Recently released internal Apple documents (revealed by Judge Lucy Koh as part of an ongoing lawsuit against Apple regarding touchscreen failure due to bending) has revealed that Apple knew that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phones were more likely to bend than previous models, via Motherboard.
According to the court documents, Apple’s internal tests found that the iPhone 6 was 3.3 times more likely to bend than the iPhone 5S, while the larger iPhone 6 Plus was 7.2 times more likely to bend.
As a brief recap, back in the heady days of 2014, the iPhone-using world was embroiled in a vast controversy known as “bendgate,” alleging that the then-recently released iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phones were bending in people’s pockets due to poor design from Apple. While Apple at the time said that bent iPhones were “extremely rare,” even going as far as inviting multiple media outlets to its campus to see just how rigorously it tested its products, issues of bent iPhones continued to crop up.
Things escalated later on when iPhone 6 units began to exhibit “touch disease,” where the touchscreen would fail due to a flaw in specific touch-controller chips on the motherboard, which some theorized was due to physical damage from bending iPhones. (Apple claimed that the issue was a symptom of phones that were “dropped multiple times on a hard surface and then incurring further stress on the device.”)
As noted by Judge Koh, Apple then began to make internal changes to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus design, adding extra epoxy to strengthen the area underneath that chip in May 2016, despite that Apple still refused to publicly acknowledge that there were any iPhone 6 bending issues.