| Cult of Mac

Apple isn’t ignoring ‘Bendgate,’ will replace affected devices


Is your iPhone 6 Plus still as straight as it was the day you got it? Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
Is your iPhone 6 Plus still as straight as it was the day you got it? Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

It turns out that things made out of thin pieces of aluminum will bend under enough force. Who’d have thought it? But fortunately for those who are experiencing the well-documented “Bendgate” issue with a new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple is not ignoring the problem: The company will replace devices under warranty so long as they pass a visual inspection.

iSkin’s Claro GearCare Combo Is An iPhone Case With Accident Insurance



Q) What’s safer than keeping your iPhone in a soft case to protect against unexpected falls and impacts? A) a soft case that just happens to give you accidental damage insurance.

That’s the neat concept behind iSkin’s new Claro GearCare combo, which combines the clarity of a hard plastic case, the protection of a soft-gel case and the security of, well, a good warranty service — thanks to an included GearCare Accidental Damage Warranty Service.

Belgian Judge Almost Blocked Apple’s Website Over Misleading Warranty Options



An investigative magistrate in Belgium reportedly considered forcing Internet service providers to block Apple’s website, after claims that the company is misleading customers over warranty options.

Apple has been involved with a long-running dispute with the European legal system over its one-year limited warranty, which it offers as standard to consumers around the world — but which is in conflict with European regulations that allows buyers a minimum of two years’ free protection.

Samsung To Launch AppleCare+ Competitor For Smartphones, Tablets & More



Samsung looks to be preparing its own extended warranty plans that will provide additional coverage for its smartphones, tablets, and other consumer electronics, according to a new trademark registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Called “Protection Plus,” the service is expected to offer the same kind of protection that is available to iPhone, iPad, and iPod users with AppleCare+.

Ask An Apple Genius: Extending Your iPhone 5 Warranty, Water Damaged MacBooks And Swapping iPhone Colors



This is the Cult of Mac’s exclusive column written by an actual Apple retail store genius. Our genius must remain anonymous, but other than “Who are you, anyway?” ask anything you want about what goes on behind that slick store facade.  

Answers will be published first in Cult of Mac’s Magazine on Newsstand. Send your questions to with genius in the subject line.

With iPhone 5 warranties about to expire for early adopters, our Genius runs through the litany of legitimate issues you can use to get your iPhone replaced for free. We also dive into whether it’s better to be upfront about water damage and switching colors when the Genius Bar replaces your device.

1. My iPhone 5 warranty is about to expire.  How can I get my device replaced for free so I have a new iPhone from the warranty of the old one?

Like any piece of advanced tech, the iPhone certainly has its faults and manufacturing defects, even if they are somewhat rare.

Hardware defects are the easiest way to go

One of the biggest problems we have to swap iPhones for is the sleep/wake button. That button often gives out or gets jammed and becomes unresponsive. If that happens we swap the device. Same thing for the volume buttons. The home button isn’t as common a replacement. We may be able to do a modular repair to replace the flex assembly that goes to your home button. Often times that fixes it, but if it doesn’t we’ll swap it out.

Essentially, hardware defects are the easiest way to go. Camera defects come up frequently too, with issues like spots or lines on the sensor and shutter fails being the most common issue. We don’t have a camera replacement for the iPhone 5, so if you have any of those issues, definitely bring it in. There have also been issues with the iPhone 5’s metal enclosure getting bent out shape. As long as the screen isn’t cracked and the bend or morphing is noticeable, your warranty covers that as well.

Getting an iPhone replaced under warranty for a software issue is a bit trickier. Most software issues that people see will not lead to an iPhone replacement. Before you come to the Genius Bar you’ll be reminded to try rebooting your iPhone and restore from a backup. Those two quick steps usually do fix most software issues. Some software issues – like maybe your WiFi has gone out – can get you a replacement iPhone as long as the Genius can observe and verify the issue.

