While the launch of the iPhone 6 was one of Apple’s best opening weekend releases ever for the iPhone, the company wasn’t getting let off easy. The internet has been buzzing lately over some users noticing that their iPhone 6 Plus units slightly bend while tucked in their pocket, but it seems that Apple has quietly fixed the issue.
The issue only seemed to affect a very small percentage of users, and it wasn’t enough for Apple to issue replacements for bent units. However, it did seem enough for the Cupertino-based company to secretly redesign the iPhone 6 in order to prevent random bending from occurring.
According to one Reddit user who compared an iPhone 6 Plus that he just bought to his wife’s unit that was bought shortly after launch day, there were some significant design differences between the two units.
First off, the smoothness between the two devices seemed to be different, with the older model having a softer and smoother aluminum finish than the newer model, suggesting that Apple could have toughened up the aluminum body a bit.
Secondly, tapping on the back and sides of the iPhone 6 Plus units where the bending would usually occur resulted in a much different sound from both devices, with the Reddit user saying that there’s “a night and day difference in sound.”
He went as far as putting on a stethoscope and listening closely to the taps:
Without a doubt, the new 6 Plus (the one I got yesterday) sounds much more dull toned, indicating to me it’s more solid than my wife’s week 1 phone. Her phone had a lot more percussion sound, indicating that area was previously hollow.”
He even got out his trusty microscope and looked through the cracks of the volume buttons. From that, he noticed a red-colored object placed in the volume down button opening on the newer iPhone 6 Plus model. However, there was nothing to see on the older unit, concluding that Apple might have re-enforced that section of the phone where there was an apparent weak spot, which resulted in iPhone 6 Plus units getting bent so easily.
Lastly, he weighed both units and discovered that his newer iPhone 6 Plus weighed 21 grams heavier than the older unit. It’s possible that his 128GB storage chip was heavier than the 16GB storage of the older unit, but it seems unlikely that it’s 21 grams heavier.
Based on all this, we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple indeed updated the iPhone 6 Plus to be more sturdy and durable. At the same time, though, it’s hard to believe that Apple made such a big structural change the iPhone 6 in a short amount of time, considering that they would have to design the new structural re-enforcements and test them out, all of that taking just a couple of weeks, which seems rather quick.
In any case, we’re sure that many users are hoping that Apple actually did make some changes the smartphone’s internal design to make it stronger, but it’s certainly something that we don’t know for a fact until someone can get their hands on a newer unit and do a complete teardown comparison.
Apple has been rather quiet about this specific issue, but that’s likely because the fiasco with iOS 8.0.1 has garnered a lot of attention as well. However, Apple says that it is “looking into this with an insane amount of detail.”
In any case, a phone made out of thin aluminum will bend with the right amount of force, so we don’t see this as something incredibly surprising. In fact, there were several reports back when the iPhone 5s released of units bending in people’s pockets. Of course, the amount of attention the issue got was nothing compared to what the iPhone 6 “bendgate” is receiving now, which is rather unfortunate, since this issue is nothing new.