Apple Continues to Defend Bent iPad Pro Design

Posted on December 22, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple, Hardware with 48 Comments

On Thursday, I wrote about a flaw in Apple’s 2018 iPad Pro design. Customers of the iPad Pro have started noticing a slight bend on their device, with some even receiving their new devices with a slight bend out of the box.

And Apple apparently claimed the bent iPad Pros do not have a defect.

That obviously enraged the internet, as well as Apple’s own fans. The problem here is clear: some of Apple’s new iPad Pro devices are clearly bent, and when you are spending so much on a tablet (yes, tablet, not a computer), you shouldn’t be told that such a bend is not a “defect”. The company allegedly said the bend is caused by the cooling process during manufacturing, all while saying none of this is a defect.

Apple has now continued to defend its claim. Dan Riccio, the Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering at Apple, replied to some complaints from Apple customers via email, obtained by 9to5Mac. Riccio claims that the design of the new iPad Pro “meets or exceeds” all of the company’s standard of design and precision manufacturing.

Riccio said that the company did not provide a “company statement” when the initial report on the bent iPad Pros was published on Thursday, stating that Apple would provide a statement on Friday — which, by the way, it did not (they will probably publish a statement sometime on Christmas Eve while everyone’s busy getting ready to celebrate Christmas).

Riccio went on to prove his point on the email, stating that the company’s current specification for the iPad Pro’s flatness is up to 400 microns, 0.4 millimeters. Riccio claimed that the 0.4mm variance is “even tighter” than previous generations, and the level of flatness of an iPad Pro “won’t change” during the lifetime of the product:

“Relative to the issue you referenced regarding the new iPad Pro, its unibody design meets or exceeds all of Apple’s high quality standards of design and precision manufacturing. We’ve carefully engineered it and every part of the manufacturing process is precisely measured and controlled.

Our current specification for iPad Pro flatness is up to 400 microns which is even tighter than previous generations. 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.

Again, thanks for reaching out and I hope the above explanation addresses your concerns.”

All of that sounds good, and we obviously don’t have a bunch of iPad Pros to actually measure Apple’s claims, but the problem here is that some of the iPad Pro devices are clearly bent. If a product looks bent to the naked eye, all these measurements and specs are practically pointless.

Now here’s the thing: if we were to believe Riccio and Apple’s claims, the bend on the new iPad Pro could be visible because of the sharp edges and thinner design compared to previous generations. Apple says the tolerance for flatness is tighter on the new iPad Pro than ever before, and if that’s true, the only reason these slight bends are visible to the naked eye could be because of the sharp edges and/or thinner design. And that’s still, of course, a design flaw.

So, yes, some of the new iPad Pros are bent. And Apple continues to claim that’s not a defect. I would like to call BS.

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