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

            Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

            Quote: "Open invitation to Fandroids"...

            I suspect all of you, consumer reports and the people who are reporting bending it are right.

            Consumer reports (and your less scientific test) can be summarized as "you are holding it wrong". It clearly does not bend if:

            1. You apply force in the middle

            2. If you apply force evenly

            3. If you apply force at a right angle to the phone

            This does not mean that it does not have a specific structural weekness which allows it to bend if you twist it, apply force to a corner, etc.

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

              >You can be certain that Apple will wriggle out of repairing / replacing these sub-standard efforts.

              How do you square your assertion with the results of customer service surveys conducted by the UK's Consumer Association (see above), which, like Consumer Reports, is subscription funded?

              i.e 'Links please'.

              1. ukgnome

                Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

                >You can be certain that Apple will wriggle out of repairing / replacing these sub-standard efforts.

                Yeah, Apple never recall products or admit issues with batteries or power buttons or anything like that, so bending would fit into this category. Except of course if you have an iPhone 5 for power buttons and batteries or a 5s for battery.

      2. AlbertH
        Linux

        Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

        You can be certain that Apple will wriggle out of repairing / replacing these sub-standard efforts. They will invoke some tiny-print sub-clause in their warranty agreement that absolves them of any blame for poor design or manufacturing flaws.

        They obviously discovered that their prototypes were too expensive to make and too heavy to sell, so decided to compromise the mechanical rigidity of the product in an effort to maximise their profits - after all, Apple fanbois are notoriously uncritical and very defensive of their favourite products!

        In this first week, I've seen these bricked by flawed updates, killed by defective batteries (they partially charge once than fail to re-charge), bent, with cracked screens straight out of the box, and just simply not working from new....

        Apple need to recall these things, admit they got it very wrong, and ship a new product that addresses all the flaws as soon as possible. This might allow them to retain some of their market share....

        1. Chris--S

          Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

          I don't know about this bending issue, but apple typically (at least in my experience) don't quibble, they just check the fault is real and then fix or replace the phone. No drama. For my iphone5 (no AppleCare), that's a new screen, then a new unit. As a side issue, it does raise questions about the durability of the things.

        2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

          "...Apple... ... ...defective batteries..."

          I just bought a Microsoft Surface 2 (because it was on sale, cheap). Brand new factory sealed box.

          The battery is not detected. Did all the proposed fixes offered up by the 'net. The battery is still not detected. Brand new. Factory sealed. Apparently it's a fairly common problem. The website (which is horrid by the way, somebody at MS should hang), almost immediately went to "We'll send you a replacement."

          Microsoft, not Apple.

        3. whatevs...
          Facepalm

          Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

          Yes Albert. For 9 devices, they should recall all 15 mEEEElion + devices sold so far. Even if you argue that is in the 1000's, it doesn't warrant a recall.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

          You can be certain that Apple will wriggle out of repairing / replacing these sub-standard efforts. They will invoke some tiny-print sub-clause in their warranty agreement that absolves them of any blame for poor design or manufacturing flaws.

          Weird, that. I've been using Apple kit in 3 different countries and for the few problems I've had I always had instant replacements. Literally walk in, walk out replacements, without the need of having any debate whatsoever with staff (unlike some other places where they try a game of legal bullshit bingo until they realise I pretty much know most consumer laws backwards). Have you actually ever owned Apple equipment or are you just repeating someone else's nonsense?

          1. lotus49

            Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

            I am far from being an Apple fanboi and I have certainly been spending less with them over the last couple of years but I wholly concur. From a customer service perspective regarding the small number of hardware issues we've had as a family, Apple has been excellent, pretty much replacing things no questions asked.

            My experience is that Apple stands behinds its kit.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

          > Apple fanbois are notoriously uncritical and very defensive of their favourite products!

          OTOH, do Samsung fanbois tend to go in therapy for being too critical of their gizmo choices.. ?

          Asking for a friend.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

        > Get Applecare Plus which now also includes accidental damage

        Call me a tinfoiler, but I suspect it wouldn't cover my Samsung Note...

    3. Colin Ritchie
      Windows

      Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

      Metal bends before it breaks, plastic doesn't. Thin metal is weaker than thick plastic. News at 11!

      Materials technology is at its limit when designers insist on thinner, smaller and lighter.

      In the bike industry they say "You can have Light, Strong or Cheap. Pick two.".

