iPhone 6 owners in South Africa have reported that they have fallen victim to “bendgate”, with their devices bending just below the volume buttons.
The apparent ease with which the new iPhone 6 Plus could bend came to light days after Apple’s new flagship phone went on sale, with many owners reporting the devices were bending in their pockets.
Reports then emerged that Apple was replacing bent devices for free – if there were no signs of abuse – in the United States.
The Verge stated that no special or extended warranty was required, and the process from discovering the bend to getting a new phone took 12 hours.
This has South Africans asking whether they will receive similar replacements from the local companies that sell the iPhone 6.
Core Group, Telkom, and Vodacom respond
Telkom’s head of group communications Jacqui O’Sullivan said its customers may hand their device in to any Telkom repair centre.
“Relating to specific ‘bending’ issues with the iPhone product, Telkom’s repair centre is required to contact Apple after sales service directly regarding the assessment of the damage. Telkom will then be advised by Apple on the way forward.”
Vodacom said it would assess a device to see if there is a manufacturing defect. Should a defect be found, the device can be returned to Apple.
Vodacom said that in practice, though, they are not aware of any cases where a bent device has been linked to a manufacturing defect.
Core Group, official distributor for Apple’s products in South Africa, agreed with Vodacom.
“According to guidelines stipulated in the [Visual/Mechanical Inspection guide] for damage classification, a bent iPhone 6 or 6 Plus is only eligible for out of warranty service,” said Core.
“We haven’t been able to obtain a warranty exception from Apple for a bent iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. ”
Cell C and MTN did not respond to questions by the time of publication.