No, Apple, a slightly bent iPad Pro straight out of the box isn't acceptable

Posted:
in iPad
A slightly bent chassis may not impede the new iPad Pro from working right, but Apple implying that this happening in any quantity to end-users is okay in any way defies reason.

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


Contrary to appearances, I don't work all day and all night. So, when I hit the headlines this morning and was confronted with an array of testimonies talking about how some of Apple's customers with a new iPad Pro were taking them out of the box pre-bent, that took a few reads to fully process.

We've spoken about Apple's quality assurance at some length, just a hair over a year ago. We still don't think that there need to be mass firings, or sacrificial executives laid at the altar -- but this iPad Pro situation isn't good, and harkens back to G4 Cube mold marks, and a few other issues from days of yore. Yes, even Steve Jobs had issues like this.

It's early on Thursday, but we've already looked at our continued collation of service data, spoken to a few Apple dealers, and to other staff inside Apple not authorized to speak on behalf of the company. Based on service data and return rates, this does not appear to be a widespread or endemic problem. However, the fact that somebody at Apple has spoken out about it means it is not a trivial amount of customers who could be easily and quietly handled by being given a replacement with a perfunctory "hey, look at that" by Genius Bar staff before before anybody catches wind of the issue.

AppleInsider's advice is this: open those iPads you've got under the tree, and check them right now, to make sure that it isn't bent prior to any use by the recipient. Take advantage of that generous holiday return period that Apple is currently offering, and get one that's not bent and don't stop until you get one.

If you've got an older unit from launch, you might be out of luck. If you think it was bent out of the box, calmly and politely talk to Apple about it, get a case number, and keep watching AppleInsider for more information on it going forward. Remember, you aren't talking to factory workers or engineers, and they had nothing to do with the current situation -- so screaming at them isn't going to help you, or make them want to solve your problem. Of course, if you bent it, that's a different matter altogether, and please don't go down this road.

Pre-bent from the factory is fine in a $40 craplet. It is much less so in a $800 and up Apple iPad Pro.
wallymmuthuk_vanalingamdysamoria
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 114
    I will be happy to get a bent one for 50% off. :).  

    I purchased a used iPhone 6 from a coworker recently for a family member.   This coworker is meticulous about their things and has never placed their phone in their pants pocket.  I had taken it to the Apple Store to have the $29 battery swap before the deal expires on 12/31.  Apple performed an inspection in store and said “we may not be able to swap out the battery because the chassis is bent.”  Sure enough, it was if you looked carefully.  The 2nd tech who was to actually do the repair reluctantly gave it a green light.  

    I know that the 6 was part of “bend gate”.  It makes me wonder if it left the factory already bent.

    Based on my experience at the Apple store, I would be concerned to have a new iPad Pro where the same story might unfold without my happy ending.    
    ravnorodommacplusplusmuthuk_vanalingamnetmagedavgregDeelronJWSCstanhopedysamoria
  • Reply 2 of 114
    Good grief the things that people belly ache about.

    Do the people that own this realize what they've got in their possession?  Talk about first world problems.  So, it's got a slight bent in it.  Does it hamper performance?  No, it does not.

    I wish my life were so in tune with goodness that stupid crap like this would bother me.

    The sky is falling the sky is falling!!

    Step back from your perfect world and take a deep breath.  So many other things to consider and concern ourselves with on this planet and you all focusing on crap like this.  Unbelievable.
    macplusplusmac_dograndominternetpersonMetriacanthosaurusmagman1979docno42
  • Reply 3 of 114
    dws-2dws-2 Posts: 224member
    rwx9901 said:
    Good grief the things that people belly ache about.

    Do the people that own this realize what they've got in their possession?  Talk about first world problems.  So, it's got a slight bent in it.  Does it hamper performance?  No, it does not.

    I wish my life were so in tune with goodness that stupid crap like this would bother me.

    The sky is falling the sky is falling!!

    Step back from your perfect world and take a deep breath.  So many other things to consider and concern ourselves with on this planet and you all focusing on crap like this.  Unbelievable.
    Better, then, to complain about the complainers! 😏
    king editor the grategutengelmuthuk_vanalingamaaploutsiderDeelronlarryairelandmacguidysamoria
  • Reply 4 of 114
    wanderso said:
    I will be happy to get a bent one for 50% off. :).  

    I purchased a used iPhone 6 from a coworker recently for a family member.   This coworker is meticulous about their things and has never placed their phone in their pants pocket.  I had taken it to the Apple Store to have the $29 battery swap before the deal expires on 12/31.  Apple performed an inspection in store and said “we may not be able to swap out the battery because the chassis is bent.”  Sure enough, it was if you looked carefully.  The 2nd tech who was to actually do the repair reluctantly gave it a green light.  

    I know that the 6 was part of “bend gate”.  It makes me wonder if it left the factory already bent.