      I chose plastic too, a Moto 4G with rubber back plate. Robust is how you make it.

      1. cray74

        Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

        "Metal bends before it breaks, plastic doesn't."

        What polymer (and with what fillers) are you referring to? Most materials, except the most brittle, will show elastic deformation (fully reversible bending and/or stretching) before failure; even glass and ceramics will flex a bit before cracking. Many metals and polymers will show additional plastic deformation (irreversible bending and/or stretching) before failure.

        Most unreinforced polymers (the cheap polymers of cell phone cases) tend to show very large plastic deformation phases of their stress-strain curves, though there are some highly oriented polymers that fail abruptly with little plastic deformation. Such polymers - e.g., Kevlar - have no room for their molecular chains to untangle and stretch. Likewise, extra-cheap polymers with a lot of powder filler might fail with little permanent deformation.

        See pages 1 and 2 for a primer on the stress-strain curves and the failure modes of different materials.

        http://www.engr.sjsu.edu/sgleixner/PRIME/Sports/Class%203_4/Class%203_4_polymer_mech_prop.pdf

        1. Colin Ritchie
          Windows

          Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

          Thanks for the link Cray, very interesting stuff and a good point from an engineering perspective. I am merely paraphrasing the test shown in the article, the plastic phones bend and break at the same time/force, ergo they don't bend until they break from the point of view of this test.

      2. Darryl

        Re: "You can have Light, Strong or Cheap. Pick two."

        Doesn't apply to iPhone. It's light, it's not strong, and it's definitely not cheap.

  5. Rabbit80

    I wonder what happens with a lower force - say 30 lbs applied repeatedly over a week?

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      The Consumer Reports verdict was "We expect that any of these phones should stand up to typical use". That was after laboratory tests, carried out by qualified professionals, for a long-established organisation that would have no business if it were believed to offer unreliable reports to consumers.

      I'm confident the random commenters and bloggers of the internet will somehow have greater insight than the professionals.

      And, yes, it also found the Samsung twice as able to stand up to atypical usage.

    2. Nigel 11

      Stress fracturing?

      I wonder what happens with a lower force - say 30 lbs applied repeatedly over a week?

      Probably, nothing.

      Possibly, metal fatigue and a sudden fracture. Aluminium alloys can be vulnerable to that, witness the ill-fated Comet airliner. But it takes a lot of stress cycles to make this happen. In a week - very very unlikely. Years, slightly more likely.

    3. Lionel Baden

      what if

      What if they had just finished editing and uploading 25 selfies and 3 shots of lunch ??

      Thats some heavy processing which would also heat the phone. I do wonder if this would have a adverse effect?

  6. nigel 15
    Facepalm

    Force x Distance.....

    It's not as simple as looking at the center point load. you need to consider the size of the device too.

    the bending force is likely to be higher with the greater leverage from a bigger device.

    for example a 1 penny piece may well have a deformation stress of less than 150lbs but it not going to bend in your pocket. a metal ruler more so.

  7. i like crisps
    Trollface

    Lab Equipment.......er....

    Does this Lab have a 'Backpocket' simulator, or a machine that can replicate peoples arses accurately from 9 to 20 stone in weight? Maybe Apple could use this as an opportunity to sell us some iJeans or iCords with specially redesigned backpockets that not only protect this and future models from BENDING, but also charge the devices through static generated by the iNylon lining?

    Tut.....do i have to do everything for you Apple?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The point here is the Apple is as sturdy enough - especially considering quite how amazingly thin it is.

    Frankly the press blowing this up over 9 complaints (over probably 12-15m+ phones sold in those 6 days - as 10m+ sold in first 3 days) you would have thought it was 9000 incidents.

    1. Nigel 11

      Aluminium?

      Does anyone know what aluminium alloy they are using? (Won't be pure aluminium - far too bendable).

      I'd have used one of the alloys developed in the cycle-racing industry. Light and VERY strong. Expensive, yes, but an iPhone uses a lot less than a bike. The magic ingredient is often Scandium. An aerospace Titanium alloy would be another possibility.

      1. Lionel Baden

        Re: Aluminium?

        @nigel11

        they used their own blend of aluminum, which I am led to believe that it probably existed years before hand, but is now a revolutionary new product.

      2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Aluminium?

        "...constructed from machining a custom grade of 6000 series anodized aluminum, which is tempered for extra strength. They also feature stainless steel and titanium inserts to reinforce high stress locations..."

