Updates and 'bendgates' spell a very bad week for Apple

Reports that 8.0.1 is rendering phones useless have prompted Apple to take the unprecedented action of pulling the update

With Apple being forced to withdraw the iOS 8.0.1 update after widespread reports of it bricking iPhones, it’s apparent that ‘measure twice, cut once’ is not an adage that has ever made it to Cupertino.

The 8.0.1 update was expected to fix minor faults with the new operating system, but reports quickly started flooding in that it was rendering devices incapable of making calls and breaking Touch ID.

This is the first time that Apple has been forced to withdraw an update, suggesting that the issue is rather more serious than the previous storm in a teacup scenarios that have arisen over the years.

The launch of the new iPhones and OS is shaping up to be a minor PR disaster; there have also been a torrent of complaints over the new iPhone 6 Plus’ structural integrity. Users have taken to Twitter to say that the new iPhone is bending when placed under pressure.

‘Bendgate’, as the problem has already been dubbed, is a throwback to ‘antennagate’, when users reported that holding the phone a certain way caused poor signal. Apple ‘resolved’ the problem by changing the algorithm to show more bars, issuing free bumper cases to improve signal and ultimately slipping many users a $15 cheque.

Responding to reports on the bendability of the new iPhone 6 Plus, a SquareTrade spokesman said:  "We’ve seen the reports in the last 24 hours of bendability and we’re keeping a very close eye on customer feedback." 

SquareTrade issued a breakability test earlier this week but did not look at the possibility of bending.

“A bendability test hasn’t been part of our breakability testing to date because up until this week we’ve never seen a phone thin enough to make this a potential issue.  We’ve seen the volume of reports of bending today and the clear interest in the subject,” said the spokesman.

SquareTrade said that it would investigate the problem but stressed that there would be no comparative data. The third party warranty provider said that having looked through all claims made by iPhone 6 Plus users, none were related to bending.

Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy posted a YouTube video in which he put the iPhone 6 Plus through a bend test. Using just his hands, Hilsenteger managed to warp the device significantly. The video has racked up nearly 20m views since it was posted two days ago.

While Apple has issued an apology regarding the update problems, it has so far declined to comment on bendgate.


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