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iPhone 6 Bending Hype

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Consumer Reports tests iPhone 6 durability

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are tremendously successful. Sometimes success breeds contempt. In the latest episode of post-product-launch Apple-bashing, the iPhone 6 Plus has been vilified as being unreasonably fragile.

With over 10 million smartphones sold in the first weekend, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have proven to be immensely popular. This has caused a lot of desperation among Apple-haters. As with every Apple product launch, the Cupertino tech colossus is being held to a higher standard than their competitors. New allegations have surfaced that the iPhone 6 Plus is exceptionally fragile and will bend simply by being pocketed. The success of this new iPhone, combined with the power of social media and blogosphere, has created a perfect storm of contempt for Apple.

Does the iPhone 6 Plus Bend?

The iPhone 6 Plus can be bent if enough force is applied to the device. This is true of just about every smartphone of its class. Larger smartphones with bigger screens tend to be more fragile. Given the extreme thinness of the new iPhone 6 Plus, in addition to its aluminum construction, it is possible to bend it.

So far, this has been shown in a famous video where the device is bent by hand. Other claims that the device has bent simply by being pocketed are a bit more dubious. According to Apple, only 9 out of 10 million customers have reported damage to their new iPhone. It has happened, but it is highly unlikely to happen just by pocketing the device. Claims that this issue is more widespread are suspect. It simply doesn’t make sense for someone to Tweet an issue with their new, warranty-protected iPhone, and then fail to contact Apple for a replacement.

Other smartphones can also bend under pressure. One of Apple’s competitors had a problem with their flagship phone. Some users who pocketed the device would experience small cracks in the screen. Nonetheless, since the news media, blogosphere and social media are laser-focused on Apple, other companies are able to release inferior products without much scrutiny. Their fans will simply make up excuses, while ironically holding Apple up to much higher standards. Apple products are not perfect, but they are better than the competition. This comes from both personal experience and hours of reading certified customer reviews.

When a company achieves the success and market share that Apple enjoys, it creates a large community of critics. Apple is, in many ways, the new Microsoft. Much like Microsoft was once vilified as the “evil empire”, Apple now suffers from this unfavorable distinction.

People justify Apple-bashing out of concern over market dominance. Many of the talking points about Apple being closed and offering over-priced products are no longer true, but still persist. Critics are driven by contentious marketing by Apple’s rivals. They regurgitate unbalanced lists of specifications — an exercise in pseudo-science.

Critics are also driven by a moral imperative. They must stop the new evil empire from growing, hoping that their favorite “morally superior” multinational corporation will achieve dominance. The mentality is riddled with contradictions and conformity. It is almost cult-like in fervor and intensity. This causes Apple to be plagued by unfair and biased criticisms with every product launch.

A Brief History of Apple Product Launch “Gates”

The practice of sabotaging Apple product launches is nothing new. This has been going on for over a decade, as Apple rose like phoenix from the ashes. During the 1990s it was quite the opposite. Apple was the underdog, and Microsoft was the evil empire. Apple fanboys were using every means necessary to shill for a dying platform, but the Macintosh couldn’t bring developers into the fold. Today, you see that same mentality with Apple haters, regardless of which platform they prefer. With Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry fans, Apple faces much more opposition. (continue…)

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  • There is actually some truth to “bendgate”. A few years after the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch, devices are now showing symptoms of “touch disease”. The problem is due to the iPhone’s flexibility. With normal use, as the iPhone flexes in one’s pocket, the touch controller sustains damage. Over time, this causes the controller to fail, rendering the iPhone useless. Users see a gray bar on the top of the screen, and the touch screen doesn’t function. In some cases, Apple has repaired or replaced iPhones for free. The vast majority of affected users are being denied replacements or free repairs. A lawsuit against Apple is pending.

    If your iPhone’s touch controller no longer functions, there are a few options. First, try taking it to the Apple Store. They may fix it or replace it. If you have an AppleCare+ warranty, they are more likely to fix or replace it for free. There are third party repair services that can fix the touch controller. Although this invalidates the iPhone’s warranty, it has probably expired. You may be able to get it fixed for less from a third party service provider. Search for “iPhone 6 touch disease” for more information.

    The iPhone 6 Plus is more susceptible to “touch disease” than the iPhone 6. This is due to the larger size of the phone, which puts it under more stress when pocketed.

  • Consumer Reports released the results of their smartphone durability test. They confirmed what I suspected — the fragility of the iPhone 6 is yet another attempt to take the steam out of an Apple product launch. Both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are more durable than the HTC One M8. It takes a lot of force to bend or break the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. This will not happen in your pocket, unless you slam your leg into something hard with a great deal of force. Both iPhones are not as durable as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which is encased in plastic. Apple uses an aluminum enclosure because metal dissipates heat better than plastic. The only plastic iPhone, the 5C, is relatively underpowered. With the new 64-bit A8 processor, an aluminum case will prevent the device from overheating. Heat can damage components, especially the lithium ion battery. Heat might not destroy the device, but it will shorten the life of the battery. There is a tradeoff between durability, device thickness and heat dissipation.

    Overall, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are sturdy devices. If durability is your only consideration, there are better options than the new iPhones. Overall, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the top smartphones on the market. Whatever your choice, make sure to read reliable reviews from your carrier. Most carriers require that customers own the phone they are reviewing. Don’t fall for the negative marketing, Apple-bashing, and social media distortions. These dishonest attacks continue, even in the wake of Consumer Reports’ research. Once again, there are people posing as Apple customers and claiming their product is defective, but they don’t own or use the product.


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