        Copied from link in 1st comment.

        The issue (if there's an issue) isn't the alloy, but the hole for the button; perhaps combined with the one screw (allowing rotation) fastening of the reinforcement.

        1. Nigel 11

          Re: Aluminium?

          @Jeffypoooh: Thanks

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium_alloy

          6000 series are alloyed with magnesium and silicon, are easy to machine, and can be precipitation hardened, but not to the high strengths that 2000 and 7000 can reach.

          7000 series are alloyed with zinc, and can be precipitation hardened to the highest strengths of any aluminium alloy.

          There's more, including Scandium alloys, further down. So is this an example of (not quite) good-enough quality? A company putting a few dollars above shipping the best possible product?

          ( I don't care a lot - it's Android that sold me a Samsung. It was much cheaper, plastic, and strong enough for me. And I can swap the battery. )

  9. Steve Knox

    At what point?

    Consumer Reports explained that it stress tested the mobes by supporting them at two points on either end. Force was then applied at a third point on the top of the device.

    That is false. You can clearly see from the Consumer Reports video that the force is applied at a line on the top of the device.

    The other videos and pictures I've seen demonstrate applying force at a particular point.

    Different structural designs react differently to stress at a point and stress across a line, so while Consumer Reports' numbers may be correct for what they tested, they are likely not relevant to the actual issue being discussed.

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      so what you're saying is

      They're testing it wrong…

  10. sisk Silver badge

    Much as I like to believe the worst of Apple I'm more inclined to believe Consumer Reports than the blogosphere.

  11. thames

    Test Conditions

    I've seen the results of enough Instron tests to know that the validity of the results depend on specifying the correct test conditions. The fixturing or tool Consumer Reports used may not duplicate what is actually happening in the field. Very often you have to understand the problem in detail before you can measure it properly. The testing machine isn't going to do your thinking for you.

    As for how many returns have resulted, it's a bit early to judge that yet. Most of the bent phones will be only slightly bent and still functional. The owners may not even be aware that they are bent unless they put them on a flat surface and see if they wobble. Those that are aware of a problem with their phone often have lives to live (i-fan stereotypes to the contrary) and aren't going to rush back to the store immediately.

    The real problems (if there are any) are going to arise over the long term when screens start separating from the case, or internal components start failing due to cumulative long term stress and strain.

    My own phone is small and cheap. If it breaks in my pocket I'm not going to cry over it.

  12. David 66

    This story does not support the "nothing to see here" argument

    The numbers show that the iPhone 6 Plus is only 60% as resilient as the comparable Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

    So, Apple HAVE fucked up.

    And so have the Consumer Reporters

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: This story does not support the "nothing to see here" argument

      Why does that mean Apple has fucked up? Is the Note 3 the minimum standard of durability that all phones should attain? If it is 2-3x more durable than is necessary, being 60% of its durability is no problem.

      If Apple has fucked up, then by your logic HTC has fucked up even more, right? So where's your hatred for them?

      1. David 66

        Re: This story does not support the "nothing to see here" argument

        Doug... The HTC is not comparable, hence me not comparing it. The Note is not notorious for being bent in people's pockets. The iPhone 6 Plus is. The figures clearly show that Apple dropped the ball on this - in real world use, their design falls below a reasonable standard of robustness.

        I'm no hater. I have Android and iPhone, and I'm buying WinPhone 8.1 next week despite having had only negative experience with WinPhone 7.

        1. Preston Munchensonton
          Windows

          Re: This story does not support the "nothing to see here" argument

          "I'm no hater. I have Android and iPhone, and I'm buying WinPhone 8.1 next week despite having had only negative experience with WinPhone 7."

          No, "hater" isn't the precise word that I would use for someone who publicly claims to buy a Windows Phone despite already having a negative experience with a previous generation...

        2. DougS Silver badge

          @David 66

          Why is the HTC "not comparable"? CR tests show it has more bendy than any other phone they tested, and users experienced actual bending of it months ago (google "m8 bent") You just decided it wasn't comparable because it ruins your crazy idea that Apple is at fault and everyone else with the same issue is excused because they aren't Apple.

