Newsletter Issue #891: Apple and Consumer Reports — Again

December 26th, 2016

Do you remember the “bendgate” scandal? Perhaps not, because it was never a scandal, but some wiseacre got the bright idea to post a video on YouTube showing how “easy” it was to bend an iPhone 6 Plus. That someone was willing to seriously damage one’s expensive smartphone seemed crazy enough, unless, of course, the ad revenues were sufficient to buy a new one and then some. Or pretend to Apple that it wasn’t his or her fault.

But whenever Apple is involved, it’s easy to see a profitable reason to want to create some fake news or a phony scandal in order to generate hits and increase ad revenues. But at the end of the day, there was nothing wrong with the iPhone 6 Plus. It was strong enough to survive normal use, but that didn’t stop others from putting it to the test.

So Square Trade, a company that sells extended warranties online and in stores, ran some informal tests. Since they have to provide repairs in case your covered device is damaged or develops a defect, it was in their own best interests to see, and actually damaging the iPhone 6 Plus wasn’t very easy. That takes us to Consumer Reports, who ran their own tests in 2014, with great fanfare, against competing gear from HTC, LG and Samsung, and pronounced the iPhone’s durability as acceptable. There were no defects at all, but plenty of headlines were generated.

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