Bendgate: social media users react to iPhone 6’s flexible flaw

Apple arch-rival, Samsung, chocolate brand Kit Kat and U.S. potato chip firm Pringles promptly released adverts cracking jokes about bent iPhones

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In what has been dubbed as “bendgate,” social media users are mocking a purported design flaw of the newly-released iPhone 6 – its apparent inclination to bend under pressure.

Much of the mockery came in the form of spoof ads.

Social media users were not alone in poking fun. Apple arch-rival Samsung, chocolate brand Kit Kat and U.S. potato chip firm Pringles promptly released adverts cracking jokes about bent iPhones.

The bendable-phone situation might prove particularly troubling for those who wear skinny jeans, according to reports on Facebook and Twitter. The phrase “Your pants are too tight for your phone” has already received hundreds of mentions.

Some say the device, which has a lightweight aluminum shell, is more malleable than expected, but that might fall short of a design flaw, according to analysts.

Tech analyst Ross Rubin of Reticle Research told the Associated Press that the iPhone 6 Plus is “a large, thin device. That’s not to say customers should treat it gingerly, but it’s still an electronic product and it’s an investment, and it should be treated as such.”

Apple said it sold a record 10 million of the new iPhone models over the weekend, in what the company has called one of the biggest product launches in its history.

Customers might, however, hope for replacements for their bent iPhones, depending on whether their devices passed an inspection, tech news website the Next Web reported, quoting an Apple support executive.

Adding to Apple’s woes was a faulty update to its new iOS8 mobile software that left some of its new iPhones unable to make calls.

Later in the day, Apple released a new update, dubbed iOS 8.0.2, which it said would fix the problems caused by the iOS 8.0.1 update that it released on Wednesday. "We apologize for inconveniencing the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users who were impacted by the bug in iOS 8.0.1," the company said in a statement.

"There's a certain perception that Apple has to get things right, and when they don't, the whole company gets questioned," said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel. "But they came out and said 'We apologize; we're working 24/7 to fix it.' I think that's what matters."

Some users also, complained of “sluggish Wi-Fi and dwindling battery life” after moving to iOS 8, Time magazine reported earlier this week.

As a result of news of bending and faulting mobile software, Apple’s stock fell around 4 percent, leading a broader decline in technology shares. The fall in shares wiped close to $23bn off its stock market value, UK-based daily The Independent reported.

In a statement Thursday, Apple defended its manufacturing standards and said bending "is extremely rare" with normal use of an iPhone. The company said just nine customers had contacted Apple to report a bent iPhone 6 Plus since they went on sale Friday.

Flaw reminder

“Bendgate,” is a reminder of 2010’s “antennagate,” when iPhone 4 users reported a design flaw that caused dropped calls.

(With AP)

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