          So somehow "Apple dropped the ball", not HTC despite also selling a bendy phone for months. The iPhone 6 is not "notorious for bending in people's pockets". There are a few scattered reports that received an undue amount of attention because it was Apple, while the same scattered reports for the M8 received no press attention whatsoever. Plus one guy made a video of bending it by hand that was later demonstrated to be faked (hint: look at the time on the phone throughout the video)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This story does not support the "nothing to see here" argument

      Overengineering is a fail, as is under engineering. All of the phones tested seem to be in the ballpark for reasonable use cases. Just as we don't design consumer cars to withstand rounds from an AK-47, neither should we design teephones to withstand rigors way outside normal use parameters.

      If you idiot enough to bend your phone, that's pretty much your problem.

  13. berhanu

    Agreement of Consumers test with Famous Mc / I Formula

    Assumed that iPhone 6+ and Samsung Note 4 were constructed out of a similar internal structure; in shape and material. Calculated the max stress due to bending load, and compared. The stress on Apple could be 1.5 times higher than Note 4, so is the report from Consumers report on Note 3 which is very close to Note 4 in size. To address this fact, Apple should have been designed 1.5 times stronger.

    Stress = M x C / I

    M = F x Length, L

    C = Thickness, T /2

    I = Width, W x T^3

    Major Dimensions - Apple : Samsung

    Length, L - 158.1 : 151

    Thickness, T - 7.1 : 8.5

    Width, W - 77.8: 79

    Stress Ratio, Apple : Note 4 = La / Ls * Ws / Wa * (Ts/Ta)2 = 1.5

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Agreement of Consumers test with Famous Mc / I Formula

      Why you are assuming that the Note 3/Note 4's bending resistance is the target that Apple should have targeted? If another phone is tested and found to withstand 300 lbs of force, would you say Samsung was in the wrong for not having designed their phones twice as strong?

      1. berhanu

        Re: Agreement of Consumers test with Famous Mc / I Formula

        No, the point was how classical structural formulas correlate with lab tests values. In addition, it is good practice to keep your reputation and do beyond your closest competition to be on sure side, market leader.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Agreement of Consumers test with Famous Mc / I Formula

      As soon as you start saying 'assumed' and 'constructed out of similar internal structure, shape and material' - the rest can just be ignored as they are not.

  14. ScwB

    Am I the only one who sees an issue here?

    The iPhone 6 bends and becomes deformed at 33% less force than the iPhone 5. Said in another way, depending on which statistic you want, the iPhone 5 can withstand up to 50% more force. This to me is the crux of the matter. If someone has been used to sticking their iPhone 5 in their pocket everyday without issue, they very well could have issues with the iPhone 6 bending that they previously didn't encounter. I think Consumer Reports may have missed the point here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Am I the only one who sees an issue here?

      Good job people do not treat cars this way - i.e. because your last car was smaller you manage to 'adapt' to your larger car not fitting in smaller parking spaces.

      It's a very significantly larger phone - there has to come a time when you realise you can't sit on it without serious risk of breaking it - I'd personally be worried about glass in my ass.

      9 phones out of well over 10m sold is a massive molehill to mountain moment.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Am I the only one who sees an issue here?

      The question isn't whether it takes less pocket force to bend an iPhone 6, it is how likely the amount of pocket force it takes to bend an iPhone 6 is to occur.

      Maybe someone needs to outfit a strain gauge of the correct form factor and test it in various pockets of various people and see what sort of stresses are typical. If 0% of people have pocket stress sufficient to bend the iPhone 5, and 0.001% of people have pocket stress sufficient to bend the iPhone 6, it is a problem for those 0.001% of people, but not for the rest of us.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From these figures, I don't think it is a good idea to carry your Iphone 6, 6s or HTC in your back pocket. 90 lbs is easily generated by sitting down. Just look at the figures

    1. DougS Silver badge

      There's a lot of "give" in the typical ass, so it isn't like the CR test

      However, I personally wouldn't sit on ANY phone, no matter how much strain they were able to take, because there's no possible upside to doing so and the downside is picking pieces of glass out of your ass.

      In that scenario, a bent phone is the least of your problems while you're sitting standing in the ER waiting to have stitches in your ass cheek!

  16. FormerKowloonTonger
    Coffee/keyboard

    Is There A Racism Angle Here?

    Simply another example of the AppleBashers.Blah trying to create a controversy.

    What other company making anything from nappies to paperclips to Nobel Prizes has come under such a semi-organized, endless campaign of belittlement?

    It's simply adolescent jealousy. [...those photos are wince inducing, seeing precision equipment so tortured.]

