Friday 20 October 2017

Apple’s new iPhones dogged by glitches including blocking calls and bending

The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets
The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets
iPhone 6 models.

Apple's newest iPhones have been hit by glitches after users complained that a new software update blocked their calls - and a widely-circulated video showed the larger of the two new models was vulnerable to bending.

Apple said it would stop providing the software update, which it began distributing yesterday to fix several issues in last week's iOS 8 operating system for iPhones and iPads.

The decision to pull the update came after some people complained on Twitter and in Apple user chatrooms that the update, dubbed iOS 8.0.1, rendered their phones unable to make calls and caused problems with a feature that lets people unlock their phones with their fingerprint.

Apple announced that it was investigating the reports and would issue advice to users "as quickly as we can". Users are still able to the 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.

Some tech blogs reported the update only seemed to cause problems for the latest phone models - the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

It is not uncommon for new software to contain bugs that have to be fixed with subsequent releases.

Meanwhile, social media sites were buzzing with reports that the aluminium shell of the iPhone 6 Plus was vulnerable to bending. 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.

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 "breakability" test conducted by SquareTrade, a San Francisco firm that sells insurance to consumers for their electronic devices. The test did not include bending.

But SquareTrade chief marketing officer Ty Shay said that after reports of bending circulated online, two employees at his firm tried to bend a pair of 6 Plus phones. One, a man, was able to duplicate the results from the video, while the other, a woman, could not. He said the bent phone appeared to still function normally.

Mr 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," he said, "but it seems like for the most part it's cosmetic damage."

He suggested the bending was 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 bending reports.

Apple later offered users a way to manually reverse the update provided earlier.

It involves connecting the phone to a Mac or Windows computer and downloading a file to restore the older software. Apple's web page with instructions is on http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6487 .

Press Association

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