#BENDGATE – APPLE’S PR NIGHTMARE BECOMES SOCIAL MEDIA DREAM FOR COMPETITORS

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Unless you’ve locked yourself away from the outside world for the past week or so, you won’t have missed the hotly anticipated (although slightly over-hyped, in my opinion) launch of the iPhone 6 Plus. The handset, which drew overnight crowds ahead of its launch last Friday, promised to be ‘bigger than bigger’ and ‘larger, yet dramatically thinner’. However, Apple has since been making headlines for slightly different reasons – #bendgate.

It appears that the tech giant had overlooked one tiny glitch – the device can apparently bend in the owner’s pocket.  Disgruntled users flooded Twitter complaining about the unexpected feature, with one claiming how he’d ‘danced, dined and drove’ for 18 hours before discovering the phone had ‘bent’ in his pocket.

Although Apple has now insisted that the supposed blunder is ‘rare’, other brands were quick off the block to get their share of the media storm. Smartphone rivals LG and Samsung jumped on the bandwagon by releasing adverts showing how durable their phones were, with the latter stating its phones are in fact ‘curved, not bent’.

The mocking wasn’t exclusive to the techies of this world, as KitKat tweeted that they don’t bend, but ‘break’, while clothing brand Dockers promised that its trousers have a ‘hidden security pocket’, ideal for protecting the iPhone 6.

The key to ‘Apple-bashing’ – and side-stepping any ‘mud in the face’ moments in future – is that it’s all done in good humour. It’s hard to find a company out there which hasn’t had to deal with a gaff at some point or another, so why not poke fun where you can?

Keeping on top of what other brands are doing – or not doing right – is a great way to engage with potential new customers and become part of the dialogue. As long as it’s light-hearted, it can quickly become a gang that everyone wants to be part of, turning one man’s PR nightmare into another’s dream!

Steph

@peppertweets, @StephCureton