It was a rough week for Apple last week. Or was it? First it was discovered that the iPhone 6 Plus is susceptible to “bending”. A software glitch to the first iOS8 update quickly followed sending lovers and haters of the world’s largest company into a tizzy.
During their mea culpa, Apple announced exactly 9 people complained about a bend in their Plus and about 40,000 users were affected by the software glitch. The absolute horror! As a reminder, 10 million devices that run iOS8 were sold just last weekend. Remember these numbers, there’s a quiz later.
Many media outlets ran with “bendgate”, sighting YouTube videos of people bending the phone and attempting to bend it themselves. It looked like all were unsuccessful.
Speaking for myself, I wasn’t exactly shocked that the a large piece of aluminium would bend when a lot of force was applied, especially if warm. Still, it was clear to me that some of these folks had alternative motives, why even try?
“It bends when I do this… doctor.”
“Umm, Don’t do that?”
Anyway, I found myself at the mall yesterday running an errand and wanted to bend, excuse me see, for myself. It’s easy for some guy to cry foul from the comfort of his living room, why not make have an informed opinion.
As a bonus, I also hadn’t had a Plus in my hand before. When I picked up my iPhone 6 on launch day, I was in and out of the store and didn’t really take a look at it. I also wanted to see if people cared or if it might impact sales. There’s no better way to gauge this then actually going to the store and talking with the people buying it.
As I approached the store, I was greeted by a long line and large crowd. First assumption, it’s not hurting sales.
As I spoke to some people, (folks waiting in a long line are almost too happy to chat with anyone who may saunter by) I asked them if they heard about “bendgate”. To a man – and woman – they had heard the news and the typical response, “Why would I try and bend it?”, followed closely by, “If it does bend, I feel confident that Apple will replace it.” Indeed customer, indeed.
Armed with this information I entered a store operating like a finely tuned watch much the same as it had on launch day, my last visit. I had my pick of locations to examine the iPhone Plus so I chose a discrete spot toward the middle of the store with my back to most of the crowd. I picked it up in my hand, as expected light, yet sturdy, for lack of a better term. Now I was curious.
I took a peak around.out of the side of my eye I happened to notice I was not the only person conducting this experiment. At least two others were doing the same at the same time. I went about my business.
After watching some of the videos online I knew what the supposed weak spot was. (From watching others, they were just guessing.) Taking my thumbs I pressed and pushed in toward my hands that were firmly around the rest of the phone covering the entirety of the screen on the other side. It bent.
I held the phone up a bit to examine my handy work. It looked bent to me but I was aware that it could look different in my mind’s eye after what my goal had been. Maybe it had been this way. Soon, it didn’t matter.
“Hey, you bent the phone!”, a girl next to me said. Her friend soon joined her to look. “I tried and couldn’t,” she said. Her friend echoed her statement. Soon I was surrounded by a group of 10 people.
“How did you do that?” asked someone else.
“I used my hands,” I said.
“I think it’s kinda cool they make it so it bends,” said another.
At this point I thought it best to leave the store.
Did I feel bad about bending it a bit? Not really, there were others trying and I walked past a person attempting the same thing on the way to the exit.
If they made me buy the phone, there would have been worse tragedies. I would have received a Plus with a screen still appearing crystal clear and functioning perfectly.
For their part, Apple employees didn’t seem to care or notice any wannabe Mr. Wizards. My take is they have grown accustomed this week to seeing this and also because no one else seemed to be successful. My guess is that many of these people were/are not 6’3′ 225 pounds and also didn’t really know the exact point of weakness.
How much force was applied? Enough to where my left thumb was sore for about 20 minutes after but not so much where I was shaking.
I also will admit that once the indentation was made, if I took a firm grasp with both my hands and attempted to “fold” it at the weak spot, I suspect i could have made it worse. Again, why would you?
But – and this is big BIG but – I find it hard to believe this thing is going to bend under normal wear and tear. Maybe if you’re over 200 pounds and sit on it for 20 minutes it might bend, but why would you. I’d love to see the pair of pants and the person who bends this thing with it just in their front pocket.
I dropped a Motorola flip phone once in college while getting into my car, about three feet above the asphalt. It shattered into 100 pieces. The blue screen of death haunted me on my Windows PC like a scene in a horror movie.
Is it possible that our standards are getting juuuuust a bit high? To me the issues with the iPhone Plus are: you can’t one hand it to navigate and it does look ridiculous up to your head.
I think the 4.7 inch form is ideal for a phone, that’s what I really took from my visit.
That, and that nobody cares about “bendgate”.