Apple said on Thursday that only nine customers have complained about bent iPhone 6 or 6 Plus devices, and that "With normal use a bend in iPhone is extremely rare." The company has gone on its equivalent of a full-court press, offering the statement to The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Re/code, and other mainstream outlets at once.
The issue began this week with images of bent iPhone 6 Plus models, where the users claimed the devices were bent just by being in their pants pocket. That was followed by a video posted to YouTube by the Unbox Therapy channel where the host, Lewis, bent an iPhone 6 Plus with his bare hands.
Bending an iPhone
As that garnered attention, many attacked Apple for releasing a device with a design flaw, while others defended Apple by noting that other large-screen devices have also been susceptible to bending. The situation also sparked the hashtags #bendgate and #bendghazi (my favorite).
Apple's stock took a hit on Thursday, and the financial press mentioned both bendgate and the problems with iOS 8.0.1. That update was released on Wednesday, where it immediately started breaking users iPhones. It was pulled, but it was a second dose of negative news even while Apple is trying to ramp up enthusiasm for its new iPhone models.
On Thursday afternoon, Apple got proactive, telling the above-mentioned mainstream media outlets that only nine people have complained about bent iPhones. Someone at Apple also told CNBC's Jon Fortt that its new iPhones are structurally reinforced to protect against bending.
Apple: New iPhones feature steel/titanium inserts to reinforce stress locations and use the strongest glass in the industry. (via @jonfortt)— CNBC Tech (@CNBCtech) September 25, 2014
Considering the fact that Apple sold some 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices in just the first three days of availability, nine complaints is less than a statistical blip. In fact, it's a 0.00009% failure rate, and that's ignoring however many more iPhones Apple sold in the 3 days since.
Of course, if you're one of the folks responding to Re/code's tweet, that's not good enough..
Fred Kirsch, for instance, believes even one bent iPhone is just too much to bear.
@Trizellini knows there is really a 10,000:1 ratio of bent iPhone to reported bent iPhones.
On the other hand, Apple clearly understands that it runs the risk of having a perception issue. Releasing statements to several mainstream outlets at one time shows the company is taking it seriously. It remains to be seen if the response so far will be enough to quell Apple's detractors (hint: it won't).