After Apple Inc. dodged the iPhone 6 Plus BendGate bullet, detractors wounded by ricochet

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2015
Bloggers who invent and inflate "controversies" and "scandals" for Apple are increasingly achieving the opposite of what they are setting out to do.


Massive viral promotion for iPhone 6 Plus

A pattern is emerging where YouTube videos that try to attack Apple's latest iPhone really just direct more attention to it, reminding people outside of the world of tech blogs that there's a new iPhone on sale.

Apple began advertising iPhone 6 and the larger iPhone 6 Plus in billboards and magazine ads that depict how large the phones' new screens are, but the company didn't really advertise how thin the new models were.

For that, the company can thank Google's YouTube, which freely promoted the dubious "BendGate" video showing a man destroying the $750 device with his bare hands.

The man in the infamous video has large hands that make the expansive iPhone 6 Plus look both reasonably sized and remarkably thin. As he flexes the device from both ends with enough pressure to drive the blood out of his thumbs and inflame his fingertips, his pre-bent iPhone bends even more. Who would have guessed that were possible?

BendGate


Observers on Reddit were quick to call attention to the editing of the video, which supposedly portrays the phone as being bent in one sitting but actually shows the clock jumping back and forth, resulting in a contrived timeline that raises more questions than simply "can one destroy expensive gear?"

Samsung experienced similar scrutiny for an ad it produced that depicted its flagship phone undergoing an "ice bucket challenge," with the same kind of problematic timeline. The questionable spot not only portrayed Samsung as feeling threatened enough by the iPhone to take jabs at it (rather than being confident that it actually has the "next big thing") but also made Samsung look dishonest and called into question whether its water resistance feature was even real, rather than focusing attention on its novelty.

BendGate is specifically directing the attention of millions of people (36 million views so far on YouTube, paired with mentions in every newspaper and on every local TV newscast) on the exact feature Apple wants to promote about its latest iPhone models: their larger screen size and thinner body that makes them still quite easy to use with one hand. That's a level of incessant, mainstream promotion that would be difficult to orchestrate and bankroll, even for Apple.

BendGate backfires for Samsung, LG & HTC

The negative aspect of the BendGate report actually gave Apple the opportunity to show off the engineering efforts it puts into stress testing its products. Had Apple just put that information on its website, few would have actually seen it.

Samsung has repeatedly demonstrated how difficult it is to get people to talk about whatever it wants to sell. From the circus themed Galaxy S4 launch that had people talking more about the embarrassing, sexist production than any notable features of the phone, to the flop launches of its G5 successor and a series of smartwatches that bizarrely run different operating systems, Samsung is spending lots of money on marketing and promotion that fails to communicate much apart from the company's incompetence.



Specific to BendGate, Samsung aimed to mock Apple in a tweet portraying the "Galaxy Note Edge," a stylus-driven phablet with a secondary display running along its edge. However, Samsung Electronics President DJ Lee told Ars Technica that the model was simply a "limited concept" that won't be put into volume production.

The products Samsung actually sells are already being beaten by last year's iPhone 5s. With new, larger iPhone 6 models now hitting the market, one Samsung executive reportedly acknowledged that "the positive reaction from consumers to those two Apple devices" forced the company to rush its Note 4 launch ahead of schedule, adding "it's true that we are being challenged and pressured amid a difficult situation."

The company also redesigned and scaled down its poorly performing Galaxy S5 to look as identical to Apple's iPhone 5s as possible without actually featuring Touch ID. It literally puts Samsung's name on Apple's work.

The Verge noted that the now smaller 4.7 inch "Galaxy Alpha" gains greater usability but is saddled a Pentile display that is "noticeable worse" than Samsung's own phones from 2010, and simply "collapses when it comes to color accuracy."

Samsung iPhone 5s


"Samsung desperately wants to be part of the design conversation," the site added, "but it still has some catching up to do when its latest phone is more comparable to the handsets of last year than today."

Faced with such a scathing factual review of its engineering choices, it seems Samsung would rather be responding to some clownishly overblown criticisms that its products can be broken by men by big hands. After all, it's a lot easier to hear a crazy person tell you that you're a space alien than to hear a doctor tell you that you're just too fat.

LG is struggling even harder to get attention. It's spent its money marketing such impractical features as 3D displays (which LG has been failing to sell since 2011) and curved screens that (despite enthusiastically supportive promotion by CNET) haven't seen any real enthusiasm from buyers.

