Out of all the stories from the iPhone 6 launch a few months ago, 'Bendgate' is the one Apple wants customers to forget more than anything. Reports from early adopters showed that the iPhone's new body wasn't strong enough to withstand the pressure from tighter pairs of pants and was bending inside people's pockets. Most assumed that it was due to the phone's new lightweight aluminium casing, though Apple assured customers that the number of affected phones was only a tiny fraction of units sold.
It may not have happened to as many phones as people initially thought, but one man has every right to be upset about Bendgate. After one Phillip Lechter's phone bent in his pocket, not only was it unusable, it caught on fire.
Lechter was visiting the University of Arizona with his family when the incident occurred. During a rickshaw carriage ride, Lechter and his family were almost tossed out of the vehicle when it nearly tipped over. No one was hurt in the accident, but Lechter soon felt a burning sensation coming from his pants. It felt like he was on fire, but according to his blog, there was nothing wrong with the rickshaw itself:
"I surveyed the rickshaw quickly and could not find anything that could have set me on fire. Then it hit me, my phone was in my pocket."
After evacuating the carriage, a random bystander was able to douse Lechter's leg with ice water, snuffing out the flame. Thankfully, Lechter was able to get the phone out of his pocket relatively quickly and without seriously burning his hands, though another bystander did burn their fingers after the phone was removed from its leather case. Lechter himself suffered two second-degree burns, one on his thigh and another further down on his leg.
If his blog photos weren't enough evidence that the fire was serious, then the short video that Lechter posted definitely will be. The phone is bent to a 90 degree angle, and there's even a little sizzle when the ice is dumped onto the smoldering remains. Pictures are available on Lechter's blog, but be warned: they do include images of the burn, and they are not pretty.
Clearly, the fire was an accident and not due to any design flaw with the phone or a mistake on Apple's part. Without the rickshaw or the near-crash, the fire never would have happened.
Then again, it's not every day that you look down and see your pants are on fire.