It’s been a long September for Apple.
As if the iOS 8 software fiasco wasn’t embarrassing enough, another story concerning the flexibility of their hardware has been making waves as well. These guys just can’t seem to catch a break.
The annoyingly labeled “bendgate” story first emerged as early as Sept. 23 when MacRumors reported that a small but growing number of users were complaining that their newly acquired iPhone 6 Pluses were bending in their pockets. The Daily Dot ran with it, joking that the phones were likely bending as a result of their users’ skinny jeans being too skinny.
Naturally, a feeding frenzy ensued once the Twitterati got a hold of the story:
— Cooper Fleishman (@_Cooper) September 30, 2014
Brands – including competitors – had some fun at Apple’s expense as well:
— Coca-Cola GB (@CocaCola_GB) September 25, 2014
— Samsung Mobile (@SamsungMobile) September 25, 2014
As to the root cause of the phones’ unexpected bendiness, many observers were quick to blame end users for trying to put the devices in their back pockets. Fast Company quickly dismissed that theory and pointed out that the bending controversy, however ridiculous, actually highlighted a serious design flaw. Quoting Andrew Dent, vice president of material research at Material ConneXions, Fast Company explained it this way:
The aluminum Apple makes iPhones out of is durable and sturdy at a certain thickness, but it’s a balancing act. If the iPhone 6 is bending in people’s pockets, that means some Apple engineer shaved a few ounces off of the material that they shouldn’t have.
BGR’s Chris Smith also suggests that the problem might not stem from what the iPhone 6 Plus is made of, but rather from a faulty internal element that isn’t providing the right kind of resistance when a certain amount of pressure is applied.
Some angry customers have even found credibility in a theory that the whole episode was actually a stunt organized by Apple to boost iPhone 6 Plus sales. Business Insider reported on Sept. 26 that some “iPhone truthers” had discovered some suspicious discrepancies in one of the first videos to surface.
Perhaps accustomed to playing defense at this point, Apple responded to the controversy last week, saying that with normal use, a bend in the iPhone is “extremely rare,” and that it had received a total of nine complaints.
In the end, it seems the bending flaw turned out not to be that big of a deal, with Consumer Reports concluding that the iPhone 6 is actually “pretty tough.” Even so, The Next Web says that Apple will replace certain phones under warranty if they can pass a visual inspection.
Photo Credit: screengrab via Unbox Therapy