iPad Pro (2018) Bending Issue

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Shortly after the 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models were released, some MacRumors readers began complaining of noticeable bends in their tablets, with some of the bends appearing to be worse than others.

The issue received little attention until The Verge published an article on the iPad Pro with word from an Apple spokesperson suggesting that the bending was a side effect of the manufacturing process and not, in fact, a defect.

Image of slightly bent iPad Pro via the MacRumors forums​

Apple device bending raises major red flags with customers after the "Bendgate" issue that affected the iPhone 6 Plus, with those devices bending due to structural problems that were later solved, so iPad Pro owners were rightly confused and outraged over Apple's response.

At the time, Apple's response suggested that customers would not be able to get replacements for some of the seriously bent iPads that had popped up in photos.

Apple's VP of hardware engineering Dan Riccio sent out emails to a few concerned iPad Pro owners, and a MacRumors reader shared one of them. Riccio said that the iPad Pro meets or exceeds Apple's quality and precision standards and that its level of flatness would not shift during the lifetime of the product. He also said that the small variations would not affect the function of the device.

An bend in an iPad Pro taken right out of the box, via the MacRumors forums​

Riccio's email did not mollify customers, and Apple was silent on the issue for several more weeks until publishing a support document that offered further explanation.

Apple says that while the iPad Pro is manufactured to allow for only 400 microns of variation along a single edge of the device, the flat design can make subtle shifts in straightness more apparent.

400 microns is less than the thickness of four sheets of paper, and some of the bends that we've seen have been more severe than this. Customers with iPads that are more bent than Apple describes should contact Apple for help.

iPad Pro bend coverage


[*]New iPad Pro Models May Be Prone to Bending
[*]Apple Says Some 2018 iPad Pros Ship Bent, But It's Normal and Not a Defect
[*]Apple's Dan Riccio Says 2018 iPad Pro 'Meets or Exceeds' Quality Standards of Design and Precision, More Info to Come
[*]Apple Addresses 2018 iPad Pro 'Bending' Controversy, Says Subtle Deviations May Be More Visible Due to New Design

Which models are affected?

Bending issues appear to affect 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, both Wi-Fi only and LTE. Apple has suggested the bending may be more common and more noticeable in the cellular models.

Not all 2018 iPad Pro models have noticeable bends.

How do I know if my iPad has a bend problem?

Bending can be detected by placing an iPad Pro on a flat surface or by holding it up and looking at the side of it. Most of the bends that we've seen have been easily detectable using one of these two methods.

The bending that has been described by Apple will be visible right when the iPad Pro comes out of the box because it's due to a manufacturing issue.

If your iPad Pro has a severe bend or a bend that appears after a few weeks or months, it is not likely impacted by the bending issue in this guide and may have suffered from damage.

A bent 2018 iPad Pro, via the MacRumors forums. This bend is more severe than Apple describes and may not be caused by the same issue​

What does Apple have to say about the issue?

Apple commented on the iPad Pro bending issue through a support document and has confirmed that it can be normal to see slight bends in the new iPad Pro models due to their straighter, flatter edges.

Bends can be more visible on the cellular iPad Pro models, which feature small vertical bands or splits in the side of the iPad inserted via a high-temperature process where plastic is injected into precisely milled channels to serve as a cellular antenna.

Apple's manufacturing techniques and rigorous inspection process allow for no more than 400 microns of deviation across the length of any side, which is less than the thickness of four sheets of paper. Apple says this is actually a tighter specification than previous-generation iPads, and that the flatness variation is imperceptible during normal use.

We've seen iPads that appear to have more severe bends. Apple says that if an iPad Pro does not meet the specifications listed in the support document, that Apple's support staff should be contacted.

Is the bend going to get worse?

Apple says that the small deviations in the flatness of the iPad Pro are due to the manufacturing process and the bends will not get worse over time or affect the strength of the enclosure.

All tablets are going to bend if you try hard enough, though, so the iPad Pro still needs to be treated carefully, especially as it's Apple's thinnest iPad ever at 6.1mm.

If you have an iPad Pro model that has a slight bend, it's not going to get worse during the course of normal usage, according to Apple.

What do I do if my iPad Pro is bent?

If the bend in your iPad Pro appears to be so slight that it's less than four sheets of paper worth of deviation, Apple does not consider it a manufacturing defect and probably wont offer you a replacement.

If the bend is more noticeable than that and does not meet Apple's specifications, you can contact Apple support for help or bring it into an Apple retail store.