The good thing about taking your iPhone 5 in for those issues:  it won’t cost you anything and extends your warranty for another 90 days. After two replacements we have to ask a manager for permission to replace an iPhone, even if it’s a legitimate reason. Most of the time managers are cool and will just tell us to go ahead and swap it, but the two-replacement policy is supposed to act as a safeguard from people who try to milk Apple for an infinite number of replacement iPhones.

2. Why won’t the Genius Bar let me change the color of my iPhone when I get it replaced under AppleCare+?

Essentially, we don’t allow it in order to benefit our customers and make sure that inventory flows through the channels in the most efficient way possible.

When you buy a black iPhone, Apple keeps track of how many models it has sold in each color and plans out how many it will need to supply for replacements at the Apple Store. It’s a complicated process to get all the Apple Stores stocked with the right amount of iPhones in the various configurations, even though Apple makes it look easy.

Allowing customers to change colors at random would add an extra element of variation to Apple’s supply chain and could result in supply shortages. And then customers who actually need a device swap in their original color would get screwed over. So, sorry, you’re stuck with your original color choice. Choose wisely.

3. My 30-day-old MacBook Pro had a little accident involving water on the ride home. The screen isn’t working, but it will output video to an external monitor. What’s my best bet when approaching the Genius Bar – pretending I don’t know what happened, or fessing up?

Honesty is the best policy right? The Apple Geniuses are going to find out one way or another that your MacBook is water damaged. It’s better for them to find out from you right away, so fess up to it, but ask them what the best options are.

The Genius Bar is there to fix your computer, but it’s really about fixing your relationship with Apple

Ask them what was damaged and what repairs can be done. Sometimes – especially in your case where you purchased it very recently – they may be able to talk to a manager to help you out, so it’s good start off on the right foot.

The Genius Bar is there to fix your computer, but it’s really about fixing your relationship with Apple. Because the company wants to represent itself well and get great customer satisfaction scores, a manager might give you a break and only make you pay a partial amount of the repair, or even hook you up with a free repair.

iFixit Walks Us Through An iPhone 5 Battery Replacement [Video]



Battery life on the iPhone 5 is pretty good when you compare it to other high-end devices with LTE connectivity, so if you’re having to charge yours more than normal, then you may need a new battery. But don’t worry — battery replacements are relatively cheap, and they’re so easy, you can probably do them yourself.

Teardown specialists iFixit show you how in a new five-minute walkthrough video.

Drop Test Proves Galaxy S4’s ‘Durable’ Plastic Is No Match For iPhone 5’s Aluminum [Video]



Samsung has had to defend the Galaxy S4’s plastic form factor quite a bit since the device was announced back in March, and one of the ways it has done that is by touting the handsets durability. Plastic, Samsung claims, makes the device much more robust than competing smartphones because it bends and absorbs impact.

But as we suspected all along, aluminum is stronger. In a smartphone torture test performed by warranty provider SquareTrade, the Galaxy S4 fails to beat the iPhone 5 in drop tests, and even proved to be more fragile than its predecessor, the Galaxy S III.

This Simple Tool Is How Geniuses Decide To Void Your MacBook Warranty



Why is it that some people can walk into their local Apple Store with a broken MacBook and walk away with a free replacement, and other people are turned away, with Apple claiming the repair is due to user error… even if it isn’t?

It has less to do with whether or not you actually voided your warranty than if Apple thinks they can prove you voided your warranty. And the most important tool Apple uses to prove you’re responsible for the damage to your own machine? It’s a tool that inspects dents.

Apple Settles iPhone Warranty Lawsuit With $53 Million Payout


A liquid damage indicator inside an iPhone.
A liquid damage indicator inside an iPhone.

Apple has agreed to pay $53 million to settle a class action lawsuit that accuses the Cupertino company of failing to honor warranties on iPhones and iPod touches. The settlement could see hundreds of thousands of Apple customers receiving a payout after being refused repairs or replacements on faulty devices still under warranty.