New iPad Air's thin back panel and creaks prompt build quality complaints

Posted:
in iPad
A number of Apple customers have complained about the build quality of the iPad Air, with the thin panel of the aluminum enclosure causing audible creaks when held.




Apple tends to build its products as thin as possible while still maintaining structural integrity. In early online complaints about Apple's latest tablet launch, it seems that the quest for thinness has caused problems.

In a thread on Reddit first reported by iMore, users claim there are problems with the way the fifth-generation iPad Air is constructed. Specifically, the complaints center around the back panel.

The original poster says they ordered two blue models, but discovered the "aluminum backplate is a lot thinner than on the iPad Air 4." The user adds "you can almost feel the battery through the plate when you hold the device.'

Both units are apparently the same, with the thin panel causing the tablets to make "creaking noises" when held by the user, with the effect verified by a friend of theirs.

The user is not the only one to discover the phenomena, with others posting to the thread about the same problem. One user offered a video demonstrating the same creaking noises.

It is unclear how many iPad Airs are affected to a level where they creak. Apple has yet to comment on the complaints at this time.

For the most part, the physical appearance of the iPad Air 5 remains unchanged from the iPad Air 4, with the main alterations being internal. These changes include a shift to the M1 chip and an improved FaceTime camera, among others.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    What happened to liquid metal? Wasn't that supposed to be very light and very strong?
  • Reply 2 of 19
    What happened to liquid metal? Wasn't that supposed to be very light and very strong?
    Apple can’t use it. That technology is owned by Cyberdyne Systems. 
    kdupuis77raoulduke42mike1just cruisinwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 19
    Ok, I watched the video.  I would think that someone trying to show a flaw that causes the creaking, would zoom out enough to actually show what they were doing to the iPad to cause the sound, not a closeup of the screen and the sound.  Not making any accusations, but the video is evidence of nothing.  Not rushing to blindly defend apple.  I would actually like to see a better video showing what the claims are.  I have thought about getting an iPad Air. 
    iOS_Guy80foregoneconclusionbandits1tommikeleqwerty52twokatmewdewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 19
    Current iPad Pro 12.9" = .25" thickness
    New iPad Air = .24" thickness
    Current iPad Pro 11" = .23" thickness

    What are the odds that Apple would make changes to the structural design or material for an iPad case that falls directly in between both Pro models? Not very high. You would have to think that keeping all of the models the same would be a cost advantage for manufacturing versus arbitrarily making changes to the Air. 
    tommikeleiOS_Guy80gregoriusmqwerty52watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 19
    I bought the 5th gen blue ipad air 64gb wifi model and the first thing i noticed when i picked it up was the creaking. It happens when you move it from one hand to the other so its not cause of some exaggerated bending. At first i was like am i crazy or is it creaking? Picked up my air 2, solid. Asked a friend with a 4th gen ipad air and he says he has no creaking on his
  • Reply 6 of 19
    This reminds me of the “bendable” iPhone 6 debacle. They said the problem disappeared with the 6s. I agree, that was a horrible video. But not jumping to conclusions either for or against til we see more hard evidence. More widespread issues. 
    gregoriusmtwokatmewwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 19
    In the video it is quite obvious that as the person grabs the iPad with both hands he is using a considerable amount of force to bend the iPad.
    tommikelewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    docbburk said:
    Ok, I watched the video.  I would think that someone trying to show a flaw that causes the creaking, would zoom out enough to actually show what they were doing to the iPad to cause the sound, not a closeup of the screen and the sound.  Not making any accusations, but the video is evidence of nothing.  Not rushing to blindly defend apple.  I would actually like to see a better video showing what the claims are.  I have thought about getting an iPad Air. 
    You could probably just go to an Apple Store or Best Buy and try it yourself.
    dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 19
    Not buying the story. It's just more of the usual whining.
    iOS_Guy8012Strangersforegoneconclusionqwerty52twokatmewlkruppwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 19
    What happened to liquid metal? Wasn't that supposed to be very light and very strong?
    Apple can’t use it. That technology is owned by Cyberdyne Systems. 
    Perhaps Apple could have Siri negotiate a deal with SkyNet! 🤣
    mac daddy zeekidrock2199watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 19
    docbburk said:
    Ok, I watched the video.  I would think that someone trying to show a flaw that causes the creaking, would zoom out enough to actually show what they were doing to the iPad to cause the sound, not a closeup of the screen and the sound.  Not making any accusations, but the video is evidence of nothing.  Not rushing to blindly defend apple.  I would actually like to see a better video showing what the claims are.  I have thought about getting an iPad Air. 
    Mikethemartian: You could probably just go to an Apple Store or Best Buy and try it yourself.
    **********************************

    Or, the poster could have zoomed out a bit and saved us all the trouble! If you are going to claim that a product has a defect, it is incumbent upon you to post a video that actually shows the problem.

