Millions of people saw the infamous video of a man bending the iPhone 6 Plus with his bare hands. But the so-called "Bendgate" episode hasn't stopped millions of people from buying Apple's big, expensive new iPhone.
A new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), a Chicago-based market research firm, says that 13 percent of all iPhones sold in the U.S. in the quarter that ended last month were iPhone 6 Pluses. The data from the report were provided exclusively to The Huffington Post.
The percentage of iPhone 6 Pluses sold is especially high given that the phone, along with its smaller sibling, the iPhone 6, was on sale for fewer than two weeks of the quarter, which ran from late June through late September. The phones went on sale in the U.S. on Sept. 19.
"The phone bending, I think, was a non-issue," Mike Levin, a partner at CIRP, told The Huffington Post in an interview. "Bending iPhones was a nuisance and a distraction that detracted from what was otherwise a very successful product introduction. And the data shows it."
Levin added that the numbers for the 6 Plus are even more impressive given that Apple faced supply constraints. The phone was backordered hours after it became available for preorder, and it was sold out in some Apple stores the weekend of the launch.
The iPhone 6, which has a 4.7-inch screen, fared even better than the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, comprising 33 percent of all iPhones sold in the most recent quarter. In all, the new iPhones accounted for nearly half of all iPhones sold last quarter.
CIRP's study surveyed 500 Apple customers in the U.S. who had bought an iPhone, iPad or Mac between July and September. Levin said that the survey results represent Apple's most recent fiscal quarter, which ran through Sept. 27.
Apple will announce the results of its fiscal quarter next week.
The Cupertino-based technology giant said it sold a record 10 million iPhones in the first three days that the new models were on sale, though the company didn't break down how many of those were the bigger and more expensive iPhone 6 Plus. Apple said on Monday that the new iPhones will go on sale in 36 more countries and territories by the end of October.
The relatively large share of iPhone 6 Plus sales bodes well for Apple because the phone is Apple's most expensive iPhone yet. It starts at $299 on a two-year contract, and $749 off-contract. Apple has for years started its flagship phone at $199 on a two-year contract and $649 off-contract.
"What's really, really interesting here is Apple basically created another price point," Levin told HuffPost. "For a little more additional cost they captured a lot more margin and persuaded a lot of people who would have bought a $200 phone to buy a $300 phone."