Apple’s hardware chief comments on why some iPad Pros ship pre-bent from the factory

After reports that some 2018 iPad Pro units ship with a slight bend in the aluminum chassis, Apple continues to act as if everything’s normal. Today, its hardware chief Dan Riccio attempted to justify the issue in a response to an alleged email from a concerned customer.

Dan Riccio, who is on Apple’s executive team as Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, has responded to an alleged customer email by claiming that the latest iPad Pro “meets or exceeds” its quality standards of design and precision.

MacRumors has confirmed the email to be from Apple’s corporate email servers in Cupertino.

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.

The question is, who’s gonna believe Riccio’s cop-out excuse?

Riccio’s email, sent late on December 20, assures that Apple will be reaching out to news media to comment on the issue, but that had yet to happen at post time.

Just two days ago, Apple responded to reports that some 2018 iPad Pros are shipping with a slight bend in the aluminum chassis by taking the stance that this is the result of a cooling process involving the tablet’s metal and plastic components during manufacturing.

The issue is not expected to alleviate over time but, according to Apple, it’s also not expected to worsen or negatively affect the tablet’s performance. The bending affects Apple’s new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models which are its thinnest yet at just 5.9mm.

While iPad Pro will never end up in a back pocket, it may lay around unnoticed on a couch cushion and will certainly be in backpacks so structural integrity is pretty important.

Here’s JerryRigsEverything’s iPad Pro bend “test” (mark 6:15).

While I don’t agree with his assessment that “a tablet the size of a piece of paper folds like a piece of paper” because it’s exaggerated, pure and simple, but he does have a point to a certain degree. If there’s anything his “test” proves it’s that this new iPad Pro doesn’t indeed seem to withstand as much force as the previous model. And that is certainly something to remember when an iPad Pro is in your backpack or while being accidentally sat on.

As iPads continue to get thinner, something clearly had to give.

Having a tablet that bends when force is applied is one thing but a pre-bent iPad Pro out of the box is something completely different—and not acceptable at all—because this is an $800 tablet, as AppleInsider’s Mike Wuerthele commented, “not some $40 craplet”.

He advises opening that iPad sitting under the tree to make sure that it isn’t pre-bent from the factory. “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,” he wrote.

In the meantime, let’s hope Apple realizes that thinner isn’t always better.

What do you make of this bending issues, boys and girls?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.