    It's like me claiming that all Teslas explode after 1 hr of driving, and when asked for proof, telling you to test it yourself at the nearest Tesla showroom.
    edited March 2022 gregoriusmqwerty52mac daddy zeetwokatmewwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 19
    Mods Delete - Double Post. 
    edited March 2022
  • Reply 13 of 19
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,609member
    Yes the video is terrible.

    Not saying there's nothing to the story, but also I don't think people know what "creaking" means anymore. In the video, the sound being heard is a tap-tap-tap, not creaking.

    Creaking is like slowly opening a door with a rusty hinge.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 19
    mr lizardmr lizard Posts: 353member
    What happened to liquid metal? Wasn't that supposed to be very light and very strong?
    Apple can’t use it. That technology is owned by Cyberdyne Systems. 
    They absolute could use it, as they hold an exclusive perpetual licence to use it in commercial electronics. Indeed, they used it for the SIM ejector tool bundled with the iPhone 3GS. 

    Apple doesn’t use it because they’ve clearly found that other materials suit their needs better. 
    twokatmewkidrock2199chadbagwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 19
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    spock1234 said:
    docbburk said:
    Ok, I watched the video.  I would think that someone trying to show a flaw that causes the creaking, would zoom out enough to actually show what they were doing to the iPad to cause the sound, not a closeup of the screen and the sound.  Not making any accusations, but the video is evidence of nothing.  Not rushing to blindly defend apple.  I would actually like to see a better video showing what the claims are.  I have thought about getting an iPad Air. 
    Mikethemartian: You could probably just go to an Apple Store or Best Buy and try it yourself.
    **********************************

    Or, the poster could have zoomed out a bit and saved us all the trouble! If you are going to claim that a product has a defect, it is incumbent upon you to post a video that actually shows the problem.

    It's like me claiming that all Teslas explode after 1 hr of driving, and when asked for proof, telling you to test it yourself at the nearest Tesla showroom.
    Any one person can only give anecdotal evidence, so if you’re actually concerned by iPads creaking then you should test it yourself. Demanding trial quality evidence of a casual conversation on Reddit is ridiculous. Also note that the video wasn’t even the original thread starter, and many others were saying the same thing.
  • Reply 16 of 19
    spock1234 said:
    What happened to liquid metal? Wasn't that supposed to be very light and very strong?
    Apple can’t use it. That technology is owned by Cyberdyne Systems. 
    Perhaps Apple could have Siri negotiate a deal with SkyNet! 🤣
    Or just acquire them all together! A terminator with an M1 Ultra chip and next generation neural engines 😱 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 19
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    spock1234 said:
    What happened to liquid metal? Wasn't that supposed to be very light and very strong?
    Apple can’t use it. That technology is owned by Cyberdyne Systems. 
    Perhaps Apple could have Siri negotiate a deal with SkyNet! 🤣
    Or just acquire them all together! A terminator with an M1 Ultra chip and next generation neural engines 😱 
    A Threadripper would still be a better choice unless your Terminator is a dedicated video rendering killer robot  B)
    kidrock2199
  • Reply 18 of 19
    DougUTDougUT Posts: 7unconfirmed, member
    After removing the case I do notice a very slight creak sound, but I hear absolutely nothing when using it with the case. And I'm guessing 90% of people put a case on, so this is a non-issue to me. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 19
    mr lizard said:
    What happened to liquid metal? Wasn't that supposed to be very light and very strong?
    Apple can’t use it. That technology is owned by Cyberdyne Systems. 
    They absolute could use it, as they hold an exclusive perpetual licence to use it in commercial electronics. Indeed, they used it for the SIM ejector tool bundled with the iPhone 3GS. 

    Apple doesn’t use it because they’ve clearly found that other materials suit their needs better. 

    Insert gif of joke flying over someone's head here.....
    watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.