(Pocket-lint) - Every iPhone launch, it seems, is followed by a "gate" or scandal associated with isolated reports from buyers who have encountered an issue. We've had "Antennagate" in the past and now there is "Bendgate" following reports that iPhone 6 Plus owners have allegedly found their new devices bent when removed from a pocket.
Websites and newspapers have been full of the story today after several Twitter users and forumites of places like MacRumors posted pictures of their now curved iPhones. But is the problem as severe as some make out? Is the iPhone 6 bending in pockets like spoons in the hands of Uri Geller? And if so, how do you stop it happening?
We look at some of the responses the internet has had to "Bendgate" and some of the issues levied at iPhones over the years to find out.
Is the iPhone 6 Plus bendable?
The evidence suggests so, yes, although it must be said that we've had an iPhone 6 Plus for 10 days, before it even went on general release, and have had no signs whatsoever of manufacturing problems or flaws in the design. No matter where we've stored it or carried it.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20, What3Words CEO, and Withings Sleep Analyzer reviewed - Pocket-lint podcast ep. 65
User hanzoh, however, posted on MacRumors that his 64GB iPhone 6 Plus suffered a slight bend after being housed in the front pocket of his suit when at a wedding. He was sat for a considerable amount of time, including eights hours in a car and throughout the dinner, plus he danced for up to three hours. The total amount of time it was in his pocket was 18 hours and the phone does seem to have a slight curve now when laid flat.
It's not clear how long the friend of DevinPitcher had his in his pocket while driving, as posted on the same forum, but the picture posted shows an even greater bend in the middle of the device.
Other Twitter posters are claiming that their devices bent in their back pockets, but seriously; don't put a 5.5-inch superthin phone in your back pocket, no matter whether it is made by Apple, Samsung or any other manufacturer. You wouldn't put your glasses in your back pocket would you? And they probably cost less.
The upshot of the above cases is that, bar DevinPitcher who didn't furnish the forums with much information, the phones seem to have been through quite an ordeal, not simply sat in a pocket, but actually having been sat on or the like.
The YouTube channel for Unbox Therapy actually uses science to find out how much force it would take to bend an off-the-shelf iPhone 6 Plus and while it finds that a comparative device, such as the Galaxy Note 3 would take a lot more force (more than his hands were able), it does take quite a bit of manual pressure to create a distinct bend.
Whether this means it will bend easily in a front pocket is unclear, but the likelihood, according to host Lewis Hilsenteger, is that it could take "tight pants" or repeat strain to make it change its shape.
So what to do?
If you're really worried, don't put your iPhone 6 Plus into the front pocket of your trousers or jeans. Remember, it might be a phone, but it is a massive device that costs a lot of money.
Part of the problem with the race to get the thinnest, sleekest devices on the market with the largest real estate possible is that they will naturally become more fragile. They should therefore be taken more care of than devices that are clearly more robust.
Seems a simple solution and won't stop people reporting that their devices have been damaged, but it is also sensible.
What are the other issues iPhones have had over the years?
By far the biggest launch problem Apple has had to face in its history was with what became known as Antennagate. After the iPhone 4 was launched, it was found that when held in a certain way, the antenna in the rear suffered interference and call signal dropped suddenly.
At first Apple denied the issue, but it eventually arranged an emergency press conference to address the public and offered a free rubber bumper to all owners for a limited amount of time, which seemed to solve the problem.
Also levied at the iPhone 4 was a Retina display issue that seemed to amount in a yellowing of certain areas of the screen.
However, unlike Antennagate, these issues seemed isolated and few in number and Apple replaced any handsets affected.
Is Apple the only company with issues?
Of course not. Perhaps it is because of its outstanding success that any problems, minor or major, people have with its products are so widely reported, but other manufacturers suffer problems with their devices too.
There were reports after the launch of the original aluminium backed HTC One that when left in the sun or near a radiator, the screen could crack.
And Samsung had to replace many batteries in Samsung Galaxy S4 devices after users experienced faster than usual battery drain. Plus, it also suffered big time when it was discovered that the 16GB version of its then flagship device only offered 9GB of storage capacity to the user. It soon changed the way its system software worked to free up more available space.
In short, yes it does seem that some iPhone 6 Plus users are experiencing bending in their devices. But current evidence suggests that it's only after they have been stress tested vigorously and debatably beyond what could be considered normal use.
There are also not yet enough reports to suggest it is a completely widespread problem, although the bend test performed by Unbox Therapy does prove that physical pressure applied can bend the phone and perhaps more than some rivals.
However, just a quick jaunt through Pocket-lint's own archives proves that not just Apple, but all of the bigger companies and better selling devices get their own fair share of customer complaints and issues attached. What is undoubted though, is that Apple garners the most attention.