Over the past few days, we’ve seen a handful of videos that reportedly illustrate a strange bending issue with Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus. Apple has since spoken out about the reported problem, saying only nine customers have complained about their phones being bent since the iPhone 6 Plus went on sale about one week ago.
Apple told Business Insider that a bend in the iPhone 6 Plus is “extremely rare” with normal usage. Still, the company has yet to offer any real reason for why this may happen in the first place. One Imgur user, however, claims to provide an explanation for why the iPhone 6 Plus could be susceptible to bending under pressure.
Imgur user alleras4 writes in a recent post (first discovered by Gizmodo) that the bending issue isn’t caused by the phone’s thinness or aluminium build. The post suggests that it’s because the metal reinforcement behind the iPhone 6 Plus’ volume buttons is “not well designed.”
The post, complete with images and diagrams, sums up the problem in this one nugget:
It’s just that under a particular type of flexing, the phone is prone to bend mainly because a metal insert meant to reinforce instead spins in an axis too close to the critical point. If they were further apart allowing better support to counter the flexing and not spinning, it would make it more resistant.
This is the screw that could be causing the problem, according to alleras4.
Here’s a look at how the iPhone reacts to the pressure being applied in that spot:
In other words, the bending issue could have something to do with the way the metal screws inside the iPhone 6 Plus near the volume buttons are secured inside the phone. Alleras4 came to these conclusions after examining images from iFixit’s teardown of the iPhone 6 Plus, the video posted by Unbox Therapy, and The Verge’s recent tour of Apple’s facility where it stress tests its iPhones.
It’s important to note that this is simply a theory, and is in no way a definitive reason for why the iPhone 6 Plus may or may not have a bending issue. The topic began to gain traction earlier this week when MacRumors reported that some commenters in its forums posted photos of the iPhone 6 Plus bending after being stored in their pockets.
This prompted Unbox Therapy and a handful of other YouTube channels to stress test the iPhone 6 Plus for themselves — finding that Apple’s phablet does indeed bend fairly easily.
That’s not to say you should shy away from buying an iPhone 6 Plus if you were already considering buying one. After all, only nine people of the millions of Apple fans that preordered the phone have officially complained, according to the company. Judging by these “BendGate” videos, it seems like you need to put a decent amount of effort into bending the iPhone 6 Plus to do any real damage.