    Based on my experience at the Apple store, I would be concerned to have a new iPad Pro where the same story might unfold without my happy ending.    
    Given apple’s marketing about how perfect things are suppossed to be, this is a major failure.  Apple products are to be engineered to a finer degree than other products.  That is the expectation.  That is what they sell their products on.  Knowingly Selling an imperfect product with an obvious visual flaw out the door is not acceptable.  
    ravnorodomThrashmannetmageaaploutsiderDeelronavon b7jasenj1sapporobabyrtrnselijahgdysamoria
  • Reply 5 of 114
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,182administrator
    rwx9901 said:
    Good grief the things that people belly ache about.

    Do the people that own this realize what they've got in their possession?  Talk about first world problems.  So, it's got a slight bent in it.  Does it hamper performance?  No, it does not.

    I wish my life were so in tune with goodness that stupid crap like this would bother me.

    The sky is falling the sky is falling!!

    Step back from your perfect world and take a deep breath.  So many other things to consider and concern ourselves with on this planet and you all focusing on crap like this.  Unbelievable.
    The irony is thick.

    As a reminder, world conflict, starving children, and the like are not AppleInsider's beat -- you may get a clue from that by the name of the site. Apple is our focus, also similarly clued by the title.
    edited December 2018 king editor the grategatorguynetmageaaploutsiderGabysigma4lifeSkorMetriacanthosaurusnapoleon_phoneapartmagman1979
  • Reply 6 of 114
    rwx9901 said:
    Good grief the things that people belly ache about.

    Do the people that own this realize what they've got in their possession?  Talk about first world problems.  So, it's got a slight bent in it.  Does it hamper performance?  No, it does not.

    I wish my life were so in tune with goodness that stupid crap like this would bother me.

    The sky is falling the sky is falling!!

    Step back from your perfect world and take a deep breath.  So many other things to consider and concern ourselves with on this planet and you all focusing on crap like this.  Unbelievable.
    Sorry but when you’re paying a premium for a product you don’t expect it to come with a defect out of the box. And yes a slightly bent product is NOT normal and IS a defect.
    king editor the grategutengelmuthuk_vanalingamclemynxaaploutsiderdavgregMetriacanthosaurusentropyselijahgBugsy
  • Reply 7 of 114
    Yep. It's like driving a brand new BMW out of dealer with a dent on. Is the car still functional? Oh yeah but no thank you.
    ttollertonmuthuk_vanalingamcroprnetmageaaploutsiderdavgregSkorMetriacanthosaurusnapoleon_phoneapartmagman1979
  • Reply 8 of 114
    Agree. This is utterly bizarre and unacceptable crap from Apple, if true. 

    Add to the negative sentiment wrought, in part, by the seemingly gobsmacked silence from Apple’s top management to a >25% drop in market value in the past six weeks. 
    netmagedavgregMetriacanthosauruselijahgBugsy
  • Reply 9 of 114
    ThrashmanThrashman Posts: 13unconfirmed, member
    rwx9901 said:
    Good grief the things that people belly ache about.

    Do the people that own this realize what they've got in their possession?  Talk about first world problems.  So, it's got a slight bent in it.  Does it hamper performance?  No, it does not.

    I wish my life were so in tune with goodness that stupid crap like this would bother me.

    The sky is falling the sky is falling!!

    Step back from your perfect world and take a deep breath.  So many other things to consider and concern ourselves with on this planet and you all focusing on crap like this.  Unbelievable.
    And the most ridiculous comment of 2018 goes to RWX9901.  Congrats 🍼🍭
    king editor the gratemuthuk_vanalingamclemynxnetmageaaploutsiderGabydavgregentropysCocktailFrankbala1234
  • Reply 10 of 114
    It’s not even the fact that there’s a minuscule bend that concerns me.  Any given product by any given manufacturing process with any company could have an error in it.  No one is perfect.  

    The concern is that, while the device may perform effectively, the slight bend likely impacts the structural integrity of the device, which could make it more susceptible to breaks with even slightly rough handling within the norms of everyday use.  

    The whole point of this article is the fact that Apple acknowledges the error and just tells us to deal with it.  It hearkens back to the days of AntennaGate, “you’re holding it wrong, but here’s a $20 caseband that will fix your issue.).  

    I get it...it’s a really slim and glass device that I could break.  But if there’s a manufacturing error that could make that more likely, Apple needs to step up.  
    muthuk_vanalingamdysamoria
  • Reply 11 of 114
    rwx9901 said:
    Good grief the things that people belly ache about.

    Do the people that own this realize what they've got in their possession?  Talk about first world problems.  So, it's got a slight bent in it.  Does it hamper performance?  No, it does not.

    I wish my life were so in tune with goodness that stupid crap like this would bother me.

    The sky is falling the sky is falling!!

