Wisdom.Applied Wednesday: Negate #Bendgate

Last Thursday we looked a few product launch fails, including the issue Apple was facing due to reports that it was easy to accidentally bend the new iPhone 6 Plus. However, Apple released a statement telling consumers that “with normal use a bend in an 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.” Not all consumers are ready to believe that the iPhone is not flexible, some even taking it upon themselves to test the new phone by going into Apple stores and trying to bend them. A few days ago, two British teenagers broke at least four iPhones in an Apple store by bending them, which resulted in more than $2,500 worth of damage.

 

 

The thing is, if you apply enough pressure to most things, they will bend, so we usually don’t; we also possess the ability to bite off our pinky fingers and swallow our tongues, but we don’t typically do that either.

There have been various estimates as to how much #Bendgate is going to cost Apple, but the technology giant actually has a good hold on the situation from a PR standpoint. Not only did the company address the issue in its statement, but Apple also invited several technology journalists on a rare tour of its durability test lab to showcase how Apple tests its products. Outside sources also backed Apple up, restoring credibility in the brand and its new product. For example, Consumer Reports did their own bend test, calling the criticism of the new phone to be “highly unscientific.” The results showed that it takes 90 pounds of pressure to bend an iPhone 6 and although it takes more pressure to bend a few of the competing smartphones (130 pounds for an LG G3 and 150 pounds for a Samsung Galaxy Note 3), the new Apple product is not as easily bendable as consumers believed.

 

 

It’s interesting how this story go blown out of proportion, considering the fact that 9 bent phones out of 10 million sold is a pretty good statistic. Apple’s competitors (i.e. LG and Samsung) didn’t help by immediately hopping on the social media bandwagon to mock the “flaw.” Since Apple products are always highly anticipated, whenever consumers expose a flaw (or even hint of a flaw), consumers and the media have a field day with it. When the iPhone 4 came out in 2010, many consumers were experiencing dropped calls and bad service because they were interfering with the antenna by “holding their phones incorrectly.” Dubbed “Antennagate,” the issue eventually blew over after Steve Jobs announced that this happens with all smart phones and that Apple will offer free cases to alleviate the problem. Clearly, Apple did not suffer too much as their product is still around two generations later. There’s no doubt that #Bendgate will blow over soon, although I can’t help but wonder what small kink people will latch onto when the iPhone 7 comes around.

Cover Photo Source: Hadrian / Shutterstock.com

Jenny is a Junior Executive at SJG. She earned her BA in Psychology and a minor in Educational Studies in 2014 from Colgate University. Outside the office, Jenny loves to travel (usually to Disney World), bake and watch copious amounts of TLC.