Apple's Responds To Tech Mag Showing The Amazing Bending Phone By Freezing Them Out Of Bendy Apple Products

from the the-bends dept

If you've paid attention to anything tangentially related to technology news over the past couple of weeks, you're probably familiar with "bendgate", the feverish reaction to the realization that Apple's newest iPhone 6 Plus includes the feature of a bending case if you accidentally sit on it or something. As an Android loyalist, these reports have been an endless source of entertainment thus far, but even that has now been trumped by Apple's reaction to the issue. Apparently the company has decided that the best response to a technology news organization's reporting on the bendy Apple phones is to threaten to freeze that publication out of future bendy phones and likely-bendy Apple events.

Computer Bilde, a German site, put up a video showing the new iPhone bending and reporting on it. That's when they received a call from a local Apple guy.

The German PR department of the company reacts in a disturbing way: Instead of answering the questions about why the iPhone 6 Plus is so sensitive, a manager called COMPUTER BILD and told us, that COMPUTER BILD will not get any testing devices and no invites to official events any more.
How very Apple of them. It apparently is time to remind Apple that it makes products. It is not the corporate embodiment of Judge Smails threatening to keep honest reporters out of its country club. This idea that journalists who report to the public about very real issues with Apple products should no longer get access to reporting on Apple products is a strategy doomed to failure. Once the word is out that only favorable reports on Apple products are allowed, then nobody is going to trust the reports any longer. That means less sales, since people won't trust the information on the products they'll be receiving. And it won't even stop the independent reviews, any way. Computer Bilde made the point nicely in an open letter to Tim Cook.
Dear Mr. Cook: Is this really how your company wants to deal with media that provide your customers with profound tests of your products? Do you really think that a withdrawal of Apple’s love and affection could have an intimidating effect on us? Luckily we do not have to rely on devices that Apple provides us with. Luckily, a lot of readers are willing to pay money for our magazine to keep us independent. So we are able to buy devices to do our tests anyway. Even devices of manufacturers that seem to fear COMPUTER BILD’s independent judgement.

Even if we are quite dismayed about Apple’s reaction, we won’t give up our principles: We will continue our incorruptible tests that have the same high reputation in the german media-landscape as Apple has for its products. So far. We congratulate you to your fine new generation of iPhones, even if one of them has a minor weakness with its casing. But we are deeply disappointed about the lack of respect of your company.
Nice attempt at strong-arming the press, Apple. Too bad it will accomplish nothing except to build distrust of your brand.

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Filed Under: bendgate, iphone 6, journalism, reviews
Companies: computer bild


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  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 3:30am

    Once the word is out that only favorable reports on Apple products are allowed, then nobody is going to trust the reports any longer.
    Wouldn't matter. This "gate" has an eerie pattern to that other infamous "gate" regarding reviews and games, yet game sales aren't down because of it.

    If Apple knows one thing, it's they can take a giant shit on everyone but still make billions all by sticking a new number on a device they didn't invent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anonymous Howard (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 4:22am

    "Too bad it will accomplish nothing except to build distrust of your brand. "

    Don't forget Ms. Streisand's trademarked effect!

    Not that it'll deter apple from excreting another pile on their fan's plate at exorbitant price.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 4:34am

    How is this going to stop Bilde from sending a plainclothes employee to an Apple Store and purchasing the phone with cash/their own credit card?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 4:38am

      Re:

      Absolutely nothing. But if they only get hands on devices one they are already widely available no one will be reading them to find out if said devices are worth getting.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Machin Shin (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 5:35am

        Re: Re:

        That is not really true. They can send a guy out to get one as early as reasonably possible. They can they write their review in plenty of time for their target audience.

        The people getting an iPhone on the first day it is out don't care about reviews. Those are made up almost entirely of apple fan boys that would buy pretty much anything with an i in front of it. The people that you are writing reviews for are those that have chosen to wait a week or two and do some research before buying.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 4:37am

    Apple meets Streisand. Will it bend?

    *sound of comedy drums*

    Ahem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 4:45am

    As long as there are people like Jesus Diaz in the world, there will be no shortage of Apple fanfare.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 5:00am

    But has you considered the opposite.

    What if Apple decided to stop sending freebies to COMPUTER BILD for whatever reason and the magazine is saying that is for the gate of the month to pump itself up?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeffry Houser (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 5:02am

    Hasn't Apple done this for years?

    Hasn't Apple done this for years? A famous example is the Gizmodo iPhone leak in 2010.

    http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/26/the-iphone-leak-gets-ugly-police-raid-gizmodo-editors-house-confisc ate-computers/

    I read that the iPhone 6 release was the first time Gizmodo was at an Apple event since then.

