Apple Details iPad Pro Manufacturing Techniques and Flatness Standards

Apple doubles down on its bent iPad Pro defence claims everything is fine

It's not the bend of the world

Apple has since confirmed that some iPad Pros are, in fact, shipping with a slight bend, but the company maintains that it's all a part of the manufacturing process and that users don't need to worry about the bend getting worse over time.

In a newly released support note Apple explains how the iPad Pro is made, using a process called "co-molding" where plastic is injected into gaps between the aluminium components. The support page also explains that the antenna spits on the sides of the iPad Pro, which essentially offer optimum cellular performance, were manufactured through a high-temperature process, dubbed co-molding that bonds plastic to the aluminum surface. Apple has a tight tolerance 400 microns - less than four sheets of paper - for its 2018 iPad Pro and any device with a higher degree of bend will be eligible for replacement under warranty. The company went on to say that these deviations may be more noticeable from different viewing angles, and that this may be even more noticeable on iPad Pro cellular models due to the presence of antenna splits located on the tablet's enclosure.

A number of complaints came to light recently from iPad Pro owners who were unhappy to discover that their expensive Apple tablets were bent.

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Apple has published a new support page in a bid to end chatter about some 2018 iPad Pro devices having a slight bend after normal usage or out of the box. The company reiterates what it said last month that the bends "do not affect the strength of the enclosure or the function of the product and will not change over time through normal use". And, while Apple says there's a factory allowed variance of 400 microns, it's possible that some devices are slipping through the testing process. Instead of the curved edges found on previous-generation iPad models, the new iPad Pros feature a rectangular design with straight edges.

Previously, there was no clear course of action for what Apple customers should do if they were shipped a bent iPad Pro, or whether they were entitled to a return; that still mostly remains the case. Otherwise, Apple contends, these deviations "are imperceptible during normal use". "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", it says. And yeah, that doesn't sound like a lot, but then the iPad Pro is only 5.9mm thick, which suddenly makes it sound like a big deal again.

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