Remember Bendgate? Apple tried its best to downplay the sensational scandal but there's plenty of proof that the bendable iPhone 6 Plus is a real problem. Now, according to reportedly leaked parts, Apple will prevent the bend in the iPhone 6s. Good idea!
The plan sounds stupidly simple at first. Lewis Hilsenteger, the YouTuber who exploded the internet by bending an iPhone 6 Plus with his bare hands, just posted a new video comparing the rear casing of an iPhone 6 with the leaked rear casing of a purported iPhone 6s. What's different? Apple's used a stronger, lighter aluminium alloy (the 7000 series aluminium used on the Apple Watch, as opposed to the 6061 series used on the iPhone 6) and made the case almost twice as thick around the buttons. This is exactly where users said that the iPhone 6 and 6Plus would bend, so the improved design appears to be a tacit admission of a flaw on Apple's part.
This is good news. While there was a lot of hysteria surrounding Bendgate last year, I can say from personal experience that the bending issue never went away. Just a couple of months ago, a friend of mine with an iPhone 6 — not the infamous 6 Plus — started having trouble with ghost touches on his display. (A ghost touch is when the phone thinks you touched a spot that you did not touch.) After trying the usual bug fixes, he went to the Genius Bar, where an Apple employee told him that his phone was slightly bent, causing the display to freak out. The Genius replaced the device and even advised my friend to purchase a reinforced case to prevent any bending in the future.
Whether or not the new reinforced case and 7000 series aluminium will be strong enough for a bend-proof iPhone 6s remains to be seen. However, a separate leak shows that some updates to the display are also in the works. MacManiak got its hands on a purported iPhone 6s screen that comes with a new access panel that hints at Force Touch integration as well as new connectors that suggest a Touch ID update. Finally, the protective plate on the back of the device appears to be glued in place, a detail that would make third party screen replacements more difficult. You can see all the little differences riiiiight here:
All that said, there's no reason to believe that an improved screen will have any effect on the durability of the new iPhone. The details about the thicker, lighter, stronger aluminium case bode well, however. "Clearly, adding more material around those known stress points is going to improve the overall strength," industrial designer Greg Koenig told TechCrunch. "The combination of this material addition plus the rumoured switch to 7000 series aluminium (which has roughly 3x the yield strength of 6061) should make the iPhone 6s one of the least bendy smartphones ever made."
That would be a big improvement over the iPhone 6, which many would consider the bendiest phone ever made. Of course, if you squeeze hard enough, pretty much any phone will bend.