Apple says only 9 customers have formally complained about the iPhone #bendgate
If you've been waiting for a response from Apple about the recent wave of #bendgate news, it is finally here. The response may not be as quotable as "you're holding it wrong", but it does have the same sort of denialist inflection. Apple has come out and said that only 9 customers have formally complained about a bent iPhone.
Apple went on to say to CNBC that with normal use, such a bend to an iPhone is "extremely rare", because Apple chose "high-quality materials and construction very carefully for their strength and durability." Beyond that, Apple says it performed rigorous testing throughout the development of the new iPhones, and tested "3-point bending, pressure point cycling, sit, torsion & user studies". All of that leading to just 9 customers complaining of a bent phone through the first 6 days of iPhone sales.
Given the millions of iPhones sold, this is an extremely small number; and, given how difficult it actually is to bend an iPhone (for the most part you need to be actively trying to bend it, in order to do so), Apple may be right to downplay the issue. Of course, this response seems to misunderstand much of the concern from users, and it ignores that Apple's choices directly caused this. The concern is not that it is easy to bend an iPhone, but that this could develop into a much larger issue over time. (It isn't easy to bend. Just look at how much pressure needs to be applied in the video below to cause the bend. That is not "normal use" by any means.) So, the number of complaints for the first 6 days doesn't really mean much.
The other issue with this response is that it ignores Apple's responsibility in this problem. The reason the iPhone 6 Plus can be bent at all is because Apple is too concerned with thinness and its unibody design. Had the device been thicker (like the HTC One M8), this likely wouldn't be an issue, nor would the protruding camera or the relatively small battery. But, Apple chose design over function, and now is not taking responsibility for the trade-off caused by that decision, even if the problem isn't all that widespread right now.