I woke up this morning to discover #bendgate (or #bentgate, I’ve seen it both ways). In a nutshell it turns out that if you take a large, flat, thin object – for shiggles let’s say an iPhone 6+ – and make it out of something fairly soft – the thin aluminium iPhone case for example – it doesn’t take a huge amount of force to bend it. Said force could, in fact, be provided by simply putting the phone in your back pocket1 and sitting down. Sadly the internals of the phone and it’s screen are less malleable, meaning your bendy phone may stop working. The 6 is less affected thanks to its smaller size, but it’s not immune either. Great.
I’m pretty sure making the phone just a few mm thicker, using a thicker shell, fitting a slightly bigger battery and having the camera flush to the back would have made an all round better phone. But no, Apple had to make it thin.
That said, this happens every time Apple releases a phone; a couple of days later someone finds something fundamentally wrong with it and Apple are declared to have screwed the pooch. I suspect that, just like every other “fatal iPhone flaw” this will disappear quickly enough and be forgotten about after having bugger all effect on sales. That’s not to say the phone doesn’t have plenty wrong with it, but I don’t think it heralds the death of Apple, and I have no doubt that the phones will continue to sell in huge volumes.
The news comes, rather ironically, just as I decided I am going to persevere with my iPhone 6. My reasoning is that, given past release cycles, we can assume there will be a 6s which will be almost itentical to the 6 externally. Basically I’d be pinning my hopes on an iPhone 7 in two years time before moving from the 5s. I rather suspect the iPhone 5 form factor will either be killed off, or turned into the budget phone by then, leaving me with no options other than dealing with it or obsolescence. I’m not sure I can cope with obsolescence so I’ll just deal with it now. I still reserve the right to bitch constantly about it, poke fun at the ridiculous size of the 6+ and generally bemoan the travesty that is the iPhone 6.
So have we seen peak Apple? Is this the beginning of the end? Hopefully not. This isn’t the first time Apple have done this recently. OSX Lion took Macs in a dangerous direction that started ostracising pro users and generally making OSX much more like iOS. Another step in that direction would have had me going back to Snow Leopard until it became obsolete before finally switching to Linux. That would have been a sad day. Thankfully Mountian Lion and Mavericks addressed many of the issues Lion introduced and trend is a positive one again. I’m very excited about Yosemite.
My hope is that Apple will realise they’ve made some mistakes with the iPhone 6 and correct them. With some tweaks to the OS, and with App developers creating UIs for larger screens, hopefully we’ll also see usability increase. Until them I shall tolerate the phone and try and concentrate on the fact that is does have a nice screen.
Incidentally, unlike my last blog entry this wasn’t written on my iPhone. While I’m slowly coming to terms with typing on that I’m not a complete idiot.
1 A pocket you’ve probably chosen because the phone is so stupidly large it doesn’t fit anywhere else