iPhone 6 Bending Controversy Taints Smartphone Debut

With the Apple iPhone 6 now available on general release, there was always going to be a raft of news and gossip following the appearance of this hugely significant mobile device in the public domain. The early days after a new device hits the stores is usually open season for individuals to locate foibles within its design, and given the mammoth profile of the Apple iPhone 6, it’s perhaps not surprising that this has been no exception to this rule.

All manner of issues have been reported by the media, but by far the most prevalent has been a series of reports which related to a YouTube video that quickly went viral.

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Bendy iPhone 6

The video in question purportedly showed a man applying pretty extreme pressure to the iPhone 6, and actually being able to bend the handset quite considerably as a result of doing so. This is obviously an alarming prospect for Apple, as the video has already generated quite a lot of buzz among people interested in technology.

Apple has naturally moved very quickly to defend its new flagship device against negative publicity garnered from this incident. Apple has asserted very strongly that there is no danger of the iPhone 6 warping easily in average use. Apple states that bending of the iPhone 6 would be “extremely rare” via normal usage, implying that the video in question presented an abnormal case scenario.

Further elaborating on the issue, Apple revealed that of the 10 million iPhones sold thus far, only nine customers have in fact contacted the company complaining about an iPhone 6 Plus that has been bent out of shape. According to the manufacturer of the iPhone, the smaller of the two devices – the standard iPhone 6 smartphone which features a 4.7-inch display – has experienced no problems whatsoever.

Apple underlined what it considered to be the good performance of its new device by stating that both models of the iPhone 6 passed a series of rigorous tests before release , which were intended to ensure that the strength and durability of the device was of the highest order. Additionally, a spokesperson for the corporation asserted that both models of the iPhone 6 have been manufactured from a custom grade of anodized aluminum which has been purposefully tempered in order to provide extra strength to the device. Stainless steel and titanium incidents are also designed to reinforce the high-stressed locations within the smartphone.

The bending issue has completed a rather embarrassing week for Apple, which has been tempered to some degree by the fact that the iPhone 6 has sold extremely strongly. In addition to the warping of some iPhone 6+ models, Apple has also taking the precedented step this over the last few days of withdrawing updates to its iOS 8 operating system from the Apple App Store. Apple was initially tightlipped about the reasons for this drastic decision, which prompted some speculation that there could be security motivations. However, it has since become clear that the new version of the Apple operating system was in fact disrupting cellular connectivity and disabling the TouchID fingerprint reader, which is used to both lock and unlock the device.

iOS 8 issues

Apple conceded that this particular issue has caused “great inconvenience” to iPhone 6 purchasers. By Thursday, the company had already released an update to its iOS 8 software which was specifically designed to resolve these issues, along with other problems that have been identified since the smartphone was released. This included problems with the new HealthKit application, which helps provide health and fitness data to iPhone 6 users.

Perhaps it is not hugely surprising that the largest phone that Apple has ever produced is experiencing a few teething problems. This is the first ever iPhone phablet, and consequently it would be perhaps unreasonable to expect no issues with the device whatsoever. It is also reasonable to assert that a handful of phones experienced difficulties out of 10 million produced sold, and thus far represents a pretty trivial number, even if this will be of little comfort to those affected.

Nevertheless, the fact that some iPhone 6 Plus models are experiencing difficulties after a matter of days since the smartphone was released will obviously pose questions about what quantity of devices will develop the fault in the long-term. And the issue related to iOS 8 will genuinely leave Apple a little red-faced, although the reliability and security of its software has been considered a major strength of the company in the past.

Share price whacked

In the midst of what has been a disappointing week for Apple in many respects, the city has rubbed its nose in the situation somewhat. Despite the encouraging sales figures that the iPhone 6 has clocked up, the share price of Apple fell more than 3 percent on Thursday, which effectively wiped around $23 billion off its stock market value. There is no doubt that investors were reacting to the combination of the bending and iOS 8 news, and Apple stock closed beneath the important psychological barrier of $100 as a result.

Apple will be hoping that bad news doesn’t come in threes of them this week, as they attempt to build on the otherwise encouraging momentum that the iPhone 6 has created. Both in terms of sales and critical response, the iPhone 6 has performed extremely well, and Apple will hope that once this initial furore is over that the quality of the device will shine through.