LG's attempt to jump on the BendGate bandwagon to simultaneously take a swipe at Apple and promote its own Flex phone fell flat after the PR agents it used tweeted out its promotional message... from an iPhone.

LG Bendgate


HTC also jumped at the opportunity to take a potshot at Apple, claiming its One M8 flagship was "designed to withstand the most demanding environments. Like your pockets."

Designed to withstand the most demanding environments. Like your pockets. #HTCOneM8

-- HTC USA (@HTCUSA)


However, when Consumer Reports tested the 5 inch HTC One M8 against Apple's new phones, it held up worse than either the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, which has both a larger display and is significantly thinner (7.1) than HTC's phone (9.35mm).

HTC's flagship bent at 60 pounds of force and cracked open at 90, while the iPhone 6 Plus didn't bend until 90 pounds of force, and didn't crack open until the test reached 110 pounds.

HTC's ads for the One M8 featured actor Gary Oldman telling people not to listen to the "blah blah blah" of ads but to ask people on the Internet. Which is good advice because Oldman--like Samsung's celebrities and LG's PR team--actually uses an iPhone, too.

This all happened before

Some bloggers--and even the general media--seemed to initially imagine that the BendGate story might drive potential iPhone buyers to consider other large phones, sort of the way that AntennaGate was supposed to convince iPhone 4 shoppers to flee toward other devices. However, this didn't happen.

iPhone 4 remained the top selling smartphone until it was replaced by iPhone 4S, despite lots of alternatives on the market featuring bigger screens and faster 4G LTE--features many non-technical users in the general public never heard about, thanks in part to the 24/7 coverage of AntennaGate.

Instead, they heard lots about Apple's sophisticated antenna testing while observing the dishonest, contradictory and hypocritical responses launched by Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, HTC and others, each of which insisted that they had no problems with their own wireless antennas despite having earlier warned their users about those very issues in their own products.

While AntennaGate and BendGate both fixated on hardware, the same sort of disingenuous posturing can focus on software. In 2011, the heads of Google's Android (Andy Rubin) and Microsoft's Windows Phone (Andy Lees) both complained that the new Siri feature on iPhone 4S was a strategically wrong direction and "not super useful," before both companies turned around and scrambled to copy it.

In parallel, Samsung specifically targeted iPhone 4S and then iPhone 5 in a social media attack campaign revealed in internal documents subsequently cited as evidence in court.

Embarrassed by its own products (which it called "plastic feeling" with "lack of key feature"), Samsung worked to invent and perpetuate the idea among bloggers and even the mainstream media that Apple had run out of "innovation," even as the company also copied every move Apple made. The "lack of innovation" meme reached peak insanity in 2013 before crumbling very embarrassingly.



Ironically, last year the biggest hit piece aimed at iPhone 5s was that its new 64-bit A7 was "marketing fluff." Chipmaker Qualcomm was briefly sucked into FluffGate before apologetically distancing itself from the "fluff" comment, made by its chief marketing officer.

Even more bizarrely, Samsung's president of System LSI (chip design) Dr. Namsung Stephen Woo publicly told the company's analysts and investors last November (months after Apple revealed and began shipping the first 64-bit A7), "I think we are at the leader group in terms of 64-bit offerings."

A year later, not only is Apple still the only mobile phone vendor to be mass producing 64-bit devices, but it's also beating the performance of Qualcomm-based products from Samsung, LG and Motorola, despite using half as many processor cores at slower clock speeds and far less RAM, all of which contributes to longer battery life.

iPhone 6 2core A8 with less GHz, RAM beats 4core Android LG Nexus 5, Samsung Galaxy S5, Moto X http://t.co/ZHgKAIVZFD pic.twitter.com/qiN3a6xaSi

-- Daniel Eran Dilger (@DanielEran)


Qualcomm and Samsung both appear to be sampling 64-bit chips for smartphones, although "running in a 32-bit mode, in part because the firmware and the current version of Android only support 32-bit operation," according to an article published by PC Mag with the horseshit headline "Apple, Samsung Usher in the 20nm, 64-bit Smartphone Generation."

Last year's 64-bit "controversy" was passed around just long enough to inform the public about an esoteric computer science concept that most people buying a smartphone wouldn't know anything about, were it not for Apple's critics trying to convince them that it is not important and that they should pay no heed and that Android would eventually have it, too.