All iPad Pro models feature a one-year included warranty, and for more severe defects, a replacement is a possibility. The standard one-year warranty can be extended with AppleCare+, which needs to be purchased alongside the iPad Pro or within 60 days of when you bought your iPad Pro.

AppleCare+ is priced at $129 and offers extended coverage along with accidental damage coverage (deductible required).

All iPad Pro purchases can be returned for a full refund within 14 days, so if you purchase a new iPad Pro, it's a good idea to inspect it and then return it to Apple if there is a noticeable bend that's going to bother you.

Apple says these bends do not affect performance, but for a device that is priced starting at $799, many customers will want a perfect looking iPad.

If you have a bend, it's generally only noticeable when viewing the iPad from the side on a flat surface and it should not interrupt day to day usage. If it does, contact Apple.

Is it still worth buying the 2018 iPad Pro?

The iPad Pro is a capable, powerful tablet that has a gorgeous display, support for the Apple Pencil 2, and a Smart Keyboard Case, all of which makes it worth considering, even with this bending issue.

Not all iPad Pro models are affected, so it is possible to get one where the manufacturing deviation isn't as noticeable so long as you inspect the tablet right after a purchase and make a swap if necessary.

What's still unclear

Apple says the iPad Pro models that display a slight bend won't worsen over time, but we'll need to wait to see how the iPad Pro ages to see if that's true.

We have seen iPad Pro models that seem to have a more serious bend than described by Apple, so it's not clear if the new 2018 iPad Pro models are more prone to bending issues than prior models.

As with any expensive device, it's best to treat the 2018 iPad Pro models carefully and take steps to avoid situations that might result in bending, such as carrying it in a backpack without padding or sitting on it.

Discuss this issue

Over on the MacRumors forums, our readers who have run into the bending issue have been sharing their experiences with replacements, Apple support, and more, so that thread is well worth checking out if you've purchased a new iPad Pro model with a bend in it.

Article Link: iPad Pro (2018) Bending Issue
 

leehericks

macrumors newbie
Jan 27, 2008
23
2
Tokyo, Japan
I don't think it's flattering to have a bent device. That said, we have about 250 iPad Air 2 devices deployed here, slight bends aren't uncommon. Also I've had to press down on corners of my MacBook Pros because of slight bends. It mainly comes down to Apple using aluminum I think...
 

Colonel Blimp

macrumors 6502
Dec 1, 2016
280
309

Apple's manufacturing techniques and rigorous inspection process allow for no more than 400 microns of deviation across the length of any side, which is less than the thickness of four sheets of paper. Apple says this is actually a tighter specification than previous-generation iPads, and that the flatness variation is imperceptible during normal use.

We've seen iPads that appear to have more severe bends.
“And here at MacRumors, we just love to post photos of the most extreme and atypical examples we can find, because sensationalism drives page views!”
Apple says that if an iPad Pro does not meet the specifications listed in the support document, that Apple's support staff should be contacted.
“While some readers might be tempted to wonder why it took us 15 days to point out that anyone seeing a bend in excess of Apple’s specification can simply return their iPad, we just assumed this would be obvious to our readers, who are known for their reasoned and dispassionate sifting of the news.”
 
Last edited:

SoApple

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2012
230
1,027
I’m just curious as to why the author had to use two question marks in some headers and only one in others...?
There is clearly an issue and it’s definitely ridiculous in such an expensive piece of hardware but it sounds like they’re trying to get to their readers.

What do I do?
Vs
What do I do????


Or am I overthinking this? Haha
 
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techfreak23

macrumors 6502
Sep 8, 2013
263
331
They need to stop pushing for wafer thin on these devices. There comes a point where it’s counter-productive to keep making these devices thinner with smaller bezels and compromising in certain areas to achieve that thinness... same thing with the phones and laptops... smdh
 

H.E. Pennypacker

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2017
397
949
NYC
I’m gonna say it’s probably a small percentage of people who got bent iPads. There was just an article that Apple sold 14.5 million iPads over the holiday. Wouldn’t we be seeing much more on this if they were all bent. Let’s just say 20% of the total iPad sales were the 2018 pro models. That’s almost 3 million people who could have bent iPads but I’ve literally seen maybe a dozen pictures and a lot of it’s the same photos. Ya I don’t buy it. I purchased a 12.9 pro and it’s flawless.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,090
2,549
Seattle
Cannot believe Macrumors is STILL pushing that first image which was user damage after a weekend in a backpack - in an article about bends out of the box.
[doublepost=1549003729][/doublepost]
I’m gonna say it’s probably a small percentage of people who got bent iPads. There was just an article that Apple sold 14.5 million iPads over the holiday. Wouldn’t we be seeing much more on this if they were all bent. Let’s just say 20% of the total iPad sales were the 2018 pro models. That’s almost 3 million people who could have bent iPads but I’ve literally seen maybe a dozen pictures and a lot of it’s the same photos. Ya I don’t buy it. I purchased a 12.9 pro and it’s flawless.
Yup. The whole thing is FUD. Yes, a tiny (and I mean TINY) percentage of people have bends out of the box. The vast majority do not. But hey, sensationalism is fun.
 

