While the much-rumoured iPhone 6S isn’t expected to look very different than the iPhone 6, Apple may be making a significant upgrade to its industrial design.
It looks like the next iPhone will be made of the same durable material found in the Apple Watch Sport, according to Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy, who claims to have gotten his hands on the rear shell for Apple’s next iPhone.
This means that its frame is likely to be much stronger than that the iPhone 6, and that it won’t be prone to the same bending issue some users encountered with the iPhone 6. If Hilsenteger’s video turns out to be legitimate, it’s going to take a lot to bend the iPhone 6S.
After running extensive tests on the materials found inside the shell, Hilsenteger concluded that the iPhone 6S contains much more zinc than the iPhone 6.
This leads him to believe that the iPhone 6S is likely made of Apple’s 7000 Series aluminium, which is used in the casing for the Apple Watch Sport. Apple says this type of aluminium is 60% stronger than standard alloys while remaining very light.
To test how durable the new iPhone’s shell is compared to the current generation, Hilsenteger applied pressure to each component. After applying about 30 pounds of pressure, the iPhone 6’s shell began to give near the volume buttons.
The iPhone 6S, however, proved to be much stronger in Hilsenteger’s test. The phone only bent slightly after it endured about 80 pounds of pressure. That’s more than double the amount of pressure the iPhone 6’s shell was able to handle before it started curving significantly.
Here’s what both phones looked like after the test.
There are a couple of downsides to Apple incorporating the newer material into the iPhone, as Hilsenteger notes. The 7000 Series aluminium is more expensive than the type of aluminium used in the current iPhone, and it corrodes more easily.
If the rumours turn out to be true, that will be the second physical feature Apple plans to bring from the Apple Watch over to the iPhone 6S. For months, reports have suggested that the next iPhone will come with Force Touch in its screen just like the Apple Watch. We’ll know for sure when Apple unveils its next iPhone, which is likely to happen next month.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and will update this story when we hear back.