By now you have all probably heard about Bendgate. No, this is not the latest political scandal. It’s the latest tech one! After Apple releases there is normally some issue that is somehow made into a catastrophe. When in all reality it is only a catastrophe to the iPhone owners affected.
Bendgate is the clever name given to the issue some iPhone 6 Plus owners have found with their slim new phablet. Once in their pocket, some owners reported that their new phone came out slightly bent. Owners posted photos of these bended iPhones and of course, the Internet went a little crazy. Then Lewis from Unbox Therapy decided to test out the issue with on his own iPhone 6 Plus. And his painful but informative video showed that yes, the iPhone 6 Plus does bend. Latest he did a follow-up video showing other devices like the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and the 2014 Moto X going through the same torture. However the results were quite different. So then the Internet and traditional news media went crazy. And Bendgate was born.
So, why are these iPhones bending? Let’s start by staying this is not an iPhone or an Apple issue. This isn’t the only device to do some unwanted contortionists moves. There are many issues at play here. For one, the choice of material. Aluminum is not an incredibly rigid metal. It’s good for many reason; it is lightweight, heat tends to dissipate quicker from it, and it looks super cool in gold. Okay, so that last one is completely subjective but the point is, aluminum is a good metal. But it’s not as rigid as some of the other possible choice Apple could have made. The company decided that they could mitigate any of the possible downsides through design allowing the iPhone to reap the benefits the metal has to offer. But they also wanted a thin device. Thin is normally in and to keep their customers happy they tried to offer them a thin, lightweight, beautiful phone. In doing so they created just that; but with a flaw. The fact that the iPhone 6 Plus has a large footprint and thin(7.1mm) unibody, there are areas that will give easier than other in the wrong circumstances.
You know those other phones that Unbox Therapy tested out that did not bend? There is a reason they survived despite some glue and screen separation. They didn’t really aim for that thin form factor. Instead, they went with clever design choices to make their phones feel better in the hand. Most of the time, this mean a tapered back. It’s a little like Samsung choice to use plastic for these devices. Chances are you aren’t too fond of it. You may even think it’s ugly in comparison to those slick, thin phones. But it is design with a purpose. Even the new Galaxy Alpha and upcoming Note 4 goes with a mostly plastic body and metal frame. Plastic has the benefit better shape retention under similar circumstances. And in the case of the HTC One M8 and some other phones they also sport magnesium frames to make the device more rigid. So will these devices never bend? I can’t say for sure that it won’t. But chances are less likely under normal circumstances given these factors.
Even all of this seemingly bad press this actually is pretty awesome for Apple. They say “bad press so better than no press.” But in this case their bad press only shows once again how influential a company Apple they really is. Like I mentioned, they are not the only company that have produced devices that bended much to the chagrin of owns. Sony had a similar issue with the Xperia Z1.But they aren’t Apple. According to Apple only nine customers actually complained about their phones bending. Of course, there is a chance that the number of complains are being played down. And nine is still nine too many –especially if you are one of those nine. But really think about those numbers. It take more complaints than that to get the media to talk about deadly diet pills. Apple produces are held to such high standard that even a few customers having an issue becomes something worth of world media attention.
Back in the 80’s Apple had a clever slogan; “Think Different.” It was simple, yet it managed to put and keep the company in the public’s mind. Now, the company has managed to get the world to “Think Bended”; even if they didn’t want to. But if you stopped to think about, it’s a little funny how a company that was once considered one it’s death-bed is now able to get the world pretty bent out of shape about an issue that only affected an incredibly small number of consumers.
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