Apple addresses 2018 iPad Pro ‘Bend’ controversy with new support page

Image Stephen Lam Getty Images

While iPad prices have gone up a bit since the holiday shopping season, they're significantly cheaper than buying direct from the Apple Store.

As previously reported, the issue appears to affect the iPad Pro cellular models more so than the Wi-Fi only models as the support page refers specifically to this variant.

For cellular models, Apple says integrated cellular bands in the sides of the iPad Pro allow "parts of the enclosure to function as cellular antennas", similar to what we've seen on the iPhone. For the first time ever on an iPad, these bands are manufactured using a 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 tablets are then machined to create a seamless integration between the aluminum and plastic.

"The new straight edges and the presence of the antenna splits may make subtle deviations in flatness more visible only from certain viewing angles that are imperceptible during normal use". This flatness specification allows for no more than 400 microns of deviation across the length of any side - less than the thickness of four sheets of paper. The new iPad's flat edges and antenna line might make slight bends more visible, the report said.

Good luck trying to return your bent iPad Pro if you didn't purchase your iPad Pro directly from Apple, however.

A number of iPad Pro owners are complaining their tablets are bent.

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

The problem as pointed out by many is that as the iPad Pro is really thin at 5.9mm, a 400 micron (0.4mm) deviation is indeed very noticeable. Meaning The $999 512 GB 10.5 inch iPad Pro is discounted to just $799 for a few hours. The tech giant states that its tolerances are even higher on the new 2018 iPad Pro lineup. In terms of performance and features, it probably isn't - remember tablets from both years run iOS 12 and all the same apps - but if you really like the new design or the new Apple Pencil and keyboard accessories, you might consider splashing out.

A new product launch wouldn't be complete without some level of controversy, and for the 2018 iPad Pro models the kerfuffle has centered around bending.

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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