What is it they say about history? George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” We sure see plenty of history being made today that pays little attention to the past.
From the Watergate era, Senator Howard Baker is remembered for, “What did the president know, and when did he know it?” Here we are a few generations later and a new Apple scandal is brewing on top an old scandal.
Will It Bend?
With apologies to the folks who created the Will It Blend video series (iPhones blend just fine in a blender), Bendgate was a mini-scandal with iPhone 6 and it’s a growing scandal now, but for different reasons.
A 2014 controversy over problems with the Apple iPhone 6 chassis bending under pressure.
Any big electronic device stuck into the back pocket of a tight pair of jeans will bend. Hey. It’s a supercomputer! Treat it with respect. Case closed.
Or, was it?
It’s called “bendgate” because anytime there is a scandal in the USA, we put “gate” at the end of the word because of the Watergate scandal and the media utterly lacks any imagination whatsoever.
Some diligent reporting from Motherboard found that Apple knew about iPhone 6 problems before the public knew about the bends.
Apple’s internal tests found that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are significantly more likely to bend than the iPhone 5S
Whoa. Really? Yet, Apple never said iPhone 6 models had a bending problem. Where did that news come from? The infamous Judge Lucy Koh:
One of the major concerns Apple identified prior to launching the iPhones was that they were ‘likely to bend more easily when compared to previous generations.
And that came from Apple in court findings from a lawsuit. Apple responded to Bendgate back in 2014:
[Apple] perform[s] rigorous tests throughout the entire development cycle including 3-point bending, pressure point cycling, sit, torsion, and user studies. iPhone 6 and 6 Plus meet or exceed all of our high quality standards to endure everyday, real life use.
Translation: “iPhone 6 doesn’t bend that much.”
Based on court findings, Motherboard reported on Apple’s own data from tests:
iPhone 6 is 3.3 times more likely to bend than the iPhone 5s, and the iPhone 6 Plus is 7.2 times more likely to bend than the iPhone 5s
As with Antennagate, Bendgate, Touch Disease and other afflictions to Apple products, the news cycle moves on and the public has a short memory. All that glitters isn’t gold, but humanity still chases after whatever glitters the most.
Judge Koh from a lawsuit on Bendgate:
After internal investigation, Apple determined underfill was necessary to resolve the problems caused by the defect… Apple had used underfill on the preceding iPhone generation but did not start using it on the [touch disease-related] chip in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus until May 2016
Translation: “Apple knew about Bendgate before it became a scandal.”
Does Apple have another Watergate-like scandal brewing?
MacBook and MacBook Pro models afflicted with the so-called butterfly keyboard design problem have filed a few class action lawsuits. It may take a few years, but one day we will know what Apple knew about those butterfly keyboards and when they knew it.