30,000 units of iPhone 6 underwent testing for problems: Apple

Dec 19 2017, 8:13 pm

Just days after reports that the new iPhone 6 Plus can be easily warped, Apple has responded to the claims, saying the incidents are isolated and going as far as revealing what happens in their secret testing lab.

Earlier this week, reports of bent iPhone 6 Plus devices first surfaced on Mac Rumors, sparking a social media furor with videos and photos coupled with the use of hashtag “Bendgate.” Most have blamed the use of aluminium, a bendable metal, for the device’s shell and the large and slim design for the issues.

In a statement released yesterday, Apple says the incidents are isolated with just nine customers reporting issues.

“Our iPhones are designed, engineered and manufactured to be both beautiful and sturdy. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus feature a precision engineered unibody enclosure constructed from machining a custom grade of 6000 series anodized aluminum, which is tempered for extra strength,” the statement read.

“They also feature stainless steel and titanium inserts to reinforce high stress locations and use the strongest glass in the smartphone industry… We also perform rigorous tests throughout the entire development cycle including 3-point bending, pressure point cycling, sit, torsion, and user studies.”

Apple also gave select tech media a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on inside its testing facility. It told The Verge that 30,000 units of the iPhone 6 have been tested vigorously, with 15,000 units tested for both models of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

This includes undertaking hundreds of “torture tests” on the engineered structure of the new devices. Machines with weights are used to methodically place pressure on the devices to reveal just how much much weight the device can handle and whether it can “bounce” back to its original form.

According to The Verge, 25 pounds might be the maximum for what can be placed on the glass screen, but Apple has been unable to confirm.

There are also tests that simulate the pressure an iPhone experiences while it is inside the pocket of someone who is sitting. Skinny jeans pressed along a hard surface was the “worst case scenario.”

All of this coincides with problems on the new iOS 8 operating system, the latest iPhone and iPad software upgrade, when some iPhone users indicated that they were unable to make or receive calls. This prompted Apple to pull the iOS 8; an updated version will be released sometime next week.

Over the past week, Apple’s stock value dropped by 3.5 per cent or $25 billion following news of the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 problems.

This is not the first time smartphones have had physical warping issues: some Samsung Galaxy S4 and Sony Xperia Z1 users reported that their devices bent under pressure.

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