Bendgate 2.0: New Apple support page reiterates visible bends are "normal"

Alonzo Simpson
January 13, 2019

Both the 2018 iPad Pros and the 2017 iPad Pros support keyboard attachments and the Apple Pencil - though you need a different Apple Pencil depending on the year of the iPad Pro.

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.

The strips are added using a process called "co-molding" where "plastic is injected into precisely milled channels in the aluminum enclosure where it bonds to micro-pores in the aluminum surface".

The support article says that Apple adheres to just 400 micron of flatness tolerances and anything outside of that range will qualify for a warranty fix or replacement.

According to the page, the new iPad design and antenna lines may make "subtle deviations in flatness" more perceptible to the naked eye. Apple attempted to explain away any appearances of bending with the iPad Pro by claiming that it's normal for the iPad Pro to be bent from the factory. "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", Apple writes on the support page.

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This is the highest discount that Apple is offering on 10.5 inch iPad Pro till date. "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". The product specifications dictate that the flatness of finished models can not deviate more than 400 microns. Apple's Vice President of Hardware Engineering, Dan Riccio, also attempted to sweep the problem under the proverbial rug by claiming that the iPad Pro meets or exceeds all of the company's high quality standards.

If you're already an iPad Pro user that relies on the Apple Pencil and are planning on upgrading to a new iPad Pro, then Apple has a nasty surprise in store for you.

Apple reiterated the previously shared tolerance of 400 microns, which is a stricter allowance than previous models of the iPad. The new USB-C port on the 2018 iPad Pros can mirror the display to a compatible keyboard and read photos from a memory card, but you can't plug any USB-C device in there (external hard drives won't work).

And while Apple originally said this is a feature, not a bug, the firm now returns with a more detailed explanation on what exactly happens and why such a "subtle deviation" (Apple's very own words) shouldn't be worrying.

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