For some people, apparently it's not enough to see Apple's iPhone 6 Plus abused on YouTube. They've got to experience mustering every last bit of their strength to bend Apple's 5.5-inch phablet firsthand. But unlike Unbox Therapy and Consumer Reports, who at least paid for the phones they broke or mutilated during stress tests, these people are going out and destroying Apple's property.
Meet Danny and Kylie, two 15-year-old boys who thought going to a local Apple Store and damaging brand new iPhones would make for a great laugh. It's 2014, so naturally they filmed the entire thing — even showing their own faces and referring to one another by name. The video was posted to YouTube, but it wasn't long before Danny and Kylie had second thoughts about their plan. Unfortunately, the internet never lets go so easily.
"Leave a like up if you think this is quite funny."
Danny and Kylie claim they asked one of Apple's retail workers whether or not the latest models could bend. The Apple Store employee apparently said it couldn't be done — likely referring to normal usage conditions — but the two boys immediately set out to prove him wrong. "It's not a rumor, it's true," Kylie said after the extremely illegal and unscientific test. "If we got caught, we'd end up paying for the phone, so we had to get out of there quite quick," said Kylie.
As The Daily Dot and Gizmodo have both reported, this idiocy isn't limited to kids. Business Insider just published a similar exercise in disregard for someone else's property. A Wall Street analyst recently tweeted about walking into AT&T and carrying out his own bend test. Presumably Walter Piecyk used far more caution and wasn't willing to destroy a perfectly good phone. Still, this isn't something anyone should be taking the liberty to try out on a device that isn't yet theirs to break. Do whatever you want once you've paid for it. We live in a society fascinated with seeing things dropped, bashed apart, and blended into toxic dust. It's a great way to draw YouTube clicks. Just listen to Kylie. "Leave a like up if you think this is quite funny." Hearing that line made my stomach turn. And then it only got worse.
"it was really funny: we were in the Apple Store bending and breaking their iPhone."
They took bizarre joy in knowing these were Apple's phones being permanently ruined. "It was completely one of theirs, which is awesome to think," Kylie said. "The reason why we were laughing a lot of the time is just because it was really funny; we were in the Apple Store bending and breaking their iPhone." Presumably Apple and its lawyers don't think any of this is very awesome. We've reached out to the company asking if it's pursuing the two boys. If so, their parents likely won't find it too awesome, either.
Apple can't do anything to fix this
"That's, like, criminal damage, I guess," was Kylie's astute observation as he wrapped up the video. "I don't even care to be honest, because it's Apple's fault." Except it's not. This is trolling in its most inconsiderate, selfish, and careless form. It's an act that not even the universal "kids will be kids" mantra can defend. Worse yet, Apple's staff might need to be on the lookout for copycats now. Hopefully it won't be a problem. Maybe the public example of Danny and Kylie will be enough to make would-be idiots reassess the situation.
Questions about this phone's long-term durability and whether or not there's a weak spot in its design are perfectly valid. But foolish stunts like this do absolutely nothing to help find real answers. That was never the point, and Kylie makes it abundantly clear. "Now if this gets really good feedback, I'd be more than happy to go back down there with Danny with a good camera and get really good, clear image of it." It's getting anything but good feedback. It's stirring anger and disgust — just as it should. And by pulling their video, even Danny and Kylie seemed to recognize that they'd crossed a line with their attempt to generate YouTube buzz. Maybe bending stuff should just be left to the experts.
Update 2:35PM EST: In a follow-up video, Kylie has apologized for the misguided act and says he takes full responsibility for the broken iPhone. He also clarified that they only damaged a single iPhone during the Apple Store trip; the multiple takes are reportedly of the same device. The article has been updated to reflect this.
Kylie says he and Danny are willing to pay to replace the damaged iPhone 6 Plus and don't plan to bend other units. "We know what we did was wrong." He also notes that it didn't take much pressure to bend the phone, but expresses doubt that it would bend while being carried in someone's pocket. Kylie does indeed sound genuinely remorseful about the whole situation, and says he hopes to be contacted by Apple directly to resolve it — if the company even decides to take things that far.