Apple blacklists Europe’s best-selling computer magazine Bild over ‘bendgate’ video

Computer Bild, Europe’s best-selling computer magazine, has had its PR accreditation pulled after posting a video of one of its journalists bending an iPhone 6 Plus,” Ben Lovejoy reports for 9to5Mac.

“The video is the usual #bendgate nonsense: you can see from the white fingers and shaking from the tension in the hands that a ridiculous amount of force is used,” Lovejoy reports. “Apply that much force to most phones and you’re going to damage them.”

Lovejoy reports, “Computer Bild responded with an open letter to Tim Cook in which it questioned Apple’s response and vowed to continue its ‘incorruptible tests.'”

Computer Bild‘s “bendgate” FUD video:

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Computer Bild‘s open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, verbatim:

Dear Mr. Tim Cook!

Just like anyone else who is obsessed with digital technology we have eagerly awaited the new iPhone. We felt relief when the head of our telecom department one day shouted “Here we go!”, presenting an invitation to the great event. And certainly we took a flight, went all the way to California, just to tell our readers every detail about the device that you and your company have worked on so hard for such a long time.

When the iPhone 6 Plus finally hit the market we noticed a few reports on a possible problem. According to them the case seemed to be weak, “bendable”, to drop the evil word. Being popular for our tests with utmost scrutiny, we could not leave the subject without comment. Of course that required further tests since testing new products without any prejudice is our obligation to our readers.

And so we bought an iPhone 6 Plus, just to find out whether it was a singular problem or some kind of hoax. The test was quite simple, so we could easily record it on video. Just to prove that what happens is nothing but the truth.

To be honest: We were shocked about how easy it was to bend the device. And so were around 200.000 viewers who watched the video up until now. We can imagine that you and your colleagues must have been shocked, too. This might have been the reason why we got a call from one of your german colleagues the next morning. He was upset, and it was a rather short conversation. “From now on”, he said, “you won’t get any devices for testing purposes and you will not be invited to Apple events in the future.”

Dear Mr. Cook: Is this really how your company wants to deal with media that provide your customers with profound tests of your products? Do you really think that a withdrawal of Apple’s love and affection could have an intimidating effect on us? Luckily we do not have to rely on devices that Apple provides us with. Luckily, a lot of readers are willing to pay money for our magazine to keep us independent. So we are able to buy devices to do our tests anyway. Even devices of manufacturers that seem to fear COMPUTER BILD’s independent judgement.

Even if we are quite dismayed about Apple’s reaction, we won’t give up our principles: We will continue our incorruptible tests that have the same high reputation in the german media-landscape as Apple has for its products. So far. We congratulate you to your fine new generation of iPhones, even if one of them has a minor weakness with its casing. But we are deeply disappointed about the lack of respect of your company.

Best regards,

Axel Telzerow
Editor in Chief COMPUTER BILD-Group

MacDailyNews Take: Alternate headline: Purveyors of FUD get what they deserve.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Consumer Reports stress test: Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus not very bendable at all – September 26, 2014
Analysts: Ignore irrational ‘bendgate’ noise and buy Apple stock – September 26, 2014
Inside the facility where Apple tortures the iPhone 6 – September 26, 2014
Apple opens testing facility to reporters, details exhaustive iPhone 6 Plus durability tests – September 25, 2014
Apple’s gauntlet of five durability tests that iPhone 6 Plus passed with flying colors – September 25, 2014
Apple: Only nine customers have complained about bent iPhone 6 Plus units – September 25, 2014
If ‘bending’ is all Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus rivals have left, they’re roadkill – September 24, 2014

60 Comments

      1. First thing I thought when I watched this tripe. He tries and tries to bend the Samsung with his thumbs against the glass screen – the EXACT OPPOSITE of what he does to the iPhone 6 Plus.

        So Apple are correct to ban these idiots.

      2. It would be fair to note that if the Samsung phone was to bend it would have to be in the direction the guy on the video was doing it. The is a larger area of curvature on the edges of the back of the Samsung phone would have made bending more difficult than from the glass side. As a more common day example take any shallow metal bowl, paper plate, etc with a curvature. Bending towards the concave side is much easier than towards the convex side.

  1. If indeed Apple’s response is true, it’s not cool. When you make a product, you must receive the good and bad from press, magazines, and customers. While a signifiant effort was made to bend the +, one would think it should withstand more force. For $1,000 (128GB model), I expect more from my phone.

    Best thing from these videos is I know to take care of my +.

    1. Except that all their test proved is that when you apply a sufficient force a phone will bend and fail. Not terribly useful when a standard test is not applied over a variety of phones (just some guy mangling a phone in his bare hands) and when the iPhone was tested fairly with Android phones it got very good marks doing better then the HTC One & Galaxy S5. It was disingenuous and unfair for such a gross attack that any phone would be destined to fail as indicative of it’s it build strength. All calculated to make headlines and get web hits. Now they must pay the Piper for such chicanery.

    2. When idiots like this make stupid videos you should NEVER respond to them in any way, it only draws attention to them. I am very surprised that Apple has responded in this way. Basic PR 101, do not respond to this…Yes it was FUD, but ignore it, make a great product and the truth will win the day. And next time, put a titanium or other similar stiff spine in the thing so that you cannot bend it.

  2. While many readers of MDN dislike Consumer Reports, at least Consumer reports did a “bend” comparison with other phones, much unlike the “incorruptible tests” of Computer Bild magazine.

    What a joke.

