Internal documents from Apple reveal that the company was aware that the iPhone 6 and 6 plus were significantly weaker than previous phones and would bend prior to release
This was revealed after Apple was required to provide internal documents relating to the iPhone 6 and 6 plus in court, in response to a lawsuit against Apple regarding “Touch Disease”, a condition where the corner of the screen stopped responding to touch as a result of the phone bending. The class action lawsuit that was filed against Apple in California claims Apple wilfully misled customers and breached customer trust by selling the phones despite knowing the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were flawed.
The internal documents show that Apple’s pre-release testing revealed that the iPhone 6 is 3.3 times weaker than the 5S and the iPhone 6 Plus is a whopping 7.2 times weaker. Although the majority of the lawsuit cannot be divulged, U.S. District Court judge Lucy Koh released a snippet of information from the case to the public:
Back in 2014 when the iPhone 6 was released, users reported the phones bending in their pockets due to poor design but Apple claimed this was “extremely rare” and said the products had been rigorously tested. After this, touch disease emerged, this was caused by a flaw in touch controller chips that was attributed to the bending. Of course Apple denied that this was due to an engineering flaw, they refused to repair customers’ devices for free and said the issue was caused by dropping the device multiple times on a hard surface. In May 2016, Apple began quietly reinforcing the phones with epoxy around the affected area, this was not announced at the time but was revealed recently in the internal documents released in the court case. Apple eventually agreed to repair units affected by the problem public pressure for Apple to fix the mess it had created but they do charge a fee of $149 dollars (£156 in the UK which works out to be $208 USD).