iPhone 6 iPhone 6S claimed shell

iPhone 6S hasn’t even been officially announced by Apple yet (although we know a lot about it) and we’re already seeing answers to the ‘does it bend?’ question everyone will inevitably ask after last year’s overly hyped ‘bendgate‘ episode. Following initial analysis of a purported iPhone 6S shell with increased dimensions, presumably for added durability, an in-depth round of testing with the current iPhone 6 casing and expected iPhone 6S casing shows even more differences between the two shells beyond just weight and size.

As expected based on rumors, the alleged next-gen iPhone shell will reportedly bring to the upcoming iPhone 6S a more durable grade of aluminum and a change to how the iPhone casing is anodized.

In the video, the analysis is conducted using an XRF analyzer to determine the elemental makeup of each casing, providing a more detailed look at what goes in to each grade of aluminum. While the results show that the iPhone 6 casing is likely 6000 series aluminum and consists of about 98% of the material, the purported iPhone 6S case is believed to be 7000 series, the same aluminum used on Apple Watch Sport. It consists of a lower 92.8% of aluminum with 6.1% zinc being the next highest amount of material.

While the 6000 series aluminum said to be used by the iPhone 6 is easier to anodize when turning the metal gold, silver, or space gray, the claimed iPhone 6S shell in the video features a thicker coating and suggests an improved anodization process. This is expected to be in part to avoid corrosion, although iOS device casing issues haven’t been a major problem since Apple’s slate color with the iPhone 5 and first-gen iPad mini.

Finally, the expected change in aluminum quality is said to essentially double the amount of pressure from weight the shell alone can handle before bending. Applying pressure to just the iPhone casings, the iPhone 6 shell clearly buckled under around 30 pounds of pressure while the purported iPhone 6S shell held up until around 80 pounds of the same pressure.

While the more durable grade of aluminum is said to be more expensive and not as readily available, Apple is likely making the change to avoid last year’s bendgate controversy that it ended up having to address publicly.

Lending credence to the analysis, supply chain analysts have predicted that Apple will employ the stronger aluminum with the iPhone 6S. Apple is expected to debut the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus on September 9th with launch slated for September 18th.


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About the Author

Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.