Admit it — you were one of the thousands of people who at least momentarily believed Apple’s latest smartphone was as pliable as a stick of gum. After a few scattered reports began to circulate, it was only a matter of time before isolated incidents became signs of “design flaws.” By the time the Unbox Therapy bend-test video hit, there was no turning back. Bendgate was a epidemic.
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Ken Segall, a former Apple exec, published a piece on his blog this week examining the consumer relationship with Apple.
“To me, the story isn’t that Apple created a sub-standard product,” he wrote. “Because it didn’t. The real story is that all these people were so quick to believe that Apple had screwed up in such a monumental way — and then joyfully helped blast this “news” into the public consciousness.
Rather than actually examine the video evidence and realize that no one in their right mind would be applying that much pressure to a smartphone on a daily basis, everyone took to social media to proclaim that the iPhone 6 Plus was a faulty piece of hardware. Segall notes that there is plenty that Apple deserves to be taken to task for, from the ongoing Apple Maps debacle to the “inexplicable” iOS 8.0.1 rollout. But we would rather spend our time focusing on an issue that has been officially reported to Apple only nine times.
Despite all the media coverage, Segall knows that Apple will be fine. In fact, he believes that these are the moments that Steve Jobs prepared his employees for –the moments when the company would have to face controversy head-on.
“[Jobs] wanted every part of the customer experience to strengthen that love — from the advertising and in-store experience to unboxing, enjoying the product and getting support when needed,” wrote Segall. “By doing so, he would ensure that customers would (a) buy more stuff, (b) evangelize to others and (c) stick with Apple when unforeseen problems arise. He understood that such things were inevitable, even for a company like Apple.
Yes, Apple could have been more forthright when Bendgate began to take off, but much like Antennagate before it, the outrage will be nothing more than a distant memory by the time the Apple Watch launches next year.