    I'll also add that nothing prevents sites / articles from writing about Apple products even if Apple does not provide them free units or early access.

    If Apple is having a private event to announce new products they should be able to invite [or not invite] whomever they want.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 5:31am

    Do not try to bend the iPhone, for that is impossible.
    Only try to realize the truth.
    There is no iPhone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Cressman, 3 Oct 2014 @ 5:40am

    Apple is...

    I guess Apple is taking it's direction in media relations from the Obama administration.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 5:45am

    Sticking with German media-company tradition, Computer Bild has followed up their letter to Tim Cook by announcing they intend to sue Google.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 6:12am

    It's a corporation do we expect anything good to come from them , the only thing that matters is money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    scottbp (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 6:16am

    Did you contact Apple for a quote?

    Firstly other media organisations have done bend tests and shown that the iphone isn't any more bendy than other devices, and the Bild video either showed a VERY strong dude, or they pre bent the device.
    But about this article... did you reach out to Apple or try to find any corroboration of the claims from Bild? They claim they have been banned for some reason, but is that the whole story?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, 3 Oct 2014 @ 6:16am

    The review of the iPhone 7:
    "We have no idea how good it is, because Apple refuses to send us test devices and we refuse to waste our money. However, based on how Apple treats journalists, we can safely assume it sucks."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 6:23am

    Overreaction to a hyperbole

    Face it, the 'bending iPhone issue' is not really that big of an issue; acoording to a number of independent tests the new iPhone is not exactly the strongest, but neither is it the weakest of the smartphones around...

    On the other hand, it's pretty petty of Apple to react this way to a negative review. Even if they believe the entire thing is blown way out of proportion.

    My guess is that they now no longer consider Computer Bild 'unbiased'.
    And they are perfectly welcome to do so.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Randy the Pumpkin, 3 Oct 2014 @ 6:55am

      Re: Overreaction to a hyperbole

      Just for the record: BILD is Germany's News of the World/SUN. Their tech magazine Computerbild always seemed to me pretty trashy, flashy, low quality. I wouldn't want to be seen visiting their site or reading their print version. So fair enough, Apple definitely shouldn't act like this. And maybe Computerbild did some minimal amount of reporting and/or test. But this: "We will continue our incorruptible tests that have the same high reputation in the german media-landscape as Apple has for its products." is ridiculous. If Computerbild produced smartphones, they'd run Win ME on a shiny shoe box-sized forgettable covered in boob stickers, with mainly old, blissfully ignorant people buying it and none of them noticing that all it does is display the BSOD.*
      (*but damn - highest selling computer magazine in the EU, that hurts)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 7:51am

      Re: Overreaction to a hyperbole

      "My guess is that they now no longer consider Computer Bild 'unbiased'."

      My guess is a little different: they now no longer consider Computer Bild biased in their favor.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 6:28am

    In Apple,isn't it their jobs to bend the rules?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Nicolas Martin (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 7:56am

    Getting the facts right

    Consumer Reports has done bend tests on the new iPhones. They help up pretty well.

    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/10/consumer-reports-smart-phone-bendability-test/i ndex.htm

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Rabbit80 (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 8:22am

      Re: Getting the facts right

      The problem with these tests is that they are misleading.

      In the Consumer Reports test, they apply pressure evenly across the middle of the back of the device - not stressing the weakest area of the device, but most likely putting stress on the battery and the stronger side structures. Numerous videos have shown that the phone is much more easily bent if applying pressure to a localised area on the back of the device near the volume buttons.

      How that affects the way the phone reacts in a pocket is still unclear - however I would think in a pocket the phone could be subject to uneven pressure and twisting which could have an effect.

      Also unclear is how the phones react to repeated bending under much smaller pressure - since the iPhone does not have any springiness, over a period of months a much smaller pressure could lead to the same effect and result in a bent phone.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 8:57am

    bad news travels like wildfire.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 8:58am

    Works for Ferrari.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mayson Lancaster (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:24am

    Bending the truth

    A question for you and your readers: have more iPhone 6 and 6 Plus 's been bent by accident or intentionally? Sure looks like a whole lot of fanfare about a whole lot of noise and fury, signifying little.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      jackn, 3 Oct 2014 @ 11:35am

      Re: Bending the truth

      Question for you? What does this have to do with the topic

      ..."COMPUTER BILD will not get any testing devices and no invites to official events any more."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 12:52pm

      Re: Bending the truth

      Apple says that they've only had 9 units returned for repair because of being bent, and the instances I see reported online seem to be the same 3 or 4 repeated over and over, so I see no reason to doubt Apple's word.