    1. If Bild has sent an open letter to Tech Users explaining why they did what they did, how they plan to not stop and what additional things they will do in the future in service of the Tech User, then they could have taken the high road and perhaps, just maybe came out of this ahead. Instead, they ATTEMPT to shame Apple with an open letter to Tim Cook. It reads whiney, desperate, defensive and childish. Compared to Consumer Reports which does work in service of users and attempts to provide objective, albeit biased toward budget conscious, perspective. I think CR comes out looking good, Apple is neutral and Bild looks like a joke.

    1. What was the point of this letter other than to show the world they lack objective journalist skills. They certainly could not have expeceted Apple to say oh, okay, here is your accreditation back. Looks forward to seeing you at the next Keynote.

  3. Who bends a phone with their hands during normal use anyway? But the thing in your front or back pocket and sit down on a surface you normally would, then see what happens … sheesh

    1. Precisely. If you want at least some modicum of usability, stop bending phones with you hands. Have a person put on tight pants, put the various phones in their back pocket, and sit down on a hard chair. Even that has a huge amount of variables in it, but it is at least real-world use. Then see what bends or doesn’t.

  4. BILD has the same high reputation as Apple? THAT is really news.

    BILD is the equivalent of the Sun in the UK (or Fox news in the US), and about a third of its “news” are pure fiction. To give you an example (still my my favourite piece) of their “quality reporting”: they blamed farmers for the “acid rain” that damaged forests. They put too much Nitrogen fertilizer on their fields, it is washed off into the iceans, and comes back as acid rain. Except acid rain is acid because of Sulfur. But they don’t care.

    Computer-BILD isn’t much better (aimed at complete beginners), and it is pretty obvious to everyone here in Germany that they are handsomely supported by Samsung.

    1. However you might disagree with their point of view – which, while leaning right, generally at least attempts to be objective – Fox News is a legitimate news organization. Perhaps you were thinking of the National Enquirer, MSNBC, or other organizations that report only what they want to report without even airing (or printing) opposing views.

      1. “Fox News is a legitimate news organization”
        OH! You made me laugh coffee out of my mouth!

        “FOX” and “news” are rarely used in the same sentence.

        “FOX wins legal right to lie to viewers”
        “In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.”

        http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/11-the-media-can-legally-lie/#comments

      2. “Fox News is a legitimate news organization”

        Fox News is a right-wing propaganda channel – pure and simple. Anyone who fact-checks knows they misinform their viewers on a regular basis.

      3. The Fox local affiliates are legitimate news organizations.

        The national Fox News is an entirely different matter. It is distressing to see what happens to their valid reporting after it has been run through their corporate propaganda machine.

    2. Fox News Nabs Historic Cable Ratings Victory – 9/30/2014

      Fox News Channel just clocked its first quarter with the most-watched primetime across all of cable in more than a decade — even besting USA and ESPN.

      Third-Quarter 2014 Primetime Averages
      FNC: 1,797,000 viewers, up 12 percent (313,000 adults 25-54, up 12 percent)
      CNN: 555,000 viewers, up 2 percent (186,000 adults 25-54, up 4 percent)
      MSNBC: 557,000 viewers, down 2 percent (150,000 adults 25-54, down 21 percent)
      HLN: 352,000 viewers, down 4 percent (120,000 adults 25-54, down 12 percent)

      hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/fox-news-nabs-historic-cable-736624

  5. Bild thought it was funny. Apple doesn’t think it was that funny. And as Apple has shown, they do a lot of testing of there own on build quality and breakage tests. To forcefully break a product is easy and doesn’t prove anything about its durability. Anyone can break any phone out there. Your lack of judgement and stupidity gets you what you deserve!

  6. I think Apple is acting a bit childish here. It wasn’t a scientific approach ( ie. accurate measurements or a control phone) but it is pretty obvious it bends.

    My advice to Apple would be to own it and make lemonade out of the lemons life gave you. Instead of blacklisting groups I think Apple should play up the fact that the phone bends but it DID NOT BREAK! I find it amazing that it could bend that much without the screen cracking or the phone stop working.

    1. the fact that there were only 9 complaints to Apple after more than 10 million sold (probably a lot more than 10m as it was 6 days total) shows that a ‘test’ like this are idiotic.

      1. Yes, you are right and that is why Apple responded the way they did. Bild’s intent was to smear Apple, not to be objective.

        Apple did not react the same to other entities that attempted to be objective (see Fox News comparison above).

        Bild will become a laughing stock after this.

  7. as I’ve said before tech sites don’t mind bashing Apple because they make so much more money on dozens of android reviews to one iPhone. They are always biased towards android , never seriously criticizing its many flaws as it is their bread and butter, they believe that if Android is killed by Apple (like MP3 players by iPod) they are going to be seriously hurt.

    There is also a near crazed Apple hate in some circles in Europe as people (including the Finnish PM) have blamed the Nokia melt down on Apple which damaged Finland’s entire economy. They don’t seem to blame android as everybody deep down knows the smartphone revolution was caused by Apple. The Apple Watch threat to the European watch industry isn’t helping Apple’s cause either. (See also the EU investigation of apple ignoring Msft, Google etc who also have interests in Ireland).

    This Bild thing is another ‘play to the audience bash Apple FUD page hitter’.

  8. Personally I think that if you look at it objectively the video is actually a great advertisement for the iPhone. They go to a lot of effort to bend/break it to start with. Of course, once it has broken it will bend fairly easily, because, you know, it’s been broken.

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