Apple support says bent iPhones must pass visual inspection to qualify for warranty replacement

“By now you’ve probably heard about #Bendgate, the silly name for an issue that some new iPhone 6 Plus owners have been reporting where the device warped while in their pockets,” Josh Ong reports for TNW. “So far the problem seems to be fairly isolated, but we struck up an Apple support chat anyway to see how it’s covered by the company’s warranty.”

Ong reports, “When asked if a bent enclosure during normal use of an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus would qualify for a replacement, the representative said: ‘That is 100 percent up to the Genius you speak with at the store. There is a test called a Visual Mechanical Inspection that the device will have to pass. If it is within the guidelines, they will be able to cover it. If not, the replacement would be a paid one.'”

“When asked for details on the Genius Bar guidelines, the representative said the information wasn’t provided to chat support staff,” Ong reports. “Apple’s support team also said that it is ‘looking into this with an insane amount of detail.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote earlier:

Lately, the thought has crossed our minds: Was iPhone 6 Plus designed with Liquidmetal in mind, but Liquidmetal, unfortunately, wasn’t quite ready in time?

MacDailyNews Note: The Apple-Liquidmetal deal is basically this: Apple contributes engineers and R&D – basically figuring out how to practically make Liquidmetal into commercial parts – and contributes their inventions back to Liquidmetal (via Crucible Intellectual Property, LLC, a Liquidmetal subsidiary) which gets to use Apple’s inventions in fields other than consumer electronics (sporting goods, aviation, medical, military, etc.). In exchange, along with an already-paid one-time license fee of US$20 million, Apple owns sole rights to use Liquidmetal in electronics via “a perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license to commercialize such intellectual property in the field of consumer electronic products.”

Related articles:
Wired reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPhone 6 Plus: ‘Too big to fail, but not to bend’ – September 25, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s banana skins: U2, ‘Bendygate’ and iOS 8.0.1 – September 25, 2014
Video: Apple iPhone 6 Plus bend test – September 23, 2014
Apple granted two new Liquidmetal production patents – August 26, 2014
Apple extends Liquidmetal exclusivity deal through February 2015 – May 21, 2014

23 Comments

  1. What if Samsung & co. buy as many iPhones 6/Plus and ask for returns?

    Short-term, Apple has no choice but to make sure all real customers satisfied, but long-term, they need to do something with the pliability of it. I suspect it might work if they can redesign the form of the battery, and make it run like a spine along the length of the phone.

    1. To throw a different view point. Maybe Samsung paid spawn purchased the Apple Phablet and put on the tightest Korean jeans available and squatted.

      Well, now – let us post this finding with photos and quickly pay others to try this method. 😁

    2. MDN and other fanboys:

      Quit the liquidmetal pipe dream. You guys keep hanging onto these future ideas and every year it’s the same rhetoric. What happened to the sapphire iPhone?

      Liquidmetal probably isn’t the answer either. When you see the latest bend tests, the Moto X didn’t budget. It’s incredibly strong. And it’s not made of liquidmetal. Metal is problematic because it sucks up temperatures (cold/hot in the hand), scratches way too easily and… bends!

    1. It may be too smart. An accidentally bent phone may qualify under AppleCare + for fixing. Since the whole thing is f@cked you get a whole new phone, not just a screen or whatever. So folks may get AC+ with two brand new phones in mind. My guess is that accidental pocket bends are very slight and even, while purposeful bends have pressure on one point and may likely bend farther than they intended. Thus the inspection.

    1. But if it is only bent enough to fit your butt better and doesn’t affect functionality, why should Apple replace it? If they had bent it to that shape in the first place, it would have been heralded as a great new innovation.

  2. Maybe the customer should be required to demonstrate exactly how it happened. If while sitting down, wearing the exact same outfit and sitting down with the phone in wherever.

  3. Apple just use a much stronger adhesive to get the additional structural integrity you need from the screen and live with the fact that when someone comes in to have the screen or battery replaced you’re going to just have to give the customer a new phone and let’s just call it a day!

  4. Apple didn’t document the bendy nature of the iphone 6 plus that gives users the ability to take pictures around corners! Ha ha….Apple deserves all the flack regarding this and the iOS 8 issues…let the firings begin. It will be hilarious if they ever do release liquid metal cases!

  5. Liquidmetal raw materials (metals allow consist of) are five times pricier than aluminium. Further the alloy itself is much pricier to make since it requires melting of all of crystalline clusters of all compound metals into amorphous form. In the end, LM is so pricey that Apple could not use it even for watches.

    So the probability of LM being in mind for iPhone 6 production is quite low.

  6. I agree with apple’s approach. A visual inspection will detect anything out of the ordinary. The damage in one of the pictures I saw doesn’t appear to have occurred from being in someon’s pocket.

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