They’re Calling it #Bendgate
As if it’s some kind of scandal, some users of the iPhone 6 and/or iPhone 6 Plus (the larger cousin of the iPhone 6) are complaining they are experiencing a slight bowing in the form factor of their devices after keeping in their pockets and sitting upon them. Some even claim that–saints preserve us–this happens when their iPhone is in their front pocket. I’m sure you just heard an audible gasp, surprised to learn you, yourself, had uttered it.
This pocket-sized controversy is much ado about nothing, but haters gonna hate. Still, unless they’re specifically designed to do so, displays and batteries are not going to hold up well under the pressures of bending and warping. Glass panels could distort or even break. Users might see irregularities in the brightness at the edges of their screens, colors striping across the screen, and even dead pixels. Lithium-ion batteries can explode if abused. At least one idiot did that, a few years ago. It didn’t end well.
Christina Bonnington, writing for wired.com, suggests, “Take [your iPhone] out of your pocket before sitting down, or invest in a new blazer or jacket that has a dedicated smartphone pocket.” Is that… angels? Do I hear angels heralding the return of common sense? Oh, no… wait. That’s just my ringtone. This is a legal blog, though; so, I guess I should put away my iPhone and my snarkiness and make with the legal writing, right? Right.
Apple: Not Our Problem
In my humble-but-accurate opinion, Apple should respond to this “scandal” by releasing a statement emphasizing that the thinness of the iPhone is one of its features, and that common sense dictates, if you put a thin device made of thin metal and plastic in your pocket, then apply pressure, there is a good chance it will have succumbed to the pressure and may not have retained its shape when you remove it from your pocket. People mock attorneys for their “ridiculous disclaimers,” but where do you think those come from? Morons who bend their iPhone back and forth until the battery explodes or complain that their tiny phone bent when they did something to it that could cause bending. Seriously, it’s like we’re all trapped in a Weird Al song.
The Uniform Commercial Code recognizes what is called an Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose.
Under this Implied Warranty, “the seller at the time of contracting has reason to know any particular purpose for which the goods are required and that the buyer is relying on the seller’s skill or judgment to select or furnish suitable goods, there is unless excluded or modified under the next section an implied warranty that the goods shall be fit for such purpose.” (UCC § 2-315)
What is the “particular purpose” for which a smartphone is required? Is the iPhone 6 fit for such purposes? Clearly, the answer to the first question seems to be that a smartphone is required to make phone calls, send and receive messages, and use apps on the device. The iPhone 6 is not just fit, but very well-suited for that purpose. Its purpose is not to be indestructible or impervious to abuse by its end users. Designing a device to be thin–so thin that it bends under pressure–is not a defect. It’s a feature!
So, to all you Apple haters out there, quit putting your iPhone in your tight pants and / or sitting on it. Get a hard case or a holster, or just put it in a pocket where it won’t be subjected to pressure likely to cause it to bend. Also, if you don’t have insurance on a phone that costs at least $300, what’s wrong with you? If it’s warped or broken or whatever, pay your deductible and get a replacement. That’s life. It’s not Apple’s fault you don’t know how to take care of expensive devices. Maybe you should’ve bought something a little more your speed.
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