If there’s anything the internet likes more than a shiny new product release from a darling tech company, it’s a shiny new product release from a darling tech company with one small flaw to provide social media snark fodder for days. Yes, in the grand tradition of 2010’s iPhone 4 Antennagate, welcome to the iPhone 6’s Bendgate.
By now, you’ve probably heard the story. Since Apple released its sexy new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus models on September 19th, a small number of users reported instances of the iPhone 6 Plus bending after keeping it in their pockets for long periods of time. Pics of bent iPhones went viral under the #Bendgate hashtag, and, as with any great, high-publicity tech snafu, they’ve been accompanied by a mélange of memes and parodies poking fun at the whole fiasco.
With over 28 million views this week’s video, Unbox Therapy’s “iPhone 6 Plus Bend Test,” had a nice hand in helping Bendgate gain some traction by showing unboxer Lewis Hilsenteger actually bend the phone with his bare hands after what looks like a considerable, but not extreme amount of force. Hilsenteger then followed up with a similar video attempting to bend a Galaxy Note 3, which warped slightly, but didn’t achieve nearly the bend of the iPhone 6 Plus.
The actual force required to bend an iPhone 6 Plus remains undetermined. Claims of the phone bending in people’s pockets would seem to contradict phone warranty provider and durability tester SquareTrade, which claimed that the phone only bent under high pressure from their most physically fit employee, who also happened to be a super-buff personal trainer.
Whatever the true danger of a bent iPhone 6 may be, it seems unlikely to slow Apple down much. After selling 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models in its opening weekend, they released a statement Thursday downplaying the problem and spotlighting the durability of the iPhone 6 models, and claiming that “a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus.”
Only time will tell how deep Bendgate runs with iPhone 6 Plus owners, and whether it warrants a further response from Apple. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the snark.