Apple’s Bendgate controversy from 2014 with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus appears to be back with the latest revelations from court documents. According to new documents, which were revealed as part of a class-action lawsuit filed in 2015, Apple was aware that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were more likely to bend than the previous generation iPhone 5s. The information was made public in a court filing, and obtained by Motherboard, which shows that Cupertino company found that the iPhone 6 was 3.3 times more likely to bend than the iPhone 5s. The biggers iPhone 6 Plus was 7.2 times more likely to bend, according to the court documents.
The new details were discovered in a document made available by the US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, the same judge who presided over Apple vs Samsung trial. The iPhone 6 series was launched in 2016 and featured a bigger 4.7-inch display, compared to the 4-inch versions on the Apple iPhone 5s and earlier variants of the phone. The iPhone 6 Plus was the first iPhone to sport a 5.5-inch display.
The Cupertino company has never admitted that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 had a problem with bending. In a statement released to the media (via CNBC) after the devices went on sale in 2014, Apple said that issues with bent iPhones were “extremely rare” adding that at that time the two phones had been “thoroughly tested” and evaluated for “strength and durability”.
Soon after “Bendgate”, reports emerged that the iPhone 6 was suffering from “touch disease”, an issue that occurs when the phone’s touchscreen fails due to its touch-controller chip malfunctioning. Apple did address the issue in an engineering change implemented in 2016, and ultimately the company (after several months) decided to offer a repair programme. However, the cost of the repair was $149 (or approx Rs 10,092).
In addition, the documents revealed that Apple started making internal changes to the iPhone 6 design by May 2016. The company started using extra epoxy for added strength in the area underneath the touch-controller chips being affected by the bending problem. Apple always denied that there were engineering issues with the phone.
The lawsuit is still ongoing and not all documents have been made public. Judge Koh has denied certification as an official class “because the plaintiffs could not present a sufficient model for being paid damages in the event that they win”. Apple is yet to comment on the whole issue.