Putting bending phones in perspective

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Jman13, Oct 22, 2014.

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  1. Jman13 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #1
    Ok. We've all seen the reports, and a handful of people here and there have their phones bend on them. It's clear the 6 and 6 plus bend easier than earlier iPhones do, but is it a widespread problem? We need to take a look at numbers and take the anecdotal incidents out of the equation, because people see the anecdotes and automatically inflate the numbers in their head. People on this forum may have seen 15-20 reports of bent phones, and they freak out. But let's examine numbers.

    First, there are a number of things that can damage your phone, and shattering the screen is probably the most common. No one likes a shattered screen, but studies have shown that 25% of smartphone users have shattered a screen at some point. Since smartphones have been in widespread use for about 6 years, let's simplify and put that rate at around 4.2% of people will shatter their phone in any given year.

    So what would an acceptable failure rate be for damage via bending? 5x less likely than shattering? 10x less likely than shattering? Let's take the latter: 0.4% of people bending their phone in a given year.

    Apple has sold about 40 million iPhone 6/6+ (at least...probably closer to 60 million given the recent China numbers). They estimate 80 million by the end of this year. Given past performance after that, we're looking at probably 150 million phones over the next year. at 0.4% bending, that would result in 600,000 bent phones.

    So, if bending were 1/10 as likely as shattering your phone, over HALF A MILLION people would bend their phone.

    However, let's look at the real numbers. Oneofthenine.com has 159 reports of bent phones. Let's assume ALL are legit. Now let's assume the real number is 5x higher, since most people aren't going to post to that site. Heck, for safety's sake, let's assume the real number is 10x higher. That's 1,590 bent phones. Out of 40 million, in 1 month's time. That's a failure rate of 0.004% per month, or 0.048% per year. Assuming 150 million phones, at 0.004% x 12 months = 72,000 bent phones. That's a lot of bent phones, but it's an extremely small percentage. That's less than 5 hundredths of one percent, or 1 in every 2,083 phones.

    Is that an acceptable number? That's up to you. But remember that this is assuming a bending rate 10x higher than reported on oneofthenine, and accounts for ALL bent phones, not just those that are bent through normal use, but those from sitting on it, ramming against a concrete ledge or railing, anything.

    Even with these high estimates, you are still over 100 times more likely to shatter your phone than to bend it, and let's face it, we don't all freak out that our phone might shatter on a daily basis.
     
  2. saltd macrumors 6502a

    saltd

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    #2
    Indeed. The bending won't happen if you take proper care of the phone, and understand that it's not going to take much abuse. It's thin and aluminum-it will bend if you exert considersble force to it. You can tell that just by holding it in your hand.

    However, he amount of momentum that "bendgate" has gained is due to an very, very small outspoken minority. Apple isn't going to change this generation to remedy the "problem", I don't think.

    The quest for thinness and lightness over strength is to blame here. Now maybe this will turn the engineering focus a little more towards strength rather than wafer thin devices. If this debacle has any positive outcome, that will be the result.

    ----------

    And for the record, I have shattered THREE phone screens in the last 5 years. Not once did it occur to met that it was Apple's fault. I drop, I break. Very simple.

    Why should bending be any different?
     
  3. deaglecat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #3
    oneofthenine is indeed a worrying site.

    it is around 228 of the nine as I write this post.

    the real shocker is the actual in store experience of some of the customers, one dude had the police called on him when he was trying to get his phone exchanged. deeply troubling.

    the numbers are going to grow significantly with wear. the op calculated the failure rate after a few weeks.., well i expect a phone to last 2+ years. the rates will be much much higher over time ... how much depends on the failure mechanism and whether the weakening is cummulative.
     
  4. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #4
    There is a certain level of standard usage thats come to be expected with phones. Namely carrying them in your front pocket.

    Glass shatters when dropped, you learn this from the time you are a very small child. If tomorrow you dropped a piece of tupperware and it shattered across the floor would you just sweep it up and say "Oh, I dropped, I break"? You'd probably be concerned on some level that everything you ever known and learned about tupperware has just changed.

    Then after that you'd start treating tupperware differently. Same applies with phones, people will need to have a problem before they change what they've been doing for the past decade.
     
  5. maka344 macrumors 6502a

    maka344

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    There's clearly a bunch of people on oneofthenine that have inflicted the damage themselves however; it's Apple's response to the users that have, in short, used their devices under normal conditions and experienced slight bends. These devices should be replaced no questions asked.

    Carrying the device in the front pocket is normal use, sitting on the device whilst in your back pocket is not normal use.

    The next few months will be interesting and most certainly, the 6s will be reinforced.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    [MOD NOTE]
    Its not right to talk about a member like this or his site and he's not around to respond.
     
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