Apple knew its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets were more susceptible to bending, but kept that knowledge from customers following the ‘bendgate’ controversy, court documents have revealed.
Despite a public stance maintaining the range wasn’t more likely to bend than previously-released models, a court filing obtained by Motherboard shows otherwise.
The filing, recently made public by judge Lucy Koh, revealed Apple’s internal investigations found the iPhone 6 Plus was 7.2 times more likely to bend than the iPhone 5s, while the iPhone 6 was 3.3 times more likely to bend.
Judge Koh wrote that “one of the major concerns Apple identified prior to launching the iPhones was that they were ‘likely to bend more easily when compared to previous generations.’”
Until now, Apple has maintained the iPhone 6 range was “thoroughly tested for strength and durability” and even invited journalists to view the stress tests inside Cupertino.
That was despite many iPhone users posting images of their new handsets that had bent simply from keeping them in a pocket.
The revelation comes as part of a class-action law suit into the “touch disease” problem that causes the touchscreen to work intermittently. This defect is caused when Apple’s Touch IC clip is dislodged from the motherboard, and has been attributed to the bending that happens as a result ‘normal use’ of the iPhone 6 range.
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Publicly, Apple has claimed the flaw is down to dropping the device multiple times on a hard surface “and then incurring further stresses”. Tellingly, the company did not offer a replacement program for devices affected and charged $149 for out of warranty instances.
Apple quietly sought to tackle this problem by reinforcing the iPhone 6 range later in the production run, but has never publicly acknowledged what it knew about the respective strengths of its the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S models.
The currently lawsuit is ongoing and the majority of the other documents remain sealed.
Has your iPhone 6 model suffered from the ‘touch disease’ outlined by the court? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.