Some iPhone 6 owners are reporting the first potential problem areas with the new devices—reports are coming in from around the world about the thinner iPhone 6 phones bending when users keep them in a pants pocket.
The bending issues have been widely circulated online along with graphic photographs that purport to show iPhone 6 phones with mild or more severe bending. An accurate count of such bending incidents is not yet known. Images of bent devices are appearing on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, as well as other Websites.
One reason for the issue is that the longer and wider display screens and resulting thinner bodies of the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models mean that the devices have become less rigid and strong, according to a Sept. 24 story by The Guardian. New iPhone owners are reporting phone bending issues "after they sat or bent down with them in front and rear trouser pockets," the paper reported. "The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus chassis is milled from a solid piece of aluminum alloy whose composition is secret. The weak area of the phone appears to be around the volume buttons, where the frame is at its thinnest and creates a fulcrum point around which the phone bends. Surprisingly, the screen does not break when the phone bends—though it does if the phone is then bent back to a flat profile."
Apple did not immediately respond on Sept. 24 to an email inquiry from eWEEK seeking comments about the reports of iPhone bending issues.
It is certainly not known if these are isolated problems with some devices or if it is a wider concern amid the more than 10 million iPhone 6 smartphones that were sold in the first weekend after the phones became available on Sept. 19.
The reported phone bending problem is not the first time that a potential problem has cropped up with new iPhones. In July 2010, Apple dealt with antenna issues surrounding its then new iPhone 4 that were inspired by consumer complaints of poor call quality when they held their phones. Called "Antennagate" by the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the time, the problem was the location of the antenna inside the devices, which was solved with an add-on thin rubber case.
The bending issues come on the heels of Apple's all-time record-setting first-weekend sales numbers for new iPhones since the first devices hit the market back in June of 2007.
The new phones went on sale on Sept. 19 to customers in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the United Kingdom. Buyers in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and United Arab Emirates will be able to buy the new smartphones starting Sept. 26, according to Apple. The new iPhones will be available in 115 countries by the end of the year.
On the Sept. 19 launch day for the new iPhone 6 models, customers around the world waited in long lines at Apple stores and other businesses to pick up their long-awaited new phones, according to an earlier eWEEK report. For millions of others who are on waiting lists to get their phones, the waiting continues as Apple works with manufacturers to crank out more of the phones.
Preorders for the new iPhones reached huge levels, with more than 4 million devices preordered within 24 hours of the process opening on Sept. 12, just seven days before the official device launch date, according to an earlier eWEEK report. That high demand quickly led the company to advise customers that many devices won't be delivered until October due to short initial supplies.
The new iPhones include the iPhone 6 with its 4.7-inch Retina HD display and an even larger iPhone 6 Plus with its 5.5-inch Retina HD screen, according to a recent eWEEK report. The new devices—which come in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB storage capacities—also come with many other new features and capabilities, making them popular before they ever hit store shelves.
The new phones include an Apple-designed A8 chip with second-generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture, enhanced iSight and FaceTime HD cameras, and the latest iOS 8 operating system. A new, built-in Apple Pay secure payments system will be added to iOS 8 as an update in October, according to the company.
Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are available in gold, silver and space gray. The iPhone 6 retails for $199.99 for a 16GB version, $299.99 for a 64GB version and $399 for a 128GB version with a two-year contract. The iPhone 6 Plus retails for $299.99 for a 16GB model, $399.99 for a 64GB model and $499.99 for a 128GB model with a two-year contract, according to Apple.