Things happen. Stuff breaks. When the same thing breaks over and over again, in device after device, even after normal use, there’s a problem somewhere. That’s the difference between a pristine two year old iPhone, an iPhone that blends, and an iPhone that bends just enough to cause a real headache for many of Apple’s customers.
I have no doubt that many of Apple’s customers keep their iPhones in pristine condition, wrap them in a durable case, slap a protective screen over the glass, and recognize that the device really is something of a personal super computer in your pocket.
Likewise, millions of people have witnessed the YouTube video of various and sundry Apple products dropped into a blender, and, well, blended. The slow motion videos are remarkable but the end result is always the same. An iPhone that meets a blender comes out the loser.
What about Bendgate? Or, Bendgate 2.0?
The original Bendgate occurred when users tucked their iPhones into tight pockets that caused the case to bend a bit. That started a viral campaign of people testing the iPhone’s case strength and brought about Bendgate. Yes, the iPhone– when enough pressure is applied– bends. That’s the case with every smartphone.
Apple responded by strengthening the case in iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 but Bendgate 2.0 tells us that any issue affecting Apple products and customers is ripe for a -gate suffix. The latest has to do with the so-called touch disease whereby an internal part would loosen sufficiently that the iPhone’s touch screen would not work properly. Here’s the link to Apple’s multitouch repair program for iPhone 6 Plus (note: not the iPhone 6s and not iPhone 6).
Why doesn’t Apple move immediately to fix or repair such issues? After all, they’re widespread, right?
Let’s define widespread. Is 1-percent widespread? With sales of more than 200-million iPhones each year, 1-percent clocks in at 2-million iPhones with a similar problem. It’s unlikely that Apple has that many iPhones with a similar problem, so widespread– sufficient to get Apple’s attention and to invoke a change in policy, a recall, or a fix it solution– must mean something less than 1-percent. Even half a percent is a million iPhones.
I have to admit, the few times I’ve had an obvious problem with any Apple product in warranty, the service and support has been good. Sometimes Apple fixed the device on the spot. Other times it took a day or two. And in some case they simply swapped out the problem child for a new child, with, hopefully, no inherited bad genes.
Who pays for Bendgate 2.0?
Ultimately, every Apple customer, and that includes fixing problem iPhones or Macs or whatever, even after they exit the warranty period. Think of the price differential between a non-Apple smartphone and an iPhone (or, any Apple product). You pay more, but some of that more becomes insurance against such problems as Bendgate. I have some Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners with problems and getting a repair was next to impossible. Samsung and their carrier friends simply want you to buy a new phone.
What about AppleCare? The more you spend, the more AppleCare is worth the extra, but even then Apple’s new iPhone Upgrade Program has you covered with AppleCare thrown in, and special pricing on obviously damaged iPhones. Buy an iPhone and you get AppleCare. Keep it two years, then sell it. iPhones are like that and the resale market is robust. Or, get a new iPhone every year– with AppleCare– and just keep paying forever.