Apple says some 2018 iPad Pro units ship with bent chassis, not considered a defect

in iPad edited February 2020
Apple on Wednesday confirmed "some" 2018 iPad Pro models ship out to consumers with a slightly bent chassis, though the company says the deformation does not degrade performance and is not considered a defect.

iPad Pro Bend
An 11-inch iPad Pro exhibits a bend out of the box. | Source: The Verge

In a statement to The Verge, Apple said the bend is a byproduct of the manufacturing process. Specifically, the warpage results from a cooling process affecting the tablet's metal and plastic components.

Supporting Apple's claims are photos of bent iPad Pro units that exhibit bends at or near the plastic antenna "lines" that trace their way around cellular-capable versions of the device. The company did not specify whether the issue is restricted to LTE models, but users of Wi-Fi only versions have posted complaints regarding similar bending to social media outlets.

Reports of curved or bent iPad Pro models began circulating online shortly after the device debuted in November. Some impacted users have claimed the bend slowly emerges after weeks of use, while others noticed an abnormal curvature out of the box.

According to Apple's statement on the matter, affected iPad Pro units arrive bent from the factory. Indeed, The Verge sent a bent unit to Apple's engineering team and received a brand new replacement that exhibited the same curve in its aluminum chassis.

Whether the tablets also bend, or bend further, over the course of daily use is unknown.

One of the first documented cases appeared on YouTube when JerryRigEverything destroyed an iPad Pro with what appeared to be minimal effort. As AppleInsider noted at the time, most modern devices are designed to be as thin as possible, making them susceptible to warping under severe stress. Apple reduces the chance of buckling through the use of high grade aluminum and internal support structures, though even its products cave when enough pressure is applied.

For its part, Apple told The Verge that concerns over the tablet's structural integrity are unfounded.

The report notes owners who receive a bent unit from the factory should be able to replace it with little trouble. More severe warping due to accidental damage would necessitate an AppleCare+ claim or out-of-pocket fee for replacement. That said, Apple typically does not conduct free replacements beyond a customary two-week grace period, meaning owners who are just now noticing a bend in their iPad Pro might be out of luck.

Apple points out that its latest iPad Pro is seeing a normal return rate, suggesting most users have not observed or are not bothered by the manufacturing side effect. That could change in the coming weeks as today's report circulates. Consumers who pay upwards of $800 for a tablet undoubtedly want a perfect device, one free from even the slightest aesthetic foible.

Apple has dealt with similar problems in the past, most notably the so-called "bendgate" controversy that afflicted iPhone 6 and 6 Plus smartphones in 2014. The first of Apple's phablet-sized handsets, the iPhone 6 series was for some users prone to bending during everyday use. Apple rectified the problem by utilizing stronger 7000 series aluminum in its devices starting with iPhone 6s in 2015.


  • Reply 1 of 87
    So, not a defect; it's a feature ...
  • Reply 2 of 87
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 1,105member
    You would think a 40 year old company would have learned their PR mistakes by this point.
    elijahgnetmageanton zuykoventropysMisterKittenchi211bonobobmuthuk_vanalingamboredumbols
  • Reply 3 of 87
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,781member
    If I was forking out £750 for a premium tablet and it was noticeably bent it'd be going back the same day. If it was minor enough not to be noticeable in daily use then it wouldn't matter to me.

    As AppleInsider noted at the time, most modern Apple devices are designed to be as thin as possible, making them susceptible to severe warping under stress.
  • Reply 4 of 87
    I absolutely loathe those the use the name of Steve Jobs but this definitely seems like something he wouldn't tolerate.
  • Reply 5 of 87
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,129member
    tyler82 said:
    You would think a 40 year old company would have learned their PR mistakes by this point.
    Which PR mistake is that?  Telling the truth, not hiding behind a "no comment" response?
  • Reply 6 of 87
    flydog said:
    tyler82 said:
    You would think a 40 year old company would have learned their PR mistakes by this point.
    Which PR mistake is that?  Telling the truth, not hiding behind a "no comment" response?
    "You're holding the phone wrong if your not getting good signal"
    freshmakermuthuk_vanalingamanton zuykovboredumbdoozydozenThrashman
  • Reply 7 of 87
    The are additional photos on the verge website too showing even more bent ones. I recently held an iPad Pro and thought the engineering was stunning.. but this puts me off completely.  

    Bent at out of the box. Unacceptable. 

    Bent after a couple of weeks. Unacceptable. 

    My my iPad air 2 isn’t bent in the slightest after a few years now. Apple has dropped the ball here (on PR and engineering by the looks of it)
  • Reply 8 of 87
    It's clear these devices are easy to bend and now even more worrying they are bending during manufacturing too.

