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Kav Latiolais says his iPhone 6 bent into this shape after he charged it overnight.

Seattle developer Kav Latiolais woke up Saturday morning to discover something quite unpleasant.

The 128 GB iPhone 6 he’d purchased on Thursday afternoon had inexplicably bent — a rare malfunction which Apple says has only occurred in a small subset of the large iPhone 6 Plus devices.

Kav Latiolais
Kav Latiolais

“I plugged the phone in to charge overnight, and nothing was amiss,” Latiolais tells GeekWire. “I’d been taking a lot of photos and was so paranoid about hurting my brand new phone that I kept it in my coat pocket or hand all night. When I got home, I propped the phone against the wall to charge overnight. When I pulled it off the charger in the morning, it was bent along the angle it leaned on the wall. It’s almost as if it sagged. In fact, looking closely at it … I can see it’s not so much bent as curved, rounded almost.”

Very odd.

Here’s a look at the position in which Latiolais says he charged his new iPhone 6:


The reports of bent iPhones have been specifically tied to the larger of the two newly-released devices, the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple also said this past week that the bending problems are “extremely rare” — with just nine customers filing complaints.

iphone6-kav4Latiolais isn’t sure what happened to his phone, though he theorizes it may have heated up while charging, resulting in the bend.

“I’d guess (Apple’s) test lab isn’t doing flex testing while the battery is hot — nor I suspect did Consumer Reports,” said Latiolais, a partner at Seattle-based LIFFFT. In a report Friday, Consumer Reports said that the new “iPhones seem tougher than the Internet fracas implies.”

Latiolais stopped by the Apple Store in Seattle on Sunday to see if he could swap out his phone, but they were completely packed and he was unable to do a quick swap. He’s now headed over to the T-Mobile store to ask about an exchange, but a representative for the mobile carrier that he spoke to on the phone said the company would likely not replace the device since it is considered “physical damage.”

Latiolais says he’s certain he didn’t drop the device or jam it in a pocket.

“I was so afraid of bending or damaging it in general so I was very, very careful,” he said. Whatever happened, Latiolais is perplexed, noting that it may just be a “complete fluke.”

UPDATE: Latiolais says he was able to exchange his iPhone 6 today at the Apple store in Seattle, and the workers at the Genius Bar didn’t think his overheating theory was accurate.

“Whether it was my heat theory, manufacturing issue, or some kind of ninja attack while I was not looking — as the Apple Store folks seemed to imply — I guess we will only know as “bendgate” either continues or disappears,” he said. “I love the look of an iPhone without a case, but if it’s even remotely possible that — even with all of my extremely delicate handling — I dented it than I see something hard and protective in my future.”
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