‘Bendgate’ at the Genius Bar

Katie Wang, Staff Writer

Just after the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were released on September 19, 2014, reports of the devices bending in pockets surfaced. Not long after these ‘bendgate’ rumors, Unbox Therapy, a YouTube channel that reviews new devices straight out of their boxes, tested the reports. Lou, a channel member, attempted to bend the iPhone 6 Plus with his bare hands. After applying as much force at he could, Lou managed to bend the phone significantly. The bend caused the glass screen to peel off of the aluminum base, and when Lou tried to bend the phone back the damage was irreversible. This video went viral and influenced others to avoid the phone as well as test out the bending themselves. Some customers took it upon themselves to go to Apple Stores and try to bend the phones on display- many were successful. As time went on and the video continued to spread, reports continued to fly in claiming that the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 6 bend just from being in a pants pocket for a few hours.

The weak point of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is just below the volume buttons. During the ‘bendgate’ testing, the majority of the bent phones were damaged in that area. One consumer reported that Apple Inc. had fixed the ‘bendgate’ issue. He claimed that his wife’s phone, an iPhone 6 Plus bought just after the release, was weaker than his phone, an iPhone 6 Plus bought a month after release. He claimed that he could see a red mark behind his volume buttons- suggesting that Apple Inc. had installed a support mechanism.

Despite claims like this consumer, many remain skeptical that the problem will actually be fixed. Apple Inc. remained silent from the beginning of these reports, yet finally spoke on September 25. In its press statement Apple claimed that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus “feature a precision engineered unibody enclosure constructed from machining a custom grade of 6000 series anodized aluminum, which is tempered for extra strength. They also feature stainless steel and titanium inserts to reinforce high stress locations and use the strongest glass in the smartphone industry. We chose these high-quality materials and construction very carefully for their strength and durability. We also perform rigorous tests throughout the entire development cycle including 3-point bending, pressure point cycling, sit, torsion, and user studies. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus meet or exceed all of our high quality standards to endure everyday, real life use.”