Following reports that some 2018 iPad Pros shipped with bent bodies, Apple has posted a support page that outlines the manufacturing process in hopes to end the controversy.
According to the page, the new iPad design and antenna lines may make “subtle deviations in flatness” more perceptible to the naked eye.
Essentially, Apple says the new flat-edged design and antenna lines make slight bends look worse than they are on the Wi-Fi + Cellular model of the iPad Pro. It’s worth noting the page focuses specifically on this iPad model. The standard Wi-Fi model has received fewer reports of bending, which some attribute to the extra plastic antenna line on the LTE variant.
Apple has also cited the new cooling process used in manufacturing as the cause of any slight bends. The company explained the cooling process on the support page, which you can read below:
To provide optimal cellular performance, small vertical bands or “splits” in the sides of the iPad allow 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.
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 reiterated the previously shared tolerance of 400 microns, which is a stricter allowance than previous models of the iPad.
Despite this, several of the bent iPad Pro pictures that users shared show noticeable warps that appear to be greater than 400 microns.
For those who believe their iPad is bent beyond the 400-micron specification, Apple invites you to contact Apple Support. The company confirmed its warranty would cover damage “due to a defect in materials or workmanship.”