Apple Invites Reporters Into Testing Lab, Details iPhone 6 Plus Durability Tests

Earlier today, Apple released a statement to several different media outlets in response to reports about the iPhone 6 Plus bending within user pockets, stating that bending from normal use was "extremely rare" and suggesting only nine customers had complained about bending issues.

In addition to outlining its rigorous testing policies, Apple has now invited reporters from both CNBC and The Verge to its testing facility to see the machines that it uses to test its products in person. The lab contains an array of different testing equipment, with Apple's head of engineering Dan Riccio telling CNBC the iPhone 6 was "the most tested product we have ever done" and that Apple had not tested another phone as exhaustively.

torsiontest

Three-point pressure test image, courtesy of The Verge
"As we add more and more features, we have to find out a way to break them before customers do," Riccio told The Verge. According to Apple, 15,000 separate tests were conducted on both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. "The bottom line is that if you use enough force to bend an iPhone, or any phone, it's going to deform," said Riccio.

When asked about the reports of bending, Apple's head of marketing, Phil Schiller, called them "extremely rare occurrences" reiterating to CNBC that out of millions of iPhones sold, Apple had only received nine complaints. He also told The Verge that Apple "designed the product to be incredibly reliable throughout all your real world use."

Apple also outlined some of the different durability tests conducted on the iPhone 6 Plus to The Wall Street Journal, explaining that it's subjected to three-point bend tests, which place pressure on the iPhone to ensure it can handle reasonable force, and pressure-point cycling, which places "substantial" force on the enclosure hundreds of times. The iPhone is also subjected to torsion testing, which twists and torques the device, and there were sit tests simulating real-life scenarios.

Apple pointed to five different tests that new iPhones go through in the development process, including what is known as "pressure point cycling test" when it applies substantial force on the display and enclosure hundreds of times while the phone is held by the sides. Apple said this process bends the enclosure repeatedly to ensure that the iPhone can be bent and pressed at reasonable force throughout its life.

Another test, according to Apple, is called the "sit test." This test simulates sitting on a hard surface with the phone in the back pocket of a pair of tight jeans. Apple said it runs the phones through thousands of cycles testing the phone in different positions.

In addition to all of the above testing, Apple also tested the phone in real-life, handing iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices out to "hundreds of company employees" to use in various situations to test for durability and performance.

Reports of the iPhone 6 Plus's weakness to bending first surfaced on Monday, after multiple MacRumors forum members shared images of devices that had bent subtly while in a pocket. The bending issue then went viral after a YouTuber posted a video of the iPhone 6 Plus warping out of shape when bent in his hands.

Given the significant amount of media attention the bending has received over the course of the last few days, it has been difficult to determine how many users were truly affected by iPhone 6 Plus bending during real world usage. According to Apple, the number of affected users is comparatively low based on how many devices are now out in the wild.

Despite keeping quiet on the issue for several days, Apple has directed support staff to replace affected phones under warranty following a visual inspection. "In this case, as in many things, we tell customers that if you think something's occurred that shouldn't have with your device, go to AppleCare, go to The Genius Bar, and let them take a look at it," Schiller told The Verge. "And we'll see if your product is having an experience it shouldn't have and is covered under warranty."

Additional photos of Apple's testing equipment and details on the testing process can be found in The Verge's original report on Apple's testing facility.

Update: Re/code also visited Apple's testing facility and has published additional photos and a video.

Top Rated Comments

katimi Avatar
81 months ago
I think this whole #bendgate thing is started by Samsung after they saw the succesful launch of the iphone 6 and iphone 6 Plus. I have an iPhone 6 Plus and if it was to bend. I would feel it. The device feels sturdy. And it has that premuim look that Samsung devices will never have.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sphoenix Avatar
81 months ago
It is not the phone that bends, it is only yourself.

Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Windlasher Avatar
81 months ago
9 people & CEOs of competitors complain. Not much.

I sent this email to RIM CEO Jason Chen. Ill report back if he responds.



I should add that it if I can't bend it with my bare hands, I will switch from my iPhone to Passport for a year and blog about how great is is at least once a week.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JCrz Avatar
81 months ago
we're dumb

Let's admit it—we're a really dumb society constantly in need of stimulation so we sensationalize all these lies. And the Internet (especially Facebook) amplifies everything.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jca24 Avatar
81 months ago
Ok, let me explain. The phone will not bend on its own. It takes pressure and force to bend anything, rubber, glass, wood, metal whatever. If someone did have the phone in their pocket and enough pressure was put on it to bend the phone the person with the phone in their pocket would feel it and stop it, or would they? Maybe they were stoned, drunk or had their head up their ace like a lot of people do today. Only the person with the phone in their pocket would know if they were smart enough to not put pressure on the phone.