We are now at the eighth annual launch of a new iPhone. Each one has been targeted by a similar campaign of fear mongering launched by Apple critics, promoted by competitors and advanced by a media publicists working to create unfavorable buzz. There is a clear pattern of failure in their efforts.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 430

    I am not so sure that this issue is over yet. This article and video raises some troubling questions.

     

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykosner/2014/09/26/why-bendgate-matters-for-iphone-6-plus-users-and-apples-supply-chain/

     

    I should stress that I am a die-hard Apple fan, own an iPhone 6, and love their products.

     

    I just don't understand Apple's obsession with 'Thin-ness' - which seems to be the root cause of this problem. I would much rather have a slightly thicker iPhone phone, with better durability and battery life. 

  • Reply 2 of 430
    Well, that's like your opinion, man.

    Why was the author of this article so threatened he felt the need to write this questionable article? It's full of assumptions and big statements. I'm fine with that but why not label this an "opinion piece"?

    And why add a paragraph about device speed? Yet again to show how superior Apple is. So unnecessary and so lame.

    Truth is, most people who read the mainstream news will now remember the iPhone 6+ bents like crazy and haven't really dug deeper or took the time to check out Apple's responds to it (because the response wasn't really covered on these sensationalist websites). It probably did hurt Apple somehow.

    Why not write an article in a month or so looking at the sales figures before and after BendGate? That would at least base it on facts.
  • Reply 3 of 430
    Thank you.! Finally !!!
    Hope this gets circulated everywhere!

    Samscum and google can go f themselves!
    Undignified lowlives !
  • Reply 4 of 430
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dacloo View Post



    Well, that's like your opinion, man.



    Why was the author of this article so threatened he felt the need to write this questionable article? This is really yet amother "fanboy article" defending Apple at no cost. It's full of assumptions and big statements. I'm fine with that but why not label this an "opinion piece"?



    And why add a paragraph about device speed? Yet again to show how superior Apple is. So unnecessary and so lame.



    Truth is, most people who read the mainstream news will now remember the iPhone 6+ bents like crazy and haven't really dug deeper or took the time to check out Apple's responds to it (because the response wasn't really covered on these sensationalist websites). It probably did hurt Apple somehow.



    Why not write an article in a month or so looking at the sales figures before and after BendGate? That would at least base it on facts.

     

    You must be new here

  • Reply 5 of 430
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    Jony Ive is recognised as a world class designer, even among non-Apple fans. Trying to attack his hardware designs, surely you will come off second best. Doesn't that occur to them before they start?

  • Reply 6 of 430
    dacloo wrote: »
    I'm fine with that but why not label this an "opinion piece"?

    You mean like an image at the beginning of the article title stating it's an EDITORIAL? I agree, that would be useful.

    1000

    And why add a paragraph about device speed? Yet again to show how superior Apple is. So unnecessary and so lame.

    Performance is an important metric when determining the best CE for one's needs. Add being thinner, lighter and stronger than the HTC One M8 and you have a case for the iPhone not being a pathetic device that is all about marketing and no substance despite what HTC et al. want you to believe. But there are plenty of decent devices that will suit your needs if the iPhone doesn't.
    Truth is, most people who read the mainstream news will now remember the iPhone 6+ bents like crazy and haven't really dug deeper or took the time to check out Apple's responds to it (because the response wasn't really covered on these sensationalist websites). It probably did hurt Apple somehow.

    Like crazy, eh? Can you define what that means? As noted by Bendghazi there are more non-iPhone 6 Plus bent images and videos coming out than of the iPhone 6 Plus.
    Why not write an article in a month or so looking at the sales figures before and after BendGate? That would at least base it on facts.

    How the **** does that make any sense. Before this "scandal" earlier this week there were less iPhone 6 series sales than there will be in a month from now. There you go! That's a fact and you don't even have to wait a month to get it.
  • Reply 7 of 430
    yojimbo007 wrote: »
    Samscum and google can go f themselves!

    Google has nothing to do with this. DED's odd use of "Google's YouTube" like this is early 2007 is only there to full the fire but means nothing. If you want to post images of the Nexus being bent go for it.
  • Reply 8 of 430

    Bullet?  No.

    Marshmallow?  Maybe.

  • Reply 9 of 430
    ibeamibeam Posts: 322member

    I'm getting the 6 regular next month when my contract is up. Looking forward to that. I guarantee it will never be bent.

  • Reply 10 of 430

    Meanwhile, Samsung's stock is at a 2-year low:

     

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-23/samsung-at-two-year-low-lures-templeton-global-funds.html

     

    Yup.  Samsung is almost in full-on panic mode.