alexgowers

macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2012
1,335
886
Out if the box or in the backpack. You do not expect a permanent bend. Sure products have flex by this lack of strength in apples latest is annoying. The original Ipad gen1 was so sturdy, it's a shame the pursuit of thin and light has got us here. I personally would like a few more millimetres or for Apple to switch to something like carbon fibre as the solution to this self inflicted wound.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,090
2,549
Seattle
Out if the box or in the backpack. You do not expect a permanent bend. Sure products have flex by this lack of strength in apples latest is annoying. The original Ipad gen1 was so sturdy, it's a shame the pursuit of thin and light has got us here. I personally would like a few more millimetres or for Apple to switch to something like carbon fibre as the solution to this self inflicted wound.
Why should you not expect a permanent bend? These things are still LARGE slabs of aluminum that either are going to crack or bend.

Google “iPad Pro 10.5 bent.” Right. This isn’t new. Some people are just hard on their iPads.
 

Hallouminati

macrumors newbie
Oct 1, 2014
29
18
Sydney, Australia
Apple saying it is fine is a problem for me. Acknowledge it isn’t great, find a solution and move on. This is the sole reason I’m not buying one, and I’d have to imagine many others.
 
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justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
10,630
6,112
I'm a rolling stone.
Out if the box or in the backpack. You do not expect a permanent bend. Sure products have flex by this lack of strength in apples latest is annoying. The original Ipad gen1 was so sturdy, it's a shame the pursuit of thin and light has got us here. I personally would like a few more millimetres or for Apple to switch to something like carbon fibre as the solution to this self inflicted wound.

Aluminium is much nicer looking than carbon fibre, Apple won't ever release one made of that stuff.

When I’m buying any Apple product and I’m asked premium price for it. I’m expecting it will be flawless.
A 0.4 mm tolerance on a big slab like the iPad pro is nothing, why do people make such a fuss out of it, nothing is 100% straight...NOTHING.

And the bends you see here on MR are way out of Apples tolerance, the one they showed was stowed away in a backpack, MR should be ashamed of themselves, just clickbait/sensationalism.
 

Val-kyrie

macrumors 68020
Feb 13, 2005
2,024
1,343
I don't think it's flattering to have a bent device. That said, we have about 250 iPad Air 2 devices deployed here, slight bends aren't uncommon. Also I've had to press down on corners of my MacBook Pros because of slight bends. It mainly comes down to Apple using aluminum I think...
The bending may also be related to the type of aluminum used (6000 vs 7000 series) and the thinness of the part.

When Apple reduced the thickness of the screen lid on their portables, it resulted in a lot of flex, so they had to use full glass screens to increase rigidity of the product. (Edit: it seems the new MBPs are too thin even for a full glass screen to keep them from bending / twisting.)
 
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stylinexpat

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2009
1,891
3,699
The new Apple, admit to nothing,
When they previously admitted to the battery issues it ended up costing them a lot of money. I read some where that not only did they lose money on the battery replacement programs but ended up losing more as more people ended up not upgrading their smartphones after. This showed recently in the drop of iPhone sales. I still think Apple should make smartphones with user friendly batteries that people could swap out on their own. Imagine if you could not swap out your own car battery each time the battery had issues :eek:


Smartphone does not operate without a battery and neither do most cars.

I think Apple will quietly fix the bending issue. Newer production ones probably are a bit better I bet.
 

dantracht

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2013
464
469
Either way, I'll sit this one out and get the next update. My 2017 12.9 IPP is just fine.
 

b11051973

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2006
347
360
I have the 12.9" and have no bend. I didn't read the entire article, but I read elsewhere the cellular versions are more likely to bend. This MacRumor's article probably says the same thing.

I remember my iPhone 6 Plus had a bend. If I laid it flat on a table, it wouldn't lay flat. I would just apply some slight force to bend it back straight. I think Apple made a change to the 6s models so they wouldn't bend as easily. Maybe the next iPad Pros will receive a similar "fix".
 
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