    1. Irony Deficient

      Racism?

      FormerKowloonTonger, to which race does Apple Inc. belong?

    2. MrDamage

      Re: Is There A Racism Angle Here?

      "What other company making anything from nappies to paperclips to Nobel Prizes has come under such a semi-organized, endless campaign of belittlement?"

      Plenty. Just go to The Checkout for some viewing pleasure.

  17. Deltics

    The real question mark is over the Supply Chain

    I have seen at least one article on this matter that has touched on the real point of concern. Given that:

    1) People have reported and demonstrated that the iPhone 6 can be easily bent

    2) Apple's claims that their testing of their design establishes that this is impossible

    and 3) 3rd party testing supports Apple's claim

    All 3 of these facts cannot be simultaneously true. Ergo unless you can establish definitely that one of these facts is actually false, there must be some other factor in play. One such factor could be in the Supply Chain.

    Apple may well have ensured that their design is robust. The 3rd party testing may confirm that this design is robust. But if Apple have a less than iron grip on their supply chain, then it is highly plausible that there are some iPhones in the hands of the public which do not actually conform to that rigorous design and these are the bendable ones.

    In effect, some people buying an Apple iPhone 6/6+ are actually getting a Chinese knock-off (albeit with the same innards). Effectively, sub-standard iPhone clones, but with the regulation eye-wateringly gouged retail price.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The real question mark is over the Supply Chain

      The 'fact' here is there have been 9 reports from over 10m phones sold - all this suggestion of supply chain issues (when Apple are very keen to keep tabs on the entire 'chain') is just guesswork. In reality it sounds more like people being careless with expensive phones - you probably get the same sort of issue with HTC and Samsung regarding customer bent phones.

      I'm amazed quite how quickly their competitors got their adverts created / distributed - smell a rat??

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The real question mark is over the Supply Chain

        I wonder who put out the figure of 9, it seems to be widely reported. So it's more than likely some Apple PR.

      2. Deltics

        Re: The real question mark is over the Supply Chain

        Which do you want ? To have your cake or to eat it.

        Either the phone is properly designed to be robust and damaging it in the way /demonstrated/ requires deliberate intent and concerted (not to say exerted) effort, OR the phone is able to be damaged in this way through carelessness in a way that Apples claims is not possible (which testing appears to support - /for those units tested/).

        i.e. you just made exactly my point again. Something doesn't add up and variances in the quality of the manufactured units is at least an /explanation/ which excuses and deflections do not otherwise provide.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The real question mark is over the Supply Chain

      I'd say Apple take a lot of care on their supply chain...

      http://www.supplymanagement.com/news/2014/apple-tops-gartner-supply-chain-top-25-for-seventh-year

      7th year at number 1 according to Gartner. It is not more likely that it's just careless users or people with an axe to grind perhaps?

  18. FormerKowloonTonger
    Megaphone

    And Another Thing!

    Who, after paying such a respectable amount of money for this sophisticated, multi-use gadget, would then go somewhere and sit on it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And Another Thing!

      People have said it happened in their front pockets too.

      You spend £600 on a phone (which has specs more akin to a £200 phone) then you expect more.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And Another Thing!

        "You spend £600 on a phone (which has specs more akin to a £200 phone) then you expect more."

        So, you expect to successfully drive the Baja in a Lamborghini because it costs more?

  19. Martin-73 Silver badge

    Something that was mentioned earlier

    On another thread, not sure if it was here on El Reg or somewhere else, but I suspect El Reg... that the factory might be doing the cheap Chinese manufacturer trick of not doing the treatment (to the alu frame) that was specified, but not bothering with the treatment at all in an effort to cut costs/time

    Could such treatment (or lack of) not result in inconsistent strengths?

    Maybe the faulty phones are indeed more bendable than the ones people say they can't bend?

    Apple will be liable if that turns out to be the case, and can then fight with their suppliers, but my untrained mind is pointing me to the idea that maybe both sides could conceivably be correct?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Something that was mentioned earlier

      On another thread, not sure if it was here on El Reg or somewhere else, but I suspect El Reg... that the factory might be doing the cheap Chinese manufacturer trick of not doing the treatment (to the alu frame) that was specified, but not bothering with the treatment at all in an effort to cut costs/time

      It is a sensible question, but it doesn't agree with the statistics. For such a cost saving to work it has to be done in volume, and the quantity simply isn't there to support this theory (which leads me to a question nobody seems to be prepared to ask in the press: how come this issue got such a LOT of attention with a volume this low and all the evidence against this being a mass production problem?).

