Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus And iOS 8 Off To A Rough Start

Apple planned to redesign its new iPhones with bigger screens, and it launched iOS 8 as essentially a more polished version of iOS 7 (which felt rushed last year) with many new features under the hood, too. The launch went quite well. Apple broke its own record of selling 10 million iPhones in the first weekend compared to 9 million units last year.

Then iPhone 6 users, having lived with the phones for a few days, started noticing some problems. The first major issue that cropped up is that the larger iPhone 6 Plus devices, especially, had a tendency to bend when they experienced moderate pressure, such as when people had them in a back pocket and sat down. The problem seems to appear even when people stash an iPhone 6 Plus in the front pocket of tight jeans. There are even reports saying that the phones can be bent with users' bare hands.

This is an issue that doesn't seem to happen to any of the iPhone 6's current competition, and some of them are already seeing this as an opportunity to make fun of the new iPhones, while promoting their own products:

"I would challenge you guys to bend our Passport," said John Chen, BlackBerry’s CEO, at an event in Toronto.Our phone doesn't bend, it flexes...on purpose. #bendgate - @LGUSAMobileCurved. Not bent. #GALAXYNoteEdge - @SamsungMobile

Apple hasn't yet commented on this issue.

Another major problem for the new iPhone 6 devices has been the iOS 8.0 operating system itself, which was reported to crash 78 percent more often than iOS 7. The recent 8.0.1 update seems to have only made matters worse, with some users complaining about worse cellular reception, slow Wi-Fi, inconsistent battery life and TouchID no longer working. The 8.0.1 version was supposed to fix an issue with the HealthKit app and other bugs.

The problem seems to have become big enough that Apple actually retracted the 8.0.1 update, promising a new 8.0.2 update in a few days. Apple recommended that those who have already installed 8.0.1 and have seen issues with it should reinstall iOS 8.0 on their phones.

The software issues will probably be seen as a mere speed bump and be forgotten once Apple issues (an actual) fix.  However, it should be much harder for Apple to make "Bendgate" go away, unless the company completely changes the materials or even the design of the iPhone 6 Plus. That's not likely to happen until the next-generation iPhones, which means Apple could see lower sales of its iPhone 6 Plus over the coming months.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • gamebrigada
    The iSheep is a strong breed... It will prevail.

    Apple's response will be "You're holding it wrong" "You're using the wrong jean accessory"
  • firefoxx04
    I was told 'android phones are much more buggy' by a friend yesterday. Sure all of my Android phones have had bugs but they get less and less as I purchase better phones. IOS8 caused a 70+% increase in usability issues ?? LOLOL
  • blurr91
    You're sitting on it wrong...
  • jase240
    I can sit on my phone and never break it... I have a Motorola Droid Razr HD and have never had any issues either.
  • inthere
    I have a Nokia 1020 and my buddy has the S5 and the iPhone 6 plus. Love Cortana wayyyy better than Siri and Android not even in the PA conversation. iPhone 6+ has the best camera and best sound out of the 3. Still going to wait to see what Nokia/Microsoft comes out with next, I bet the new 41 mp Nokia is gonna wipe the floor with the iPhone. For now though iPhone camera is king, test it yourself. I'd also say don't believe the hype about the bending problem and buggy software always happens in the beginning with all OS'es.
  • belardo
    This is not unusual for a NEW OS... when you are the FIRST to get the latest, expect to get bit.

    The bending issue could be a design feature... if the phone itself doesn't BREAK, and is perfectly functional. Think of bridges... they FLEX, they move... if they were built RIDGED, they would fail.

    PS: I don't own any iPhones. I'm a happy Moto-X user... who is not thrilled by the BIGGER Moto X2/X+ models.
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    You forgot to mention that iOS 8 can predict your password for you:
  • budabellyx
    New from Apple: iPants. Now with re-inforced unbendable front pockets. Coming this fall.
  • coffeecoffee
    Not that I'm a fan of Apple, but I wish Jobs was still around. Regardless of the evils Jobs unleashed, he did push the industry forward with new standards and innovations (i.e better phone chasis, panels on phones, laptops, etc) when the other big companies were afraid to do so. RIP Jobs, you will be missed.
  • MidnightDistort
    I'm still wondering who would be gullible enough to stick their iPhone into a microwave to try charging the battery. I mean really?