Apple Explains 2018 iPad Pro Design In Response To Bendgate Claims

Apple has had a rough couple of months following the release of it's 2018 iPad Pro after it was discovered that the device bends easily under minimal pressure. Apple attempted to explain away any appearances of bending with the iPad Pro by claiming that it's normal for the iPad Pro to be bent from the factory. Apple's Vice President of Hardware Engineering, Dan Riccio, also attempted to sweep the problem under the proverbial rug by claiming that the iPad Pro meets or exceeds all of the company's high quality standards.

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These efforts by Apple have done little to quell the discontent of the company's customers, however, and Apple today released additional information about the iPad Pro's design in a further attempt to calm it's customers and re-assure prospective customers that the iPad Pro's design is durable.

According to Apple, a key design aspect of its 3rd Gen iPad Pro tablets is the device's straight-edged corners instead of the rounded corners used on previous generations of iPad Pro tablets. Apple said that this made it possible for the company to package the tablet's hardware more efficiently. The company went on to say that this is also what gives customers the perspective of a bent tablet.

The iPad Pro uses a new manufacturing processes that injects plastic into milled channels in the aluminum enclosure. After the plastic cools, the tablets are then machined to create a seamless integration between the aluminum and plastic. The product specifications dictate that the flatness of finished models cannot deviate more than 400 microns. Apple said that this is thinner than four sheets of paper -- though presumably thicker than three sheets of paper.

"Our current specification for iPad Pro flatness is up to 400 microns, which is even tighter than previous generations," said Dan Riccio. "The 400 micron variance is less than half a millimeter (or the width of fewer than four sheets of paper at most) and this level of flatness won't change during normal use over the lifetime of the product. Note, these slight variations do not affect the function of the device in any way."

Apple claimed that the targeted flatness deviation is lower than prior generations of the iPad Pro, but the company said that the subtle differences in thickness may be more perceptible to customers due to the straight-edge corner design. The company went on to say that these deviations may be more noticeable from different viewing angles, and that this may be even more noticeable on iPad Pro cellular models due to the presence of antenna splits located on the tablet's enclosure.

The company wants customers to know that this amount of deviation is perfectly normal and does not compromise the strength or durability of the tablet, and the company encourages customers that feel their tablet has bent more than is acceptable to either return the tablet or send it in under warranty.

bent iPad macrumors

Although this may explain a minor bend on some of its iPad Pro tablets, it doesn't help to explain the overall weak and easily bent structure of the device itself. Instead, it feels as though Apple is yet again trying to sweep the entire situation under the rug and pretend that bending to a degree of more than 400 microns isn't happening. The company completely ignores evidence to the contrary, however, such as the video by JerryRigEverything that showed a 2018 iPad Pro bending like a paperback book with minimal pressure.

Given how easy these devices bend, it appears that they either do not meet Apple's quality standards, or it must be that Apple's quality standards actually aren't that high. As this has been reported several times now, it could very well be latter. It seems likely that the only way customers left holding a bent iPad Pro will get any help here (other than returning the device) will be by means of yet another class action lawsuit.