    Step back from your perfect world and take a deep breath.  So many other things to consider and concern ourselves with on this planet and you all focusing on crap like this.  Unbelievable.
    The irony is thick.

    As a reminder, world conflict, starving children, and the like are not AppleInsider's beat -- you may get a clue from that by the name of the site. Apple is our focus, also similarly clued by the title.
    Could someone point me in the direction of WorldConflictInsider?  😜
    king editor the graterandominternetperson
  • Reply 12 of 114
    Agree. This is utterly bizarre and unacceptable crap from Apple, if true. 

    Add to the negative sentiment wrought, in part, by the seemingly gobsmacked silence from Apple’s top management to a >25% drop in market value in the past six weeks. 
    I don’t know who decided on the PR response but there’s no way engineering/ops/design employees at Apple think a slightly bent iPad is acceptable. And if anyone in marketing or public relations does they should be fired.
    muthuk_vanalingamclemynxMetriacanthosaurusjasenj1elijahgdysamoria
  • Reply 13 of 114
    It’s not even the fact that there’s a minuscule bend that concerns me.  Any given product by any given manufacturing process with any company could have an error in it.  No one is perfect.  

    The concern is that, while the device may perform effectively, the slight bend likely impacts the structural integrity of the device, which could make it more susceptible to breaks with even slightly rough handling within the norms of everyday use.  

    The whole point of this article is the fact that Apple acknowledges the error and just tells us to deal with it.  It hearkens back to the days of AntennaGate, “you’re holding it wrong, but here’s a $20 caseband that will fix your issue.).  

    I get it...it’s a really slim and glass device that I could break.  But if there’s a manufacturing error that could make that more likely, Apple needs to step up.  
    And what about resale value. Everybody knows a damaged product is worth less in the second hbd market one day. It may bend unter my supervision, but I surely would not want to buy something full price that should have been sold marked down right away...
    netmagedysamoria
  • Reply 14 of 114
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,929member
    wanderso said:
    I will be happy to get a bent one for 50% off. :).  

    I purchased a used iPhone 6 from a coworker recently for a family member.   This coworker is meticulous about their things and has never placed their phone in their pants pocket.  I had taken it to the Apple Store to have the $29 battery swap before the deal expires on 12/31.  Apple performed an inspection in store and said “we may not be able to swap out the battery because the chassis is bent.”  Sure enough, it was if you looked carefully.  The 2nd tech who was to actually do the repair reluctantly gave it a green light.  

    I know that the 6 was part of “bend gate”.  It makes me wonder if it left the factory already bent.

    Based on my experience at the Apple store, I would be concerned to have a new iPad Pro where the same story might unfold without my happy ending.    
    This is not a silly request, although Apple will unlikely agree to the 50% discount. There's no reason that Apple cannot resell these as "blemished" products. This is not an unusual thing for a wide variety of consumer products. If you live nearby a product manufacturer you are probably aware of the bargains to be had. Heck, even Ben & Jerry's ice cream has an outlet for "blemished" or "seconds" and the deals are very sweet.

    Any product that undergoes a radical redesign while having to ship on a very tight timeline is at risk of manufacturing induced defects in early production units. They simply don't have enough accrued time and data to know where variation is being induced into products during the manufacturing process over time and through use. Once they uncover the source of variation they can take steps to correct it. This is all part of the overall 6-sigma quality process. I always avoid using the term "quality assurance" because too many people see "QA" as a discreet thing, a backstop and last line of defense done at the end stage of production that keeps defective product from reaching customers. Quality is a continuous process that starts from product inception, goes through hardware and software design, continues through industrialization, and is reinforced during verification and validation processes done all along the way by much more than simply QA or Test personnel. Every step along the line has a feedback loop to to reduce defects and trap variation. Stepping of the soapbox now... 

    Unfortunately, with the huge volumes that Apple deals with and the "sensitive" nature of their customers, and borderline radical nature of their detractors, even a statistically tiny number of out-of-tolerance production units will result in negative customer reaction and public outcry if Apple doesn't handle the situation appropriately.

    The worst possible thing Apple can do in these situations is to push back in any way or try to assuage impacted customers with logical explanations or rationale. Too many ways to lose this argument. Just man up, replace the units in question, fix the production variation, and maybe try to recoup some of the losses through discounted resale of the blemished units. Time is of the essence. 
    rogifan_newmuthuk_vanalingamlorin schultzradarthekatwanderso
  • Reply 15 of 114
    rwx9901 said:
    Good grief the things that people belly ache about.

    Do the people that own this realize what they've got in their possession?  Talk about first world problems.  So, it's got a slight bent in it.  Does it hamper performance?  No, it does not.

    I wish my life were so in tune with goodness that stupid crap like this would bother me.

    The sky is falling the sky is falling!!