IT IS THE PHONE OWNERS FAULT!! Not the fault of Apple!!

Everyone wanted bigger, lighter thinner and they got it. Now put on your big boy pants and take care of your phone!
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aluminum213 Avatar
81 months ago
Apple has NEVER gone into damage control like this, they must be panicking hard at Cupertino
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
m1 mac mini vignette

Apple Lists M1-Based Mac Mini Logic Boards With 10 Gigabit Ethernet in Internal Parts Ordering System

Friday November 20, 2020 9:32 am PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M1 chip is only available with Gigabit Ethernet, Apple has listed multiple M1-based Mac mini logic boards with 10 Gigabit Ethernet in an internal parts list for Apple Authorized Service Providers. For every Mac mini logic board with Gigabit Ethernet in the parts list, obtained by MacRumors, there is a corresponding logic board with 10 Gigabit Ethernet:...
new m1 chip

Craig Federighi: Native Windows on M1 Macs is 'Really up to Microsoft'

Friday November 20, 2020 11:57 am PST by
Following the release of the M1 Macs Apple executives have been doing interviews with a range of publications, and today, Ars Technica published another interview with software engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji, and marketing VP Greg Joswiak. Much of the interview focuses on topics that the three have already covered in prior discussions, but there is ...
14

Apple Releases iOS 14.2.1 With Fix for Text Message Bug and iPhone 12 Mini Lock Screen Issues

Thursday November 19, 2020 10:16 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 14.2.1, a bug fix update that comes two weeks after the launch of iOS 14.2 and is available for Apple's new iPhone 12 models. The iOS 14.2.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's release notes, iOS...
Walmart November Deals Hero

Black Friday Spotlight: Walmart Will Have AirPods Pro Down to Lowest Price of $169, and More Apple Deals

Thursday November 19, 2020 8:05 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Next ...
apple leather sleeve

Leather Sleeve for iPhone 12 Models Now Available From Apple

Friday November 20, 2020 12:16 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the Leather Sleeve for the new iPhone 12 models, with the accessory having first been announced alongside the updated iPhones in October. Priced at $129, the Leather Sleeve is not a case and is designed to be removed when the iPhone is in use. It features a cutout at the front that displays the time, and it comes with a matching leather strap. According to Apple, it ...
iOS14AntitrackFacebookSadfeature

Apple Confirms Commitment to App Tracking Transparency in Letter Condemning Facebook's Data Collection [Updated]

Thursday November 19, 2020 11:58 am PST by
Apple in iOS 14 is planning to introduce a new App Tracking Transparency feature that will let users know when companies want to track them across apps and website. Following outcry from developers like Facebook and ad networks unprepared for the change, Apple delayed the implementation of the anti-tracking functionality until early 2021. Eight civil society organizations recently sent a...
maxresdefault

CrossOver Allows x86 Windows Apps to Run on Apple M1 Macs

Wednesday November 18, 2020 6:07 pm PST by
Codeweavers posted a blog post and video tonight showing off CrossOver running on an Apple M1 MacBook Air. This video shows Team Fortress 2 running on a new M1 MacBook Air: CrossOver is software (based on Wine Project) that runs Microsoft Windows apps on the Mac by translating Windows APIs into their Mac equivalents. The Codeweavers team was able to run the current version of CrossOver on...
macbookpro13large

Apple Offers Instructions on What to Do if macOS Big Sur Causes Installation Errors on 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro

Thursday November 19, 2020 6:12 pm PST by
Following the release of macOS Big Sur last week, a number of 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro owners found that the update bricked their machines. Affected users saw their Macs get stuck displaying a black screen after attempting to install the new software. Apple has now addressed this issue in a new support document that provides instructions on what to do if macOS Big Sur can't be installed on...
128gb m1 macbook air education cropped

$799 M1 MacBook Air With 128GB Storage for Education Institutions Spotted Online

Friday November 20, 2020 5:15 am PST by
A new configuration of the M1 MacBook Air with 128GB of storage and a lower $799 price has today been spotted on Apple's U.S. Education Institution Hardware and Software Price List. The M1 MacBook Air is only available with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB of storage. There is currently no 128GB configuration on the Apple Store. However, Reddit user "u/dduci97" noticed that Apple has listed...