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  (Source: Imgur)
Bending problem appears far more frequent and severe in new, thinner, longer iPhone than in past models; some fans claim its a conspiracy against Apple

Many amongst the legion of Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) faithul fans were excited at the rumor that the iPhone 6+ might have a curved screen, à la the LG Electronics, Inc. (KRX:066570)(KRX:066575) G Flex or Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (KRX:005930)(KRX:005935) Galaxy Round.  Sadly, the actual iPhone 6/6+ showed up with plain Jane flat panels.

I. We are Bendable, After All

But all is not lost, it seems.  A small, but growing number of reports are indicating that the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6+ is indeed flexing to the contours of its owners' tight jeans and khakis.

iPhone 6 PD13
A very bent iPhone 6+ [Image Source: PD13 on MacRumors Forums]

Unfortunately, unlike the G Flex or Galaxy Round, this is not actually a feature.  In fact, the users with "bent" iPhones are now left warily wondering if the days are numbered for their damaged devices.  (Many of the bent phones are still functional -- for now.)

Many users have been posting images of their damaged devices to MacRumors' Forums.  From the images, it appears that bend most commonly occurs around the SIM tray.

iPhone 6+

iPhone 6+ iBend

iPhone 6+
Another damaged device [Image Source: iBoost621 on MacRumors Forums]

Some users report that the iPhone 5S was able to bend mildly if flexed under hand pressure.  However, reports on bending during normal pocket travel were relatively unheard of.

II. Will it Bend?

A couple things could be afoot here.  First, the iPhone 6+ has gotten longer, so there's more distance to allow it to act as a lever against your hips/abdomen when you sit.  Second, the sharp angles have been rounded out, which may increase the ability of the frame to undergo malleable bending, a likely permanent deformation.  Third, it's worth mentioning that the iPhone 6+ despite its expansive growth is 0.5 mm thinner than the iPhone 5s, measuring in at a razer thin 7.1 mm.

iPhone 6+
A milder, but still worrisome bend [Image Source: Devin Pitcher on MacRumors Forums]

While part of the durability may boil down to how much Apple is ponying up for exotic high-strength aluminum alloys (which can rival steel in strength, depending on the alloy chosen), part of the inclination to damage may simply boil down to the device being two thin and not having enough of a metal sheet to resist the mild forces a phone is typically subjected to when carried.

Lastly, there's several comments suggesting that the phone is overheating (especially when carried in pocket), which may be leading to some loss of rigidity in the metal.  "MJDawgs", comments:

I finally was able to hold the 6 plus at the Apple store yesterday and that puppy was very warm. Warmer than I believe any electronic device should be getting.  And the first thing that came to mind was that with the thinness of the device it would only be a matter of time before we'd start to see bend-gate reports.

Thinness and heat don't usually work well together.

Bravo Jony!

A case may be one option to protect the fragile devices, but that's clearly an unappealing option to many.

MacRumors offers up a different suggesting, saying perhaps you simply should avoid putting the iPhone 6+ in your pocket, or at a minimum avoiding cramming it into "skinny jeans".  It writes:

To prevent bending, iPhone 6 Plus owners may want to remove their iPhones from their pockets before sitting or bending. If a pocket is unavoidable, then customers may want to place their device in a roomier pocket that allows the device to slide out the way.

But this suggestion is already being met with howls of derision from the iPhone's huddled masses.  "MrKramer" writes:

IT'S A CELL PHONE, you are supposed to be able to put it in your pocket. You shouldn't have to carry it in your hand all the time because it will bend if you put it in your pocket.

The issue is growing quite heated on MacRumors' Forums, with some Apple fans going as far as to accuse those posting pictures of being imposters, who purposefully damaged their devices in an attempt to defame Apple.

III. Sadako and the Thousand Bent iPhones

Indeed, many are asking -- should Apple really get the credit for the achievement of creating a $650 USD+ smartphone that folds neatly into a more compact origami-like arrangement in as little as two days?

CultOfMac argues that it's not really Apple's fault at all.  It has a montage of various devices, including some Androids as a Samsung Galaxy S4 and an unidentified Oppo handset.  

Hanzoh bent iPhone 6+
Get bent -- this one already did! [Image Source: Hanzoh on MacRumor Forums]

It gripes:
The bending problem has been reported by a number of iPhone 6 owners who pocketed their big iPhone 6 only to retrieve it later with a significant curve in the frame. Some sites are deeming the new iPhones "more fragile than expected," but the truth is we’ve seen this problem almost every year.

Of course, its argument that all handsets bend is predicated heavily on the fact that iPhones had bending issues in the past.  Over half its example images (particularly if you exclude some questionable ones like the snapped HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) EVO), are iPhones (beginning with the iPhone 4S).

Further, while past iPhones could, on occasion, bend it like Beckham, perhaps, the impressive quantity of high resolution images of bent iPhone 6+ so soon after launch suggests that the problem is at the very least more severe this generation.

iPhone 6 bending bad
Bending Bad -- the story of one man who went too far with his iPhone. [Image Source: YouTube]

There's even video of the bending in action -- be warned, iPhone owners, it is quite graphic.



Geek even has an additional report of an iPhone 6 (the smaller 4.7-inch device) bending.  The iPhone 6 is a mere 6.9 mm thick, excluding the camera bulge.

iPhone 6 bent
A bent iPhone 6 [Image Source: Geek]

Particularly alarming are reports of "micro-bends": smaller bends that are popping up around the corners of iPhone 6+.  While not as severe as full blown folding, this suggests there are some bizarre and rather unprecedented integrity issues with Apple's design -- assuming the posters aren't anti-Apple imposters as some Apple fans ardently claim.

iPhone 6+ microbend
Users are reporting "microbends" and the devices' corners, which prevent it from lying flat. [Image Source: ToeKneeG on MacRumors Forums]

Well assuming the bent devices are the real deal, look on the bright side -- Apple owners might get that folded device they were eagerly expecting all along.  Yet again, Apple's quality control appears to be firing on all cylinders.

Sources: MacRumors Forums, via MacRumors, CultOfMac, Geek





“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith













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