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Apple dives deeper into the iPad Pro bending phenomenon

Published Jan 7th, 2019 3:25PM EST
iPad Pro Bend
Image: thanat sasipatanapa

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A few weeks back, a growing number of iPad Pro users began noticing a subtle bend in the chassis of their iPad Pros. Though the bend doesn’t impact performance or usability in any way, it’s not exactly something one expects to see from a top-of-the-line Apple product.

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. With that said, Apple recently published a new support document which addresses the issue and sheds a bit more light on the iPad Pro manufacturing process.

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.” Further, Apple notes that the perceived bend is only visible on account of the device’s revamped form factor.

The support document reads in part:

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. 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 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.

Not surprisingly, Apple’s support document echoes previous remarks made by Dan Riccio, Apple’s Senior VP of hardware engineering. In an email sent to an iPad Pro buyer late last month, Riccio explained:

This 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.

Of course, if you have a new iPad Pro and simply can’t come to grips with the aesthetic of a seemingly bent device, you’ll want to return it for a full refund within 14 days of purchase.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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