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Will Apple's new flagship sink or swim?

Bumpy Road For iPhone 6

Date: 29-09-2014
Author: Sam Totham

It’s been 10 days since the much anticipated release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and already there has been a large number of complaints and questions directed at Apple over a number of surprisingly significant flaws.

The largest (and most commercially highlighted) issue is the apparent tendency of the new phone to bend in your pocket after a certain amount of time, this of course is not ideal if you just forked out £600 for your brand new phone…

Of course, Apple’s rival Samsung (never one to miss a good dig at Apple) has taken the opportunity to create several adverts and tweets around the phenomenon that has recently gathered the #BendGate nickname. These include;

  • “Curved. Not bent.”
  • “Bow down to those who are worthy.”

Not just Samsung are getting involved though, multiple companies are taking the chance to mock the technology giant as the BendGate tagline gathers momentum. Companies such as LG, Blackberry, Asus, HTC, Nokia and even KitKat and Pringles have all come up with their own spin on the problem. See some examples of the tweets and adverts here.

Now the #BendGate issue has not been the only problem for the new iPhone either, there have been two more major bumps in the normally smooth road of Apple’s success.

Wave

You may have seen the spoof adverts for the new ‘Wave’ feature in the iPhone 6 that it claims allows the phone to be charged wirelessly through microwave technology… Followed by people then microwaving their brand new £600 phone… As you can imagine, it does not work, at all. Admittedly, this particular ‘scandal’ is not really Apples fault, as they cannot help it if you believe a photo you saw on the internet over the official instructions that came with the iPhone. But it still harms the image of the new phone and could create a confidence loss.

iOS8 ‘bug fix’

With the new phone also came a new operating system (predictably enough) iOS8. Now this of course had some minor problems common to most new software installs, these are unimportant however, as the iOS8.0.1 update that Apple released soon after actually made things worse. The new update, instead of efficiently fixing the minor problems, ensured that the devices then could not connect to the cellular carrier, rendering phone calls and texts unavailable (a relatively important flaw for a phone); it also affected the Touch ID sensor so that it could not recognise user fingerprints to unlock. Read more about the problems here.

Now Apple is rapidly developing the next software update iOS8.0.2 to fix the original problems and the new issues that came with the previous software, additionally they have promoted a guide for users with updated phones on how to downgrade back to original iOS8 and so remove the major problems.

Future

Now while Apple has hit back with its claim that only nine users have actually experience the bending effect through normal everyday use and their quick action to recall the faulty iOS8 update, it has been a big setback publicly for the company that usually has a flawlessly constructed media and advertising image.

Some loyal Apple customers are trying to brush off the BendGate problem with jokes about skinny jeans and bad posture among people today, as well as marking the update problems up to normal ‘teething’ problems that could happen to any company. However, realistically how many problems can people endure from Apple products and blithely pass over them with a “But its shiny!”

So this could be an opportunity for Apple to maybe slow down and consolidate, especially with the increasing range of similar (and potentially more powerful) products available from Android and Windows companies.

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