In response to a shocking, late-December report where multiple users shared their experiences noticing a slight bend in their brand new 2018 iPad Pros, Apple acknowledged that what appeared to be a resurgent case of Bendgate 2.0 is merely a resulting side-effect of “cooling metal and plastic components” during the super-thin tablet’s manufacturing process.
Despite the company’s initial assurances, reports of the issue have only continued trickling in, with one of Apple’s own former engineering executives noting that he experienced the issue and returned his iPad Pro in light of it.
Fortunately, the company released a much more formal and official support document directly addressing concerns about its 2018 iPad Pro-bending controversy.
And while it appears to mostly double-down on its previous statements (that the bend is merely the result of a new and complex manufacturing process), this week’s document offers some additional guidelines and useful information.
Thinking Ahead of the Curve?
- “To provide optimal cellular performance,” Apple explains, a series of small vertical bands (or splits) have been incorporated in the new tablet’s exterior housing, allowing parts of the enclosure to function as cellular antennas.”
- “For the first time ever on an iPad, these bands are manufactured using a process called co-molding.”
- “In this high-temperature process, plastic is injected into precisely milled channels in the aluminum enclosure where it bonds to micro-pores in the aluminum surface.”
- “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.”
In its document, Apple outlines the importance and significance of this manufacturing process, noting for example how it’s primarily used to ensure that the new 5.9 millimeter-thick iPad Pros meet a “flatness specification of no more than a 400 micron deviation [or less than the thickness of four sheets of paper] along any side.”
Ultimately, while the company conceded that this process (in conjunction with the new iPad Pro’s super-slim design) could make these minor design deviations more visible than in previous models, the process is actually meant to ensure otherwise.
“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,” Apple says. “These small variances do not affect the strength of the enclosure or the function of the product and will not change over time through normal use.”
How to Handle a “Bent” 2018 iPad Pro
According to Apple, even if you happen to notice a minor bend in your 2018 iPad Pro’s chassis, there’s no imminent reason for concern as the device should function as expected, regardless.
Still, the tech-giant encourages its customers to reach out to Apple Support with any concerns that their 2018 iPad Pro does not align with the company’s specification standards — while reminding them of its no-hassle 14-day return policy and one-year limited warranty on all new products.
Sadly, this wouldn’t be the first time Apple’s been required to publicly respond to reports of bending devices. Back in 2016, a major controversy concerning the iPhone 6 Plus’ “bendgate” issue — in which multiple buyers of the first-ever iPhone phablet reported instances of their handset bending tremendously under pressure — quickly swept the internet.