Bendgate 2.0: New Apple support page reiterates visible bends are "normal"
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Apple continues to double down on its position that there is nothing abnormal about its all-new iPad Pro models shipping with some level of curvature out of the box. The company has published a new support page that purports that the flatness specifications for the new models have even tighter tolerances for bends than previous iPad generations. Again, a 400 micron tolerance has been specified, which Apple says is no thicker than “four sheets of paper.”
As previously reported, the issue appears to affect the iPad Pro cellular models more so than the Wi-Fi only models as the support page refers specifically to this variant. The issue seems to be related to the way the plastic antenna bands cool after they are injected at high temperatures into the enclosure, which would appear to make sense. But surely questions have to be asked about whether the aluminum that Apple is using is sufficiently strong enough of the cooling process is causing the metal to warp to any degree?
From the Apple support page:
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.
Apple goes on to suggest that because the new design features straight edges that any manufacturing deviations may be easier to spot with the naked eye than previous iPad designs, that featured curved edges. Otherwise, Apple contends, these deviations “are imperceptible during normal use.” Any customers who have purchased an iPad Pro that they believe deviates from what Apple considers normal are invited to return their device to Appel within the 14-day return period.
Good luck trying to return your bent iPad Pro if you didn’t purchase your iPad Pro directly from Apple, however.