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Stab-proof iPhone glass can still be beaten in with blunt end

Apple’s iPhone 6 promises to be invulnerable to stabbing, but will it stand up to a blow-torch or an industrial grinder?

Apple’s iPhone 6 promises to be invulnerable to stabbing, but will it stand up to a blow-torch or an industrial grinder?

Critics reviewing early alpha versions of the much-anticipated iPhone 6 have been disappointed to discover that the phone’s glass – which had been touted by Apple as “stab-proof” – is still able to be beaten in and smashed with the blunt end of the knife over a period of half an hour.

A select group of critics – who were given special access to alpha versions of the phone – were able to verify Apple’s claim that the glass “cannot be broken through stabbing,” but found that this feature was practically useless, as the user could still permanently damage their phone by repeatedly bashing it with the other end of the knife.

“It sounded good in theory,” wrote New York Times tech reporter Nick Wingfield, “but in practice, this phone can still be destroyed with knives.”

Wingfield noted that the phone could also be destroyed with bricks, fire, scissors, a hammer, screwdrivers, bare hands, and a truck if deliberately backed over the phone.

“Apple is already trying to hype this device as unprecedented in its durability,” he wrote. “But upon closer inspection, it’s all smoke and mirrors; there really are all manner of ways to render the device unusable, most of which are readily available to the average user.”

Guardian technology critic Charles Arthur reported being able to break the phone by throwing it violently against his bedroom wall, something he also complained caused “visible damage” to the wall.

Meanwhile, TechRadar’s John McCann said he felt “cheated” after no longer being able to use the device, having successfully destroyed it with nothing more than a butter knife.

“If we’re taking into account purely what it says on the box, then yes, the iPhone 6 is fairly stab-proof,” said McCann. “But all it takes is to turn that knife the other way, smash it repeatedly against the screen and other vulnerable parts of the phone, throw it on the kitchen tiles, violently lay into it with the knife once more, kick it, and then jam it between the cutlery draws while you pry it apart with that knife, and then what happens when you try to switch it on? It doesn’t go.”

He wrote that consumers “don’t need a phone that is invulnerable to stabbing. No one stabs a phone. What we need is a phone that’s invulnerable to being put through the washing machine, or being thrown across the room at the kids.”

Apple is already responding to these initial impressions of its product, promising that upon release, owners of the iPhone 6 will feel so smug about their purchase that it would be “exceedingly unlikely” that any of them to allow it to come to any harm.