How much force does it take to bend an iPhone without destroying it?

Posted at 6:34 PM, Sep 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-30 18:34:29-04

Apple has been taking a lot of heat with reports that its new iPhone 6 phones bend under pressure. Consumer Reports wanted to bring some science to the matter to find how much force it takes for the iPhone 6 to bend and not bend back.

Consumer Reports took one sample each of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus along with other comparably-sized competitors into its labs for stress testing. Using a special Instron machine, testers apply force to the phones until they deform.

It turns out, it takes a lot of force to permanently bend one of the new iPhones — and all the other phones tested for that matter.

Even the phones that bent first — the iPhone 6 and the HTC One M8 — took 70 pounds of force before bending permanently.

The iPhone 6 Plus took more punishment at 90 pounds. The smaller, thicker iPhone 5 outperformed both in the tests, with no noticeable deformation until 130 pounds.

Finally, the LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 sprang back to form until the testers applied 130 pounds and 150 pounds respectively. At that point, their screens separated from their cases and stopped working.

So what’s the bottom line? Consumer Reports says, based on its comparative tests, while the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are not the strongest phones on the market, fears of a serious structural design flaw seem overblown.

Apple’s official response is: “With normal use, a bend in (an) 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.”