The “Bendgate” issue impacting Apple’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus first came to light shortly after the new phones launched in September, and Apple took a page from its “Antennagate” playbook when addressing the issue problem. Rather than admit that there might be an issue, Apple downplayed the problem and had various newspapers and tech blogs write about its impressive labs where the new iPhones were torture tested ahead of release. The company then issued a statement alongside those reports saying that only nine customers had complained of bent iPhones so far, and Apple has been silent ever since.
Of course, we know for a fact that far more than nine iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets have bent in people’s pockets. Beyond that, we know that Apple is now well aware that this issue is more widespread than it initially suggested.
A BGR reader who asked not to be named recently contacted us with an interesting note from his experience at the Apple store. While returning an iPhone 6, he observed that a screen popped up on the Apple Store rep’s POS system during the return process, and it asked for a reason for the return. On that screen, a single option was listed, and it wanted the sales rep to specify whether or not the iPhone was being returned because it was bent.
No other possible reasons for the return were listed on the Apple store rep’s device, which means bending is the only specific issue Apple is currently tracking during the return process.
BGR has confirmed with a trusted source that this is indeed the case. The only issue Apple is actively tracking for returned iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units is whether or not they are bent. We have also confirmed that in the past, Apple’s system simply asked if a device was being returned due to any kind of defect, without noting any specific issues.
So, while Apple was quick to downplay the issue publicly when it first arose, it’s beyond apparent that internally, the company now feels this is an important problem. In fact, it’s so important that it is the only specific issue Apple is tracking when customers return iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets.
An Apple spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.