Apple Addresses Bent iPad Pro Controversy With New Support Page

Yolanda Curtis
January 13, 2019

While iPad prices have gone up a bit since the holiday shopping season, they're significantly cheaper than buying direct from the Apple Store. Cellular iPad Pros feature Gigabit-class LTE, with support for more cellular bands.

The document explains how every cellular iPad model undergoes a special manufacturing process called co-molding. It's a high temperature process involving the injection of plastic into precisely milled channels within the aluminum case. "After the plastic cools, the entire enclosure is finished with a precision CNC machining operation, yielding a seamless integration of plastic and aluminum into a single, strong enclosure", it says.

The support article says that Apple adheres to just 400 micron of flatness tolerances and anything outside of that range will qualify for a warranty fix or replacement. Cupertino stressed that these slight bends are imperceptible during normal use and they don't affect the enclosure's strength or the tablet's performance.

As Apple tells it, the new iPad Pros meet a higher specification for flatness than previous iPad models and that any discernible bend is likely only visible from "certain viewing angles".

Reports of ever-so-slightly bent 2018 iPad Pros surfaced shortly after their release, with some users claiming that they'd received the product bent straight out of the box.

See their blog post in full here.

These precision manufacturing techniques and a rigorous inspection process ensure that these new iPad Pro models meet an even tighter specification for flatness than previous generations.

Apple has since confirmed that some iPad Pros are, in fact, shipping with a slight bend, but the company maintains that it's all a part of the manufacturing process and that users don't need to worry about the bend getting worse over time.

The support article is entitled iPad Pro unibody enclosure design, and on it Apple explains "how the enclosure is made and tested".

Apple's iPad exploded into the consumer tech market in April of 2010, months ahead of the first Android-powered tablet, and since then the company has sold some 400 million units. The new USB-C port on the 2018 iPad Pros can mirror the display to a compatible keyboard and read photos from a memory card, but you can't plug any USB-C device in there (external hard drives won't work).

Of course, it's possible some of the devices that are exhibiting bends in excess of Apple's tolerances are mistreating their devices.

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