Apple Confirms Some New iPad Pros Ship with a Bend (Updated)

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If you've noticed a slight bend in your iPad Pro, your eyes aren't deceiving you. The chassis on some new iPad Pro models are exhibiting a slight but still visible curve that's apparently there even as they're removed from their box for the first time.

ipad pro 2018

Apple confirmed as much to The Verge earlier this week, saying some 2018 models feature the slight bend. It's not a defect, according to Apple, but rather a result of the manufacturing process used to make iPads that occurs from a cooling process with the tablet's metal and plastic parts.

We've asked Apple if the 2018 iPad Pros are the only model affected by this manufacturing process, but have yet to hear back. However, MacRumors reports that one of its readers received a reply from Dan Riccio, Apple's VP of hardware engineering, when he wrote the company about the issue. The unibody design of the iPad Pro "meets or exceeds all of Apple's high quality standards of design and precision manufacturing," Riccio wrote in his email.

"Our current specification for iPad Pro flatness is up to 400 microns, which is even tighter than previous generations," Riccio's letter continued. "This 400 micron variance is less than half a millimeter (or the width of fewer than four sheets of paper at most) and this level of flatness won't change during normal use over the lifetime of the product. Note, these slight variations do not affect the function of the device in any way."

It's unclear just how many iPads are exhibiting this curve. The iPad Pros we have on hand in the office look pretty straight, but user forums like this one at MacRumors feature reports from users affected by the issue. The bend seems to be more pronounced on LTE versions of the iPad Pro, according to The Verge's report.

Questions about the durability of the latest iPad surfaced last month when a video test showed the iPad Pro bending and cracking during a video stress test. However, that video focused on what happens when you apply some pressure to one of Apple's tablets. What Apple is confirming is that some of its tablets are bent right from the get-go.

You should be able to exchange an iPad that arrives bent under Apple's return policy, which covers exchanges up to 14 days after purchase. We've asked Apple to provide further details on what options are available to customers with bent iPad Pros.

Editors' Note: This article was updated on December 21 with comments from Apple vice president of hardware engineering Dan Riccio from a letter to a customer.