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Apple says iPhone 6 Plus bending through normal use is 'extremely rare'

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A total of nine customers have complained so far

Apple is officially responding to the "bendgate" controversy. Today the company told CNBC and other media outlets including The Verge that despite an uproar that's emerged online and in the media this week, it has received only nine complaints from customers who've had an iPhone 6 Plus bend through normal use. Apple says the problem is "extremely rare" and is pointing to the design of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as proof that the company took several steps to prevent bending or any permanent deformations. Both models feature steel / titanium inserts meant to reinforce potential stress points, Apple says, and the company also highlights its "ion-strengthened" glass screens as another design element that should keep iPhones from bending out of shape.

The whole saga began soon after the launch of iPhone 6 Plus; images and videos suddenly appeared showing Apple's 5.5-inch phablet with a noticeable bend, and some people claimed the damage resulted simply from storing the phone in a pocket or other everyday scenarios. Since then, follow-up videos have confirmed that iPhone 6 Plus can be bent when enough force is applied, but Apple insists this isn't something customers should be worrying about. But it is happening, and not just to people clamoring for YouTube exposure. Wired's Mat Honan and Business Insider's Steve Kovach have both reported slight warping in the iPhones they've recently reviewed. For the record, our review unit iPhone 6 Plus exhibits no such issues.

All in all, it's been a rough week for the Cupertino company — for more than one reason. Even if "bendgate" is a non-story, it's getting plenty of coverage in the mainstream media and a whole ton of people are hearing about it. And Apple's completely botched rollout of iOS 8.0.1 yesterday was very real, easily qualifying as one of its worst blunders in recent memory. But Apple has pledged to right the misstep and says iOS 8.0.2 will be released sometime over "the next few days." Controversy hasn't exactly stopped Apple from selling its latest iPhones at a lightning pace. Even now, amid all the bending hysteria, iPhone 6 Plus remains sold out at most retailers. Apple's full statement, provided to The Verge, follows below.

Our iPhones are designed, engineered and manufactured to be both beautiful and sturdy. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus feature a precision engineered unibody enclosure constructed from machining a custom grade of 6000 series anodized aluminum, which is tempered for extra strength. They also feature stainless steel and titanium inserts to reinforce high stress locations and use the strongest glass in the smartphone industry. We chose these high-quality materials and construction very carefully for their strength and durability. We also perform rigorous tests throughout the entire development cycle including 3-point bending, pressure point cycling, sit, torsion, and user studies. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus meet or exceed all of our high quality standards to endure everyday, real life use.

With normal use a bend in iPhone is extremely rare and through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus. As with any Apple product, if you have questions please contact Apple.