/ Technology

‘Bendy’ iPhone 6: who’s to blame?

iPhone in pocket

Not another ‘gate’. The iPhone 4 had ‘antenna-gate’ and the iPhone 6 has been struck with the moniker ‘bend-gate’. So if your iPhone 6 Plus has bent in your pocket, are you entitled to a refund? That depends…

Earlier in the week, a smattering of iPhone 6 Plus owners (that’s the massive 5.5’’ one) started reporting that their new phones had bent out of shape during normal use. One owner, who kept his iPhone in his front trouser pocket, spotted that his phone was bent when he ‘saw the reflection of the window in the iPhones slightly distorted’.

Bent iPhones extremely rare, says Apple

As the week went on the story started to roll out of control, with some YouTubers producing videos to demonstrate that the iPhone was indeed bendy. Apple has now come out in defense, saying that:

‘With normal use a bend in iPhone is extremely rare and through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus. As with any Apple product, if you have questions please contact Apple.’

Is a bend to be expected in such a big phone that’s just 7.1mm thick? Some point to the phone being made of aluminium, which is a relatively soft and flexible material. However, Apple has explained that the aluminium is ‘tempered for extra strength’ and ‘features stainless steel and titanium inserts’ to improve its strength and durability. Apple adds:

‘iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus meet or exceed all of our high quality standards to endure everyday, real life use.’

Can I return my bent iPhone 6?

So, if you’ve bent your iPhone 6, are you entitled to a refund? Any claim would need to be argued on the basis that the phone wasn’t of satisfactory quality and would be against the party that supplied it. You would then need to reject and return the phone within a reasonable time after purchase, usually three to four weeks.

And within the first six months of buying the product, it’s up to the retailer to prove that the goods were of satisfactory quality rather than you having to show that they weren’t.

If your iPhone 6 wasn’t of satisfactory quality and it’s too late to reject it, you still have the right to get the phone replaced or repaired. Since a bend might be a little difficult to repair, chances are you’d be looking at a replacement.

Will Apple’s warranty help?

You could also lean on Apple’s warranty, but it’s unclear whether a bent phone will be covered. An Apple support representative has said in response:

‘There is a test called a Visual Mechanical Inspection that the device will have to pass. If it is within the guidelines, they will be able to cover it. If not, the replacement would be a paid one.’

If bent iPhone 6s start to become more common, which Apple claims is unlikely, you might like to store your new phone in your coat pocket or a bag instead of your trousers. Buying a case for your iPhone 6 Plus might also be a good idea.

Have you bought the new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus? Has it bent in your pocket? And if you don’t own one, have you experienced anything similar with another smartphone?

Comments
Profile photo of wavechange
Member

It amazes me how little care many people take of their phones. Large thin smartphones are obviously more vulnerable than the small mobiles that most of us started with.

Member
paulyb says:
27 September 2014

I agree, cars dent went lent on, but you wouldn’t take it back and get a panel replaced if you knocked it, would you? If “yes”, please tell me which car and I’ll go out and buy it!

Member
Sophie Gilbert says:
27 September 2014

On the same note, aren’t people who carry phones in their front or back pockets worried about getting them nicked or losing them as well? I noticed a chappie in the bus once talking to his wife and kid in the seat in front him and often taking his phone out of his back pocket, checking it and putting it back in. They left the bus sometime before me and when it was time for me to go too I noticed the phone on his seat. I handed it to the bus driver, who groaned as if it were a common occurrence… Why indeed don’t people look after their equipment better?

Member
CrankParent says:
26 September 2014

Maybe look after your expensive purchase a little better?

http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/09/25/apple-takes-reporters-on-tour-of-iphone-test-facility-to-address-bendgate-dust-up?utm_content=bufferb884a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

“Re/code was also invited on the tour and reports seeing four tests in action, including a sit test, pressure point test, torsion test and three-point bend test, the latter of which proves iPhone 6 can carry at least 25 kilograms of weight focused on the center of the device. The 6 can actually withstand more pressure, but Apple declined to offer specific numbers.”

Profile photo of NFH
Member

“The iPhone 5 had ‘antenna-gate’” – No, that was the iPhone 4, which was 27 months before the iPhone 5. I distinctly remember discovering this fault with the iPhone 4 on 24/06/2010 before it was reported by the media. The problem with the iPhone 5 was the lack of proper 4G support.

Back to the point – if you sit on a phone, don’t expect it to remain intact. It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s in a pocket or not. If you sit on it, it risks deformation. Common sense.

Profile photo of Patrick Steen
Member

Thanks NFH, fixed the typo. I don’t believe the reports come from those who have sat on their phone.

However, here’s a nice stress test from our friends in the US, Consumer Reports: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/09/consumer-reports-tests-iphone-6-bendgate/index.htm

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Are Samsung not about due to release a flexible phone that hit the news last year? I like the idea of turning a problem into a feature.

To be serious, do other brands of phone of the similar size to the new iPhone have a problem with bending or are they stronger or thicker?

Profile photo of Patrick Steen
Member

There are a couple of ‘flexible’ phones, LG has one I believe. You can see how other phones fare in this test from our US friends: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/09/consumer-reports-tests-iphone-6-bendgate/index.htm

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Thanks Patrick. It looks as if the phones tested are really quite tough. What I had in mind was phones that were intended to be flexible, or was that an April Fool’s joke?

Profile photo of Patrick Steen
Member
Member
Make a positive out of a negative... says:
27 September 2014

Rename it the iPhone Flex 6+ . Got to hand it to apple, they are marketeers supreme. They have done a fine job of convincing folk to queue up in their millions for the privilege of purchasing a flawed phone that by any sane measure is way over priced. The phone is literally a few days old and which? are advising consumers of their rights. You couldn’t make it up. Really.

Member
Paul says:
2 October 2014

People are far too quick to judge, place blame and jump on the bandwagon these days. There is no real proof that the iPhone 6 Plus is ‘flawed’. After every major manufacturer releasing a new phone, stories are always quick to circulate – “my phone burst into flames” or “my charger exploded”. These ‘stories’ then turn out to be owner error rather than a fault of the manufacturer. Let’s gather the facts before we judge!

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I agree that some people are just waiting to criticise new products, especially with popular items such as phones. Nevertheless there are a few problems. I had a cheap Nokia phone that contained a battery that was recalled for safety reasons. I received a replacement battery very promptly.

The problems with phone chargers have generally been with cheap counterfeit products.

Member

Bendgate is real. Watch the strength test video on Youtube.

Profile photo of Patrick Steen
Member

Our Tech expert Jess has looked into bendgate and ‘hairgate’ to find the truth behind the rumours: http://blogs.which.co.uk/technology/phones-3/the-truth-behind-bendgate-and-other-iphone-6-rumours/

Profile photo of thisUsernameDoesNotExist
Member

Sorry but are all wrong. We should look after our expensive phones? No. Apple should look after our expensive phones and make them stronger. The should be able to handle more pressure. Just because you all do nothing exciting with your lives, your phones don’t go through much, but others do. My iPhone 6 (not plus) bent when I leaned on something and my pocket pressed against it. I demanded them to replace it and it was. I have never broken a phone in my life, never smashed a screen, NEVER had a stupid case. So explain that you silly fools.