In the aftermath of multiple claims that the most recent iPad Pros are prone to bending, Apple has recently added a page on its support site that explained the manufacturing process behind the new tablets and stressed how the devices are supposed to be “strong, light, and durable.”
As summarized by the Verge, the new support page focused mainly on the Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Pro, which is the model reportedly affected the most by the alleged bending issues. According to Apple, the slight bends that might show up on the new iPad Pro were caused by a manufacturing process recently introduced for the 2018 models, as well as the cooling process that allows for the “seamless integration” of plastic and aluminum into a durable casing for the tablet.
“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,” Apple added.
Talking about the newly introduced straight edges and the antenna splits where the bends supposedly appear on the 2018 iPad Pro, Apple noted that there could be “subtle deviations” in flatness that can only be seen if the device is viewed from certain angles, but not during normal use. The tech giant added that these deviations do not compromise the strength of the iPad Pro’s casing, nor do they cause any issues with the tablet’s functionality.
Per Mashable, the 2018 iPad Pro’s “Bendgate” issues started in November, soon after the tablet’s announcement, when a user shared a video that showed how easy it is to fold the iPad Pro in half. Apple originally commented on the issue last month, similarly stressing that the bends were not a defect per se, but rather an aftereffect of the manufacturing process.
Given this similarity in explanations for the bending, the Verge noted that Apple did not explain things in layman’s terms, nor did it offer any photos showing an iPad with a 400-micron deviation in terms of flatness. The publication also pointed out that multiple iPad Pro users have shared images of bent devices that are “clearly warped” beyond the 400-micron threshold.
On the other hand, the Verge observed that it could indeed be easier to spot bends on a device that is only 5.9 millimeters thick, with a prominent antenna line. In contrast to the Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Pro, the Wi-Fi-only version does not have antenna splits and hasn’t received as many customer complaints about bending.
For the meantime, Apple is advising customers who have 2018 iPad Pros with bending beyond 400 microns to contact Apple Support or return the device if it is still within the 14-day return policy.