First, there was ‘Antennagate’, as iPhone 4 users found a noticeable drop in signal strength when touching the lower-left corner of their handset, leading Apple to tell its customers that they were holding the device the wrong way. Then came ‘Scuffgate’, as iPhone 5 users complained that it was all too easy to scratch that device’s aluminium bodywork.
Now, with the launch of Apple’s latest handsets, comes ‘Bentgate’. A handful of users – so far, at least – have complained that their iPhone 6 Plus handsets are ‘bending’, without significant force being exerted upon them. In future it will be Cashgate, who knows?
Several of these reports have come from users on the MacRumors forums. One user, ‘hanzoh’, said that his handset had been in his front trouser pocket for much of the day, which involved sitting while on a long drive and at a wedding, where he also danced. By the end of the day, when he placed his 6 Plus on his coffee table, he noticed that the device had bent slightly towards the top.
Another user, ‘DevinPitcher’ reported the same problem, again noting that it had been in his friend’s front pocket while driving, and that it had warped by the time he removed it from his pocket later.
Similar reports are starting to emerge elsewhere too. Macbidouille.com reported on one user whose iPhone 6 – not a 6 Plus – suffered the same fate after being in the pocket of his jeans. He contacted Apple to report the issue, and claims that he was told that it would cost €297 EUR (roughly $380 USD) to repair the damage.
So how significant is this problem? Well, let’s keep things in perspective – the number of users that have so far complained about this issue publicly is very small indeed, especially against the backdrop of the millions of devices sold in the last few days. That may change, of course, as users spend more time with their new handsets.
It’s worth remembering that aluminium, used in the chassis of the iPhone 6, is certainly strong, but it is also malleable, which makes it susceptible to deformation under compression. And since the iPhone 6 Plus has such a large surface area, but remains relatively thin, it naturally follows that the device has less structural rigidity than a smaller, thicker handset. That said, even the iPhone 5 and 5s had their share of complaints about those devices ‘bending’, so this isn’t an entirely new development.
Nonetheless, Apple’s rivals have already begun having a bit of fun at its expense. A tweet from LG Deutschland, for example – showing the company’s curved G Flex handset – includes the #bentgate hashtag, and the slightly smug message: “It wouldn’t have happened with the LG G Flex.