None of the cool new features on Apple's latest iPhone models will prevent them from getting damaged in the most common way: dropping them.
SquareTrade, which sells smartphone protection plans to consumers, conducted a trial of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, as well as Samsung's Note5, to find out how fragile they are. The company found that all three phones wind up with smashed screens from a flat, face-down drop on the sidewalk. (A video of the smashing, as well as bend tests and temperature tests can be seen here.)
“While Apple touts the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus as the most advanced iPhones ever, we still found them at the mercy of the most common of all problems—the accidental drop on a hard surface,” Jessica Hoffman, spokeswoman for SquareTrade, said in a press release.
Apple has taken steps to make its phones less damage-prone, touting aircraft-grade aluminum for the 6s and 6s Plus models, as well as "the strongest glass on any smartphone." But it still hasn't managed to figure out how to prevent damage from a simple drop, which is responsible for roughly half of all cell-phone damage, according to SquareTrade. Another group that runs the site VoucherCodesPro.co.uk says nearly two-thirds of smartphone users have broken their screens. With new iPhones starting at $649 or $749, the problem is common enough to be concerning and expensive for consumers.
Apple has been struggling to find a solution to shattered screens for some time. Last year, the tech world expected Apple to begin using super-strong sapphire screens in new iPhones. But it turned out that while that screen is harder to scratch, "when you drop it, it is more likely than glass to break," according to Time.
SquareTrade did find that the new iPhone models are no longer as bendable. The 6s withstood about 170 lbs of weight before bending, while the 6s Plus endured about 180 lbs of weight—both better than predecessor models.
I oversee Fusion's money section and have spent most of my time as a journalist writing about banks and finance. I live in Brooklyn with my partner Geoffrey & our two dogs, Captain & Tallulah. Favs: leopard print, Diet Coke, gummy candy, Ireland.