Apple iPhone rollout marred by ‘bendgate,’ dropped cell service

Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:20pm EDT
 
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By Christina Farr

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Two new Apple AAPL.O products hit speed bumps on Wednesday: iPhone 6 Plus buyers discovered their phones can bend when placed in back pockets, and the company pulled its latest mobile operating system after reports of dropped cellular service.

"Bendgate," as the problem has already been dubbed on social media sites, is a reminder of 2010's "antennagate," when iPhone 4 users reported a design flaw that caused dropped calls.

Apple did not comment on the bending-phone reports. But it did announce that it was investigating reports of an issue with an update of its iOS 8 operating system and in the meantime had pulled the version designated 8.0.1.

The bendable-phone situation might prove particularly troubling for those who wear skinny jeans, according to reports on Facebook and Twitter. The phrase "Your pants are too tight for your phone" has already received hundreds of mentions.

Some say the device, which has a lightweight aluminum shell, is more malleable than expected, but that might fall short of a design flaw, according to analysts.

Overall, evaluators seem flummoxed.

"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," said a spokesman at SquareTrade.

SquareTrade, which provides warranties to iPhone users, said it planned more tests later on Wednesday.   Continued...

 
Tony Zhan, 32, holds up his new iPhone 6 Plus after it went on sale at the Apple store in Pasadena, California September 19, 2014.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson