Elemental composition of iPhone 6s shell points to a significantly stronger Bendgate-proof body

iPhone 6 gray silver gold back camera

The upcoming ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ phones are expected to use a stronger 7000 Series aluminum body. A custom alloy designed for the Apple Watch Sport, 7000 Series aluminum is sixty percent stronger than standard aluminum alloys and just as light.

An elemental composition analysis of a claimed iPhone 6s shell performed by MacRumors gives us a deeper insight into the next iPhones’ Bendgate-proof body.

For starters, the claimed part showed high iron levels of around eight percent on average. Not only does using iron enhance durability but makes the material easier to work with during the casting process.

iPhone 6s elemental composition

“We’ve been told that some iron can be introduced into the shell during the milling process, which can account for some of the variability in measurements shared with MacRumors,” notes the publication.

Electron microscope images of the iPhone 6s shell prove that the chassis is covered with a roughly 10-micron thick anodized aluminum oxide layer to help protect against corrosion while making it easier to add colors.

Putting it under a microscope

You can clearly see the aforementioned 10-micron thick anodization layer with lighter aluminum color on the photo below.


Data on the elemental composition of the iPhone 6s shell that MacRumors received points to roughly five percent zinc in the alloy, “which is in line with many 7000 Series alloys.” A chart bellow shows elemental composition at each sample point.

iphone_6s_shell_composition MacRumors 001

New iPhone 6s stress test analysis

“It appears that the iPhone 6s (and likely the iPhone 6s Plus) will be made out of a completely different alloy than the iPhone 6,” said Unbox Therapy, which last fall published a widely circulated video in which he bent an iPhone 6 Plus with his bear hands.

A video the YouTuber published today is showing results similar to MacRumors’.

“Based on the evidence gathered it’s likely that the upcoming iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will utilize a stronger 7000 series aluminum. This change will likely produce a more durable iPhone but it may be more costly to produce.”

For those wondering, the present-generation iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus also incorporate a body made from a custom alloy referred to as 6000 Series aluminum.

Source: MacRumors