Apple pull update as iPhone 6 criticism continues

Man checks out his iPhone 6 Plus outside Apple store in Pasadena. Picture: AFP
Man checks out his iPhone 6 Plus outside Apple store in Pasadena. Picture: AFP
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APPLE INC has pulled back an update to its new operating system as the company continue to receive criticism over their new iPhone6 and 6 Plus products.

The record-selling phones have been slammed over their bendability dubbed “bendgate” on social media and users have complained about a drop in cellular service and inability to use the fingerprint-reading Touch ID.

Apple have now issued a guide to manually reverse the update they provided on Wednesday which invloves connecting the phone to a Mac or Windows computer and downloading a file to restore the older software.

The company had begun distributing the update on Wednesday morning to fix several issues in last week’s iOS 8 operating system for iPhones and iPads. Hours later, it pulled the update, dubbed iOS 8.0.1, after people complained it rendered their phones unable to make calls and caused problems with a feature that lets people unlock their phones with their fingerprint.

Users are still able to upgrade older phones to last week’s version of iOS 8, which Apple said has already been downloaded to nearly half of all iOS devices. Apple said it will release iOS 8.0.2 soon to address both last week’s glitches and the new ones.

Some tech blogs reported the update only seemed to cause problems for the latest phone models - the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. It’s not uncommon for new software to contain bugs that have to be fixed with subsequent releases.

The problems come as Apple shares fell by 1.1 per cent at $100.65 in premarket trading on Thursday.

Social media and online forums are buzzing with comment about how the new phones can bend when placed in back pockets or while wearing skinny jeans.

Some Twitter users claimed their phones showed a slight curving at one end after several hours in a trouser pocket. With a 5.5-inch screen, the iPhone 6 Plus is slightly longer and thinner than other iPhone models.

The phones’ lightweight aluminium shell is more malleable than expected but this may not qualify as a design flaw, some analysts said.

It’s not clear how widespread the complaints are. One YouTube video showed someone bending an iPhone 6 Plus by applying extended pressure with his hands - not from normal sitting.

Both the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus were given high ratings in a recent “break-ability” test conducted by SquareTrade, a San Francisco firm that sells extended-protection plans for electronic devices. The test did not include bending.

SquareTrade Chief Marketing Officer Ty Shay said that after reports of bending circulated online, two staff mermbers at his firm tried to bend a pair of 6 Plus phones. The male staff member was able to duplicate the results from the video, while the female staff member could not. He said the bent phone appeared to still function normally.

Shay said his firm then checked and found a small number of bent older-model iPhones had been reported in the past. “It does happen,” said Shay, “but it seems like for the most part it’s cosmetic damage.”

He suggested the bending is not a major issue. Referring to the iPhone 6 Plus, he added, “I think it’s still a very durable phone. But we’ll keep an eye on the claims.”

Apple did not comment on the reports of bending. However, rival smartphone makers have tried to take advantage of Apple’s problems. Samsung released an advertisement showcasing a bending phone against its own product, while Blackberry Chief Executive John Chen said: “I would challenge you guys to bend our Passport.”

Apple said on Monday it had already shipped 10 million units of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.