‘Unbelievable’ iPhone 6 Plus Demand Suggests Bendgate Is Not a Problem

Unless you have been abstaining from any type of social media over the past several weeks, you have probably heard of “bendgate,” the name used to describe the new iPhone 6 Plus’s alleged susceptibility to bending. Last month, amid reports from users who claimed that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus was prone to warping from normal usage, online gadget review show Unbox Therapy posted a video that showed the host deforming the device with his hands.

Although it’s debatable if this video actually proved the device was defective, the issue became a hot topic on social media, with the hashtag #bendgate. Since the story took off not long after the device became available, this naturally raised questions about how bendgate might affect Apple’s ongoing iPhone sales.

According to the CEO of one of Apple’s major carrier partners, not at all. Although Apple hasn’t revealed any more sales data about the new iPhone models beyond the 10 million units the company reported selling in the first weekend, recent comments made by T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere suggested that sales of Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus have been unaffected by the bendgate controversy. Actually, as seen in the video above, the outspoken Legere didn’t just confirm that the iPhone 6 Plus was selling well, he dismissed the entire bendgate issue as a manufactured scandal.

“That is such horseshit,” said Legere when asked about bendgate issue at the GeekWire Summit. “You know? Listen, what the fuck did you need to see? The video of the guy that’s doing this, and if you could have seen his face he probably would have been purple and the veins are coming out of his fingers. And the thing moves a little bit? Are you shitting me?”

Although Legere raises some valid issues with the methodology used by the Unbox Therapy researcher in his test of the iPhone 6 Plus, it doesn’t completely discount the warping problems that some users have encountered without deliberately trying to wreck their devices, such as this reviewer at Wired. However, regardless of whether you believe the Apple iPhone 6 Plus has a design defect, Legere was adamant that the bendgate controversy had not ipacted sales at T-Mobile.

“Let me help you about ‘bendgate’ or whatever it was. It’s not slowing down demand,” said Legere. “The demand for these devices in the last few weeks is unbelievable.” Legere noted that the only problem he has encountered with the iPhone 6 Plus is a supply problem: “People are pissed because they can’t get them. It’s a hard issue, because it’s a major, major supply issue,” he added.

While Legere was obviously only talking about iPhone 6 Plus sales at T-Mobile, mobile analytics data cited by Forbes appeared to confirm that both devices are also selling well at other carriers. After comparing the 10-million-unit launch weekend sales figure provided by Apple with data from Mixpanel and Fiksu, Forbes concluded that the total unit sales for the new iPhone models has already crossed the 21 million mark, including approximately 4 million units of the iPhone 6 Plus.

Although the iPhone 6 has far outsold the larger model, the iPhone 6 Plus is also currently out of stock at most retail locations. For this reason, the popularity of Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus and the number of users who actually encounter bending issues should become more apparent in the coming weeks and months as supply catches up to demand.

Follow Nathanael on Twitter @ArnoldEtan_WSCS

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