      I think this is a nonissue, personally.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        jackn, 3 Oct 2014 @ 1:44pm

        Re: Re: Bending the truth

        I think it is a non-issue too. Esp for me.

        This article isn't about whether the phones are overly bendy or not.

        The article is about apple strong-arming the press.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 2:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: Bending the truth

          I disagree.

          It is about the reaction of a company against what they consider a misrepresentation of the product they produce.

          And I personally think that cutting the writer off from perks such as invites to events and/or pre-release models is hardly 'strong-arming'.

          More than a few other companies would have opend "legal options" by now...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 2:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: Bending the truth

          "The article is about apple strong-arming the press."

          True, and I think that Apple did the wrong thing in that regard.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 2:32pm

    the design was intentional now you can't get rid of your iphone 6 the new dynamic bend gives it that boomarang effect, Apple loves its return customers

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 3:24pm

    Can we stop with the "-gate" nonsense

    I'm reminded of a joke from Cracked: what do you call a scandal involving the ex-CEO of Microsoft about building a fence? That's right- it's the Bill Gates gate gate.

    So, can we please stop adding "gate" to the end of every wanna-be scandal? Besides, the word comes from "Watergate", which was the name of the hotel in Washington. It wasn't the "water" hotel.

    And I've been reading plenty of stories about the bendy iPhone (including on ArsTechnica) and this is the first site I've seen refer to this as "bendgate". I think this site is better than coming up with a word like that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      TheLastCzarnian (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 6:20pm

      Re: Can we stop with the "-gate" nonsense

      Well, you can't call it "Apple makes another shitty product" because it totally lacks shock value and the fanbois will dos your server with death threats. "Bendgate" fits easily into an article title, whereas "Why did you twits preorder a device before anyone had tested it in the wild, really, is that your brain or a load of rotting armadillo feces" just doesn't roll off the tongue.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 8:38pm

    One of my long-term rants:

    The Valerie Plame Affair really gave us a golden (heh!) opportunity given that it involved yellowcake, and hence we could have started predicating scandals with -cake rather than with -gate.

    There are so many fresh cake jokes and -gate is so old.

    But no.

    No one listened.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2014 @ 5:29am

    They won't care

    The iDiots won't care.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Case, 4 Oct 2014 @ 6:15am

    COMPUTER BILD will not get any testing devices and no invites to official events any more


    Looks like Computer Bild's definition of "independent judgement" is mostly centered on champagne receptions hostesses.

    Getting your test samples during a gala dinner in some resort with flight and all expenses paid is exactly what independent journalists should avoid, instead they're crying about being cast out from paradise. Then again, we are talking about the magazine which downgraded laser printers for not printing in color, so...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Gcow, 4 Oct 2014 @ 4:17pm

    Apple's iPhone bending

    Overall, I like the stuff I get in Techdirt. I also like my neat little Moto 'Droid Razr Maxx, which I bought for its outstanding battery life, which allows me to stay connected to my disabled spouse.
    What I don't even give a shit about anymore, is the Bad Apple chatter. I'll admit that I haven't been around Techdirt long enough to know whether it's like "fanboy/hater" chatrooms of yore, but it's getting close to the silliness that I recollect from AOL days.
    It could all be tongue in cheek, or even partly tongue in cheek. I don't care. It's just silly, and for the future, I'll pass on even reading it.
    Thanks anyway for the generally great info.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 7:41am

      Re: Apple's iPhone bending

      Techdirt isn't an Anti-Apple site. It does call out bad behavior on the part of tech companies, though, and Apple doesn't get a free pass (neither does Microsoft, Google, or anyone else.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Oct 2014 @ 12:59am

    title tittle

    Apple's response or Apple responds but not Apple's responds.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James Smith, 5 Oct 2014 @ 8:41am

    Consumer Reports

    Why is it that almost no one is paying any attention to the Consumer Reports test that demonstrated that the iPhone 6 and 6+ are no more prone to bending than other smart phones and better than some, the Much-touted HTC for example.

    To me, this is another example of the "Hate Apple and never mind the facts" that anyone can see all over the internet. Methinks thou doth protest too much."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 11:55am

    Bilde should just run a front-page article constantly for days prior to the Apple conference/leadership worship session...

    Apple releases 'iPad 5'..but they only let paid shills review it....etc

    'iPad 5'...We ask the difficult question...WHY doesn't apple want us to check it out before it ships?...

    You can cause a lot of damage with questions....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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