      There is one way in which your theory could fly: test samples accidentally making it into production. If they're trying to get the casing right it is possible they would not have gone through the whole hardening procedure. If those early samples were accidentally used in production you WILL have a couple of weak, bendy phones. The scale of the actual problem (i.e. numerically instead of what the press made of it) seems to support that theory.

      I think you can bet your last cent on those phones making it back to Apple HQ pretty quickly - it's the first that I would test.

  20. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Joke

    Apple Anouncement

    You are all wrong, the fault lies with people not sitting properly.

    (Joke Alert - Just in case....)

    1. nanchatte

      Re: Apple Anouncement

      Thanks for the heads-up. Wouldn't have spotted it otherwise.

  21. MD Rackham

    You Kids

    If you damn kids would just dress properly you could put your phone in your inside suit coat pocket. Or even your shirt pocket if you must.

    But, no, you have to wear your bohemian "jeans" to be "hep" don't you?

    Personally, I simply have my manservant carry my phone for me. A bent phone and he's out on the street with no references.

    Pah!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You Kids

      I put mine in my vest pocket.

      The 5S was too long and the 6 is just too big, the 5 is just right.

      Goldilocks

  22. cortland

    So

    Don't SIT on it.

  23. Ribblethrop

    Just because another aluminium phone has bent under less stress than an iPhone6+, this does not make the iPhone6+ any stronger.

  24. Somtimes_Right

    Wasn't heat a factor?

    Although I think this whole thing is way overblown I can't help wondering if the most important contributor to the issue has been ignored since it was first mentioned - heat. The first article I read on Bendgate mentioned the theory that the fact the phone is aluminium and had been in a pocket for some time would mean heat was a contributing factor in softening the casing.

    The tests so far, including the original video for Bendgate, pretty much show that the amount of force required to bend the 6+ is way more than normal use would supply, but if the phone was pre-heated to body temperature would that reduce the force required?

  25. Stretch

    What about...

    ...raising it to, say, body temperature before the test? Or hotter as my phone at least gets bloody warm when Ingressing.

    I'm wondering what heat would do to this. Bet these were all icy cold.

    and hat tip to Somtimes_Right, posted as I did.

  26. msknight Silver badge

    Phah!

    "and for those wondering about their old iPhones, we tested the iPhone 5 as well"

    I'm still on a 4s works phone. This must be prehistoric then! Quick ... where's the nearest museum .. must hand this in to be properly taken care of by experts in ancient technology...

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quite easy to subject the phone to force while in your pocket. Just need some tight hipster jeans, put phone in pocket and then ride your bicycle (fixie or otherwise). The pedalling action will apply a bit of force to the phone.

  28. DiViDeD Silver badge

    Have I been pocketing it wrong?

    I am ashamed to admit that, in getting on for 60 years in which I've had pocket calculators, little hand held 'pocket' games (think Game & Watch), PCMCIA cards, slot in notebook floppy drives (not forgetting the floppies themselves) and now various mobile phones, I have never, ever, sat on any one of them. I apologise for not taking part in what appears to be a very popular pastime.

    In other words, who the FUCK buys an expensive and complex piece of hardware and thinks 'Oh goody - now I have something to sit on'?

  29. ProperDave
    Joke

    Maybe Apple's having a sly dig at the hipster population of the world.

    -- Your giant iSlab 6 will bend if you stuff it in your skinny jeans pockets.

    Grow up and put on a sensible pair of trousers!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    150 pounds.

    It means I could potentially put it on the ground and STEP ON IT. I could clearly SIT on it, while it is being bent on my rear pocket, that I would feel my own rear being bent before getting anywhere near breaking up.

    I wonder how much punishment that Old Nokia 3310 would withstand before crushing/bending.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    heard this before about antennas too

    plenty of "experts" going around "proving" there was absolutely nothing wrong with the iPhone 4 antenna/dropped call implementation a couple of years ago.

    which turned out to be absolute hogwash.

    Amazing how so-called "rational" people can disparage millenia-old sky fairy religions with proper logic but cannot remember being lied to less than three years ago.

    Explains how criminally negligent and convicted corrupt politicians get re-elected I wager.

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