Modern iPhones and iPads are intentionally designed to be as thin as possible. And while that’s [unfortunately] proven them susceptible to warping (or bending under extreme stress, often over the course of time), customers will be happy to know that Apple goes to great lengths to ensure the long-term integrity of its products — as evidenced by its extensive use of aerospace-grade aluminum, and stainless steel internal support structures, in nearly all of its latest flagship products.
Sadly, as we’ve seen before in the epic instance of Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus’ “Bendgate” fiasco — even despite the efforts to strengthen its devices, some are still exhibiting signs of warping right out of the box.
What’s Goin On?
According to a report from The Verge, Apple this week confirmed in a statement that “some” 2018 iPad Pro units exhibiting “bent chassis” have indeed been shipped out to consumers — although not intentionally, noting that the deformation is neither a cosmetic defect nor even a reason for concern, period.
In its official statement provided to publication, Apple acknowledges and notes that the perceived bending is merely “a side effect of the device’s manufacturing process”. Specifically, it’s “the result of a cooling process involving the iPad Pro’s metal and plastic components during manufacturing” — and that the bending “shouldn’t worsen over time or negatively affect the flagship iPad’s performance in any practical way.”
According to user reports, both 11- and 12.9-inch (2018) iPad Pros — which measure an impressively thin 5.9mm — appear to be affected by the issue, with both Wi-Fi and LTE variants exhibiting signs of warping, indiscriminately.
Apple’s confirmation of the issue, which it specifically points out is NOT a structural defect, comes in response to several reports on social media of users claiming that their iPad Pros either “developed a small curve or bend” over time, or that they exhibited signs of warping straight out of the box.
Should I Be Concerned?
While these reports are certain to raise a red flag in the minds of anyone who recently dropped $800 or more on the first-ever Face ID-equipped iPad, Apple pointed out that concerns over the 2018 iPad Pro’s structural integrity are largely overblown, if not unfounded, altogether.
The company also notes in the statement that its latest iPad Pro is seeing a “normal return rate,” meaning that the majority of buyers thus far have either not yet observed, or are simply not bothered by, the bend (if it’s present on their device).
Apple further concedes that customers who receive a bent unit from the factory should be able to return or exchange it without trouble — supposing they’re still within the company’s standard 14-day return period for hardware purchases.
Any evidence of warping, as the result of accidental damage or general wear-and-tear, may be subject to additional out-of-pocket costs, however, and especially for those lacking AppleCare+ protection.
It’s currently unclear how many users this issue might be impacting. Of course, the matter is statistically significant enough already to make news headlines — but that could always change and require additional action on Apple’s behalf, as today’s report circulates and more 2018 iPad Pro buyers get the chance to discern whether their unit is impacted or not.