    Apple are cutting corners in an attempt  to sustain their profits, it's a sad indictment of shareholder greed.
  • Reply 9 of 87
    Mine is perfectly fine. I’ll bet the number of people who have this issue is tiny but gets blown up on the internet. Still not a good look for Apple st say no big deal. If mine was bent it would get returned immediately.
    edited December 2018 racerhomie3MisterKitsupadav03muthuk_vanalingambonobobdoozydozenfirelock
  • Reply 10 of 87
    Any piece of bendy electronics with an potentially “exploding” battery is a concern.  That said, I’d have a rigid case on it anyways.

    Still Apple needs to do a bit better with product testing & QC.

    I watched the video previously and I was embarrassed for Apple.
    edited December 2018 muthuk_vanalingamboredumbnumenoreanyola
  • Reply 11 of 87
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,212member
    Unbelievable. Apple is not the company it was a decade ago.
  • Reply 12 of 87
    thttht Posts: 5,530member
    As per the article, if it is bent out of the box, return it and get another one, or just return it. 

    Not sure if this is bad PR comm from Apple or media storytelling, but if it is bent out of the box, return it. 

    I would notice if it was slightly bent immediately, but maybe other people really don’t notice after using it for a couple of weeks?
  • Reply 13 of 87
    If you have a problem with this, please return it. Having a bent chassis is not good for any product. If you want a warranty claim it might even be considered a mismanagement.
  • Reply 14 of 87
    Agreed.....returned the darn bent thingy...
  • Reply 15 of 87
    ronnronn Posts: 669member
    Just checked the newish iPad Pro. No bends. But it's mostly in a case. A bit paranoid now.  :#

    Steve Jobs wouldn't tolerate this? The same Steve Jobs that told iPhone customers with reception issues that they were "holding it wrong?" That Steve Jobs?  ;)
  • Reply 16 of 87
    Not an apologist. But my new 11” iPad ain’t bent. I’m happy. It’s in a case, and i’m Not worried about it bending either. If I had bought the 10.5” this summer, which I was about to do, I probably wouldn’t have upgraded a few months later when the new ones came out, regardless of this bending news or not. But i bought one, since I was coming from an iPad mini, and I would buy again regardless as well. I went to the store many times and felt confident thru personal hands on testing that bending wasn’t an issue. I still feel that way. If this cooling news is true, my advice is if you get one, simply return it and try again.

    But I also don’t think anyone who is sitting out this update and waiting for the next one is wrong either. Do what you feel is best for you. I am not trying to convince anyone to buy against their personal feelings. 

    All I can say, without apology or worry is that the 11” iPad Pro is the best iPad i’ve Ever owned. Period. Loving it so far.
  • Reply 17 of 87
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,866moderator
    There’s a one year warrantee that comes with pretty much any electronics product.  So the two-week return period is not at issue here, in my opinion.  Folks should simply return any unit they find is bent in this manner.  

    The acknowledgement by Apple has come well within the product’s first year of being on sale, so everyone who has purchased one is eligible for a warrantee replacement.  The fact Apple says it’s not a defect, I suspect, will not imply Apple is considering not honoring a warranty replacement; it’s just Apple sending a message that there’s no need to worry regarding further bending susceptibility or normal use of the product should a user decide not to return it.

    I’d be very surprised if my assessment regarding Apple’s stance on this matter is not accurate.  The fact that this bend would likely reduce the iPad’s resale value, alone, would be reason enough for Apple to volunteer replacement under warrantee. Otherwise they invite a class-action, and they’re smart enough to know this.  
  • Reply 18 of 87
    Yeah!! …..Bent Chassis, out of the Box, is 100% COMPLETE FAIL !! My purchase would be immediately returned, within my 14-day, return window. and I am an AAPL stock holder.
    edited December 2018 muthuk_vanalingamThrashman
  • Reply 19 of 87
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,254member
    Apple on Wednesday confirmed "some" 2018 iPad Pro models ship out to consumers with a slightly bent chassis, though the company says the deformation does not degrade performance and is not considered a defect. 
    Translation: The defect is widespread and would be too expensive for us to acknowledge, retool and replace affected units.

    Alternative translation: Apple are first to market with a curved display tablet.

    Apple Marketing translation: An iPad so powerful it bends the space-time continuum!
  • Reply 20 of 87
    thttht Posts: 5,530member
    This is certainly disappointing.  Many readers might remember that Jobs kept rejecting computer cases because they had a visible seam.  Not a defect but he was meticulous with aesthetics. I agree with Netmage that Jobs would not tolerate this. 
    You have to remember that when you read a headline with words like “some”, it usually means some very very small numbers. They ship millions of units. A 0.1% rate of units that make it out slightly bent means thousands of units make it on to the market. 

    Jobs would most certainly have tolerated it and would have totally understood it to be a natural part of mass manufacturing. Some borderline or bad units get out. 

    In today’s world, even if 0.001% were bent out of the box, it will be found out, a video produced for people to see and a PR comment requested. 

    Apple PR said something in a way they shouldn’t have. They should have said that people should return it. That’s basically the policy they have. People aren’t forced to keep it. Just return it. 
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