Photo credit: Yanki01
#Bendgate has become a PR nightmare for Apple with customers across the globe trying to bend the iPhone 6 in stores.
Whether you are an Apple fan or an android user, you probably already know by know that the iPhone 6 Plus bends in ‘certain’ conditions because it is long, thin, made of aluminum and has a structural weak spot. Unfortunately for Apple, Lewis Hilsenteger from Unbox Therapy found that weak spot, bent a new IPhone 6 Plus on camera with just his hands, and proceeded to go viral to the tune of more than fifty million YouTube views.
When the proverbial hit the fan, the internet almost exploded. Name calling occured, things that should have been left unsaid were said, and Apple went on the defensive. They claimed that 15,000 devices were tested with up to fifty pounds of force, and that no problems were found. Consumer Reports released its own report stating that the iPhone 6 Plus does indeed bend… under ninety pounds of pressure, making it sturdier than the HTC One (M8), though still an embarrassingly 50% less durable than last year’s iPhone 5.
Apple are certainly not bending over backwards to apologise for the iPhone 6
What’s going on here? Is Hilsenteger able to apply ninety pounds of pressure with his bare hands? The guy may be stocky, but he’s hardly an athlete. Are we entering a twilight world of hoaxes, conspiracies and cover ups? That’s not exactly right either. The problem with Hilsenteger’s bend, and he readily admitted as much, is that it is only possible at the phone’s weakest spot: just below the volume control. The problem with Consumer Report’s testing? It applies only to the phone’s strongest central point. We have a situation where popular ‘tests’ tell us very little about a products everyday use. Everyone involved here is telling the truth, it just happens to be their narrow version of the truth. It just goes to show that being truthful and being honest aren’t always the same thing, especially when it comes to PR.
According to Apple, only nine people have reported (through officials channels) that their iPhone has bent in their pocket. With nine million iPhones sold, a fault rate of one in a million isn’t too bad, actually. That being said, if we’ve learnt anything from #bendgate it’s to always take a company’s word with a pinch of salt, especially when they have a financial interest in presenting an edited account of the truth.
The structural weak point in the iPhone 6 Plus may not be the end of the world for the average user, but it is still more of an issue than Apple are prepared to admit. It might not be a problem that my phone has a one in a million chance of bending in my pocket, but it’s certainly a problem that any idiot I know could bend my phone if he wanted to, and anyone who is or knows a teenage boy might well think twice about buying one. At the very least, it looks like Apple’s testing methods are due for a rework, as a phone being bent by hand is hardly the one in a million occurrence that it has been made out to be.
iPhone 6 Drop Test: See it to Believe it
At the end of the day, it’s worth remembering that smartphones, Apple or otherwise, are breakable. Despite what the marketing guys might want you to think, one bad drop or tight pocket and your phone will shatter or warp irreversibly. You might get lucky, then again, you might not. It’s up to you how much care you want to take with your £539 piece of tech.