    Step back from your perfect world and take a deep breath.  So many other things to consider and concern ourselves with on this planet and you all focusing on crap like this.  Unbelievable.
    You are way off key. We aren’t trying to fix the PROBLEM of a bent expensive tablet to the detriment of other pressing matters of life, we are trying to make sure that we get the product we bought - not a messed up version of that product. You might be used to letting things slide. That’s your perogwtive. But don’t get all bent out of shape (no pun intended) when others have higher standards than you or are better at protecting their investments than you. 

    Mathis bent chassis will lead to issues down the road. My sister has the previous ten iPad Pro. Here had a slight defect where the screen meets the metal. But she didn’t care one bit. A year later and now her screen is popping out at one edge. It’s a good thing to catch problems while they are small and correctable. Don’t wait until they grow and you have no recourse. 
    L
    edited December 2018 clemynxmuthuk_vanalingamnetmageBugsydysamoria
  • Reply 16 of 114
    peteopeteo Posts: 348member
    Yep. It's like driving a brand new BMW out of dealer with a dent on. Is the car still functional? Oh yeah but no thank you.
    Not to side with apple on this, but new cars always get dents when they are being shipped to the dealer. Dealerships even have dent technicians that come in to remove the bigger dents. The very small dents stay on unless the customer sees them and complains. 
    edited December 2018 randominternetperson
  • Reply 17 of 114
    thttht Posts: 3,061member
    peteo said:
    Yep. It's like driving a brand new BMW out of dealer with a dent on. Is the car still functional? Oh yeah but no thank you.
    Not to side with apple on this, but new cars always get dents when they are being shipped to the dealer. Dealerships even have dent technicians that come in to remove the bigger dents. The very small dents stay on unless the customer sees them and complains. 
    Heh. Every single car has imperfect seams and slightly off panels, or something wrong with the interior in some way. Most people don’t notice, but I do. I also know that it is just manufacturing tolerances and the impossibility of having things absolutely perfect. The image of the iPad unit from the Verge shows an iPad that is clearly bent and not manufacturing tolerances though.

    Apple PR or whoever gave the press these comments simply fucked up. They should have just said they are investigating it, and people should return units if they are bent out of the box. The media doesn’t look for truth. They are looking for stories, and will make any bit of news as exciting as possible. Words like it being normal never should have left that Apple spokesperson’s mouth, even if it was the truth. 
    rogifan_newmuthuk_vanalingamnetmageaaploutsiderradarthekatdysamoria
  • Reply 18 of 114
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,509member
    rwx9901 said:
    Good grief the things that people belly ache about.

    Do the people that own this realize what they've got in their possession?  Talk about first world problems.  So, it's got a slight bent in it.  Does it hamper performance?  No, it does not.

    I wish my life were so in tune with goodness that stupid crap like this would bother me.

    The sky is falling the sky is falling!!

    Step back from your perfect world and take a deep breath.  So many other things to consider and concern ourselves with on this planet and you all focusing on crap like this.  Unbelievable.
    We are all Apple lovers here, and yet I am shocked that someone would defend Apple in this situation. Saying that a defective product is acceptable goes against everything Apple is for, and goes against the logic that when you pay for something, you deserve to have it in pristine condition, no matter the price of what you are buying. 
    netmageGabyMetriacanthosaurustrashman69radarthekatBugsydysamoria
  • Reply 19 of 114
    Now I'm paranoid about my 12.9 iPad bending on my backpack or while traveling. I might end up making a sleeve with some metal reinforcements or something. It's pretty annoying that Apple is not really taking care of structure on their products, I know it's plane physics, but after the iPhone 6 I would have thought they learned a lesson. I'm pretty used to just through my iPadPro/MacBookPro in my luggage while traveling for work with no worries, now I guess I'd have to take special care with these gadgets...
  • Reply 20 of 114
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,509member
    tht said:
    peteo said:
    Yep. It's like driving a brand new BMW out of dealer with a dent on. Is the car still functional? Oh yeah but no thank you.
    Not to side with apple on this, but new cars always get dents when they are being shipped to the dealer. Dealerships even have dent technicians that come in to remove the bigger dents. The very small dents stay on unless the customer sees them and complains. 
    Heh. Every single car has imperfect seams and slightly off panels, or something wrong with the interior in some way. Most people don’t notice, but I do. I also know that it is just manufacturing tolerances and the impossibility of having things absolutely perfect. The image of the iPad unit from the Verge shows an iPad that is clearly bent and not manufacturing tolerances though.

    Apple PR or whoever gave the press these comments simply fucked up. They should have just said they are investigating it, and people should return units if they are bent out of the box. The media doesn’t look for truth. They are looking for stories, and will make any bit of news as exciting as possible. Words like it being normal never should have left that Apple spokesperson’s mouth, even if it was the truth. 
    Yes I am curious to know how said this. 
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