  • Reply 11 of 430
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    dacloo wrote: »
    This is really yet amother "fanboy article" defending Apple at no cost. It's full of assumptions and big statements.

    Then it should be quite easy for you go through the article and illustrate, point by point, any inconsistencies or inaccuracies and set the record straight.

    We'll assume, if we don't hear back from you, that you can't.
  • Reply 12 of 430
    solipsismx wrote: »
    You mean like an image at the beginning of the article title stating it's an EDITORIAL? I agree, that would be useful.

    1000
    Performance is an important metric when determining the best CE for one's needs. Add there being thinner, lighter and stronger than the HTC One M8 and you have a case for the iPhone not being a pathetic device that is all about marketing and no substance despite what HTC et al. want you to believe.
    Like crazy, eh? Can you define what that means? As noted by Bendghazi there are more non-iPhone 6 Plus bent images and videos coming out than of the iPhone 6 Plus.
    How the **** does that make any sense. Before earlier this week will be less sales than in a month from now. There you go! That's a fact and you don't even have to wait a month to get it.

    Thank you!
  • Reply 13 of 430
    dacloo wrote: »
    Well, that's like your opinion, man.
    Forget it Donnie! You're out of your element!
  • Reply 14 of 430
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dacloo View Post



    Well, that's like your opinion, man.


    I'm fine with that but why not label this an "opinion piece"?

     

    Yo, dude man, this is like totally an editorial piece. It even says "editorial" next to the title of the article, for real bro.

     

    I also find the rest of your post to be rather vague, highly questionable and quite rubbish to be honest. You are asking the wrong questions homie. You should be questioning the motives of those that have contributed to spreading this phony 'bendgate' story, and not those that are exposing the truth. Now that 'bendgate' has been revealed to be no gate at all, it sure seems to me that you don't like the truth coming out.

  • Reply 15 of 430
    last decade it was hate Microsoft, this decade it is hate Apple.

    I say it is Steve Job's revenge!

    Everyone is passionate about whatever, but when you have to stoop to outright bendgating of the truth, it will never work. The forensics are in, and the truth will out!
  • Reply 16 of 430

    I could actually hear the slurping noises while I read this opinion piece.  Don't ignore the balls, DED.  

     

    For a body of work well-known for its pandering, this is probably the pandering-est one yet.  When is Mikey going to run the site?  It's time for better blood.

  • Reply 17 of 430
    Why do people bother about the opinion of others? Wether you are a fan of Apple or of one of those Asian brands, it is uour own user experience that counts. What interest is served by all the free publicity generated by all these user comments, love or hate?. Why doing the work that should be done by the manufacturer Apple, Samsung and the likes? Users should understand that all the fan talk only drives the price up making Apple the laughing third (hence the article above).
  • Reply 18 of 430
    I enjoy reading your revealing editorials. Great work, and very well documented facts. Congrats!
  • Reply 19 of 430
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    dacloo wrote: »
    Well, that's like your opinion, man.

    Why was the author of this article so threatened he felt the need to write this questionable article? This is really yet amother "fanboy article" defending Apple at no cost. It's full of assumptions and big statements. I'm fine with that but why not label this an "opinion piece"?

    And why add a paragraph about device speed? Yet again to show how superior Apple is. So unnecessary and so lame.

    Truth is, most people who read the mainstream news will now remember the iPhone 6+ bents like crazy and haven't really dug deeper or took the time to check out Apple's responds to it (because the response wasn't really covered on these sensationalist websites). It probably did hurt Apple somehow.

    Why not write an article in a month or so looking at the sales figures before and after BendGate? That would at least base it on facts.
    Look like you butt hurt huh?
  • Reply 20 of 430

    Last decade it was hate Microsoft, this decade it is hate Apple.

    I say it is Steve Job's revenge.

    Some people are passionate about whatever phone is in their pocket, but to show videos of people doing the bendgating, it shows that most people will get sucked into it because it was a lie, and because it was a lie it continues to feed itself as being sensational. The truth now exposed, being that the iPhone 6 Plus does not actually do what was purported, will blow the lie and this BAD-MINDGATE will dissipate now for everyone.  It just shows how desperate  some people are for any kind of public notoriety. Maybe someone is tracking these people to see what they will do next. But you know, I do not want to waste my time on that. I want to find out what new ways I can use my iPhone 6 Plus to become more productive.

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