Apple puts iPhone 6 models through the wringer to prove #Bendgate is overblown

Caitlin McGarry
29 September, 2014
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iPhone 6, Apple, bendgate, macworld australiaOnly nine people complained to Apple about the iPhone 6 Plus bending in their pockets, but that’s not going to stop the internet from joking about #Bendgate. So the company is trying to manage its PR crisis by opening the doors to its super secret testing facility. Yes, Apple puts its new phones through the ol’ sit-down test.

About 15,000 iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units were tested before the devices began shipping. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the more than 10 million phones Apple has sold so far, but the sample devices were run through various scenarios that they might endure day-to-day. Then they were tortured.

Is this a new era of openness for Apple? Not really. The company opened its doors to reporters in 2010 when the iPhone 4 antenna was causing dropped calls upon release. But the move signifies that, though few customers have actually complained about the issue, Bendgate is becoming a real problem for the company’s image (and stock price).

Stress tests

There are three kinds of sit-down tests, according to a Verge report from inside the Cupertino testing facility. The tests replicate real-world situations: sitting on hard surfaces, then soft surfaces (like couches), then hard surfaces at an angle where the phone might bend inside a pocket. A back pocket, even.

Then the devices are put through a bend test, in which a 25-kilogram weight presses down on the phone. Re/code noted that the phones do bend under the weight, but quickly rebound to normal. The phones endure a 10-kilogram pressure test and a torsion test, where the devices are twisted to an unspecified degree, to cap off the process.

The Cupertino tests are just a sampling of what quality control processes Apple puts new products through before launching. Even more tests are conducted at production facilities in China. But #Bendgate, like the iPhone 4 Antennagate before it, is causing such controversy that Apple needed to prove it does have quality controls in place – and that bent phones are outliers, not the norm.

Despite all of those tests, some iPhones are bending. If you’re noticing curves on your new iPhone 6 Plus that shouldn’t be there – and you haven’t deliberately tried to damage the device – then head on down to your local Apple store. Your warranty should cover a replacement.


5 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Steve says:

    What a joke, wonder if the bendgate 9 are Samsung employees. Sitting with the phone in your pocket for 18 hours, come on.

  2. Gresham says:

    There might be fewer people who reported there bent iPhones but that does not say there is no problem. The problem is there and it needs fixing sooner rather than later. I don’t know why Apple designer are more obsessed with making thinner devices. Now it has come back to haunt them. Devices like the IPhone 4 are the big deal, sturdy, a little bit heavy and durable. Emphasis should be put on things like extended battery life not thinning.

  3. GT says:

    A bigger problem is iOS and iCloud. Windows phone is better, cleaner and just works. Like apple used to claim. Onedrive is superb. iCloud is a mess. Still with the whole contacts AND CAL AND MAIL thing. So annoying. Android is more flexible but even messier than apple. They needed Dropbox.

    Windows phone….I know I know.,..but lots of people eat macdonalds too…..and not many can eat caviar.

  4. Nicky says:

    You should check how Apple defines the term “complained”. If you take a phone into an Apple store and ‘complain’ that it has bent, it’s more likely to be logged as a “service” call than a as a “complaint”. I know for a fact there have been way in excess of “nine” complaints about bent phones!

  5. John says:

    Really? Keeping a device as big as an iPhone 6 plus in a pocket that is at risk from sitting down? Some pocket and quite an effort by some masochistic people who seem to need something to complain about.

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