Apple Has an iPhone Headache, But It Won’t Last Long


Alex Fitzpatrick @alexjamesfitz

Apple’s stock is down even though it just sold ten million iPhones in a weekend

 It’s been a weird week for Apple. The company sold a record 10 million of its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus models over the weekend, setting them up to be its most successful phones ever. But no company can escape the headaches that come with almost every new launch, and Apple has three problems marring an otherwise spectacular introduction.

First, iOS 8, Apple’s new mobile operating system, inexplicably launched late last week without promised apps that used a health and fitness featured called Health. Then, early this week, reports flew around social media and tech blogs showing the iPhone 6 Plus, the big 5.5-inch granddaddy of the two iPhone 6 models, was easy to bend — some people claimed the phone bent when sitting in their pockets for extended periods, others bent the phones on purpose to prove it was possible, and everybody loved calling the whole thing “bendgazi.” Finally, Apple rolled out an iOS 8 update Wednesday intended to fix that HealthKit problem and other minor issues, only to quickly pull it after users complained the update had caused their iPhones to lose the ability to make phone calls.
“We are actively investigating these reports and will provide information as quickly as we can,” an Apple spokesperson told several tech blogs in a rare public statement about the iOS 8 update problems. “In the meantime we have pulled back the iOS 8.0.1 update.”

Apple did not respond to TIME’s request for more details. Apple has also been mum on the bending issue, although it’s a problem that’s affected bigger smartphones from other carriers, too, and there was some indication that Apple stores may replace bent iPhones on an individual basis. While Apple is typically tight-lipped about problems affecting its devices or software, there are signs it may be opening up: The confirmation about the iOS update problem is one example, but Apple also recently directly addressed an iCloud security flaw that led to the exposure of celebrities’ nude photos. The minor moves toward transparency show an Apple that’s taking a different tack from years prior — back in 2010, late CEO Steve Jobs infamously made a non-apology apology for an iPhone 4 problem that prevented the device from making calls when it was held a certain way. While Apple acknowledged the issue and sent customers a special “bumper” case to fix it, Jobs still said the problem had been “blown so out of proportion it’s incredible” — not the kind of language we’re hearing from the company lately.

It’s unclear as to how widespread the problems caused by that iOS update were. When I installed the update on an older iPhone 5C, it worked as advertised, so it’s possible the issues were limited to the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Still, Apple investors balked at the news, sending the company’s stock dipping nearly a percentage point by the closing bell. That’s a decent little dip for the world’s most cash-rich company, but there isn’t much reason to fret. Apple is still selling its new iPhones hand-over-fist, and it appears poised to sell its upcoming Apple Watch hand-over-wrist in just a few months. The company may have a little headache now, but it’s got plenty of aspirin in the medicine cabinet.



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