Does bendy iPhone 6 Plus fall under warranty? Depends on the Genius' visual inspection


An extended warranty provider has called it more durable than the iPhone 5 series and said it has one of the hardiest builds in its size class. But some owners of the iPhone 6, particularly the Plus models, are alleging Apple's new phablets are warping due to normal usage and are wondering how Apple will address the unique case of the bends.

YouTube videos and Twitter pictures have documented cases in which the iPhone 6 has bent under moderate pressure, leaving behind a dent in their aluminum backs. While aluminum's melting point is 1,221 degrees Fahrenheit, the combination of heat from the iPhone 6's sizzling A8 processor and the stress from being stored in small pockets could make the phablets a little more susceptible to bending.

Apple has yet to release an official statement on the bending phones. But its hardware warranty states the company doesn't cover cosmetic damage such as scratches, broken ports and dents.

An Apple spokeswoman deferred warranty decisions to local Apple Geniuses, but she said the company was looking at the bending issue with "an insane amount of detail." For owners of bent phones who'd like a fresh start, an Apple Genius will make a warranty determination after a visual inspection, the spokeswoman stated.

"That is 100 percent up to the Genius you speak with at the store," stated the spokeswoman. "There is a test called a Visual Mechanical Inspection that the device will have to pass. If it is within the guidelines, they will be able to cover it. If not, the replacement would be a paid one."

While Apple has been mum on the matter so far, Twitter has been abuzz with Tweets from rivals seizing on the opportunity to have some fun at the iPhone's expense.

LG used the opportunity to tweet a reminder to consumers that its Gflex smartphone is flexible by design and won't hold its contorted shape. KitKat asserted that it breaks instead of bending, while BlackBerry invited consumers to give its new Passport phone their best shot.

"I would challenge you guys to bend our Passport," John Chen, BlackBerry's chief executive officer, said at a Passport launch event.

SquareTrade, provider of extended warranties, may have missed the iPhone 6's vulnerability to bending when the company stress-tested the some of the handsets. SquareTrade gave the iPhone 6 a higher durability score than the handset's predecessors and several rivals.

"Apple has done it again, with a pair of larger phones that are more durable than their smaller predecessors," said Ty Shay, CMO of SquareTrade. "But as we saw with the ill-fated mishap of the first iPhone 6 buyer in Australia, accidents are still going to happen. Americans have spent over $10 billion on iPhone repair and replacement since their release, and we expect that unfortunate trend to continue."

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