Do iPhones bend?

Dan Rice

A recent YouTube video by the channel Unbox Therapy showed one of the creators of the channel performing a bend test on the iPhone 6 Plus, which he managed to bend and ultimately break with his hands.

Now, hold on a minute here: I have little doubt that if I tried to bend my iPhone 6 Plus, I could probably bend it, as it’s a long, thin device made of aluminum and glass. But here’s the real concern for me and iPhone users everywhere: can the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus withstand typical, everyday use in my hand and my pocket, assuming the user doesn’t put a case on it for extra durability?

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The first source to respond to the problem, unsurprisingly, was Apple itself, which contended that the iPhone 6 having legitimate bending problems was “extremely rare.”According to them, of the 10 million iPhones they’ve already sold, nine customers have complained to them about their phone being bent. Fewer than one in a million is a pretty low probability, but this doesn’t give definitive evidence that the iPhone doesn’t bend; after all, just because customers don’t tell Apple something doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

Still, Apple failed to give cold, hard facts about how sturdy the iPhone 6 is. How hard did Apple crush their own devices before sending them out into the world? This led me to do some extra research to see if my phone was in jeopardy.

Well, here’s a bit of good news, iPhone 6 users (and smartphone users in general): Consumer Reports decided to do a bend test on the iPhone 5S, 6, and 6 Plus, the HTC One, the LG G3, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and said that none of the smartphones are likely to bend through everyday use. As it turned out, the HTC One and the iPhone 6 (not the 6 Plus) performed the weakest in the test, but Consumer Reports contended that neither was likely to have problems unless you really try to damage them. Both were able to withstand 70 pounds of force before deforming (it took much more force before they broke or separated from the casing). The 6 Plus fared slightly better, withstanding 90 pounds of force before deforming. The LG G3, the iPhone 5, and the Galaxy Note 4 all performed even better, as all of them were slightly thicker devices. I feel that Apple should have released statistics like this and been more up front with the facts, but this has given me a certain peace of mind personally, as I’ve never found myself wanting to crush my iPhone under 90 pounds of force.

Consumer Reports’ conclusion was that any of these phones should be able to handle typical wear and tear without any problem-unless you typically make videos about bending expensive phones.

Collegian Columnist Dan Rice can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter at @danriceman.