Bendgate Is Closed

Last night Consumer Reports chimed in on Bendgate, concluding iPhones don’t bend under normal use. I think this report, coming from the consumer review site that infamously hit Apple hard with its Antennagate analysis, marks the unofficial close of this completely ridiculous witch-hunt. 

The question all along hasn’t been, “Do iPhones bend?” Of course they bend. iPhones are made of material that will eventually succumb to a certain level of applied pressure. I haven’t tried it, but if I took my heavy-duty tools and machines to my iPhone 5s, I’m sure I will be able to get something to bend. If I really wanted to, I could gather enough arm strength to do something stupid to my phone as well.  One could ask, “Why would I do such silly things?” and I would only be able to shrug my shoulders. The real question everyone should have been asking (if they were desperate to find a question to ask) is, “Do iPhones bend during normal use; walking, running, basically living your daily life?”  All of the evidence (both empirical and anecdotal) support the “no bending” claims.  Now a very select few have claimed their iPhones have become bent (although they also claim to have sat on them a lot - they aren’t sure). These same people admit the bending is hard to see at times and you need to look at it in a certain light. I’m skeptical. If these people are genuine, they can return their iPhone and get a new unit. Apple sells a lot of iPhones and if your phone is one of the very few bad apples that made it through the rigorous quality assurance tests (Apple claims only nine people reached out to them complaining of a bent iPhone), I would just consider myself lucky, exchange the phone, and move on with my life.  

Over the past week I received many jokes from Android users about Bendgate. Nearly every phone marker chimed in with their own unoriginal bending jokes, tweets, ads, and musings. Mainstream media picked the story up and ran with it.  Curiously all of these reports were missing something - evidence.  No one bothered to take a step back and think about this whole debacle for a second and actually see if their iPhones were bending. I suspect one issue is there weren’t many iPhone 6 Plus units out there in the wild to even observe possible bending. Notice how these “-gates” only take place a mere few days after launch. 

It’s 2014. We shouldn’t be surprised that we had to live through another iPhone “-gate”. These spectacles only reinforce my view that iPhone continues to hold significant global phone mindshare (which is much more important these days than market share, but that topic is for another day). Stories of iPhone’s demise have been in the news since 2007. Some have even tried to ridicule iPhone buyers, maybe one of the weirdest, and counterproductive, types of envy a competitor can possess. When you are in the lead, and running forward, competitors can only pin a target on your back and Apple seems to be wearing quite an effective shield.

It’s reassuring to know that while the world has been preoccupied with Bendgate, Apple engineers have been busy creating the product for next year’s iPhone “-gate”; iPhone 6s.