Apple Addresses iPad Pro ‘Bend’ Drama With Support Page Outlining Manufacturing Process

Image Stephen Lam Getty Images

Image Stephen Lam Getty Images

While iPad prices have gone up a bit since the holiday shopping season, they're significantly cheaper than buying direct from the Apple Store.

Most reports of bent iPad Pros mention that the deviation is found along the top edge of the tablet near the antenna line. The support page also explains that the antenna spits on the sides of the iPad Pro, which essentially offer optimum cellular performance, were manufactured through a high-temperature process, dubbed co-molding that bonds plastic to the aluminum surface.

For those that don't really care how their iPad is made - a constituency which, let's face it, encompasses almost everyone - the executive summary is that the new cellular iPad Pro uses co-moulding to inject plastic into "precisely milled channels in the aluminium enclosure where it bonds to micro-pores in the aluminium surface". "After the plastic cools, the entire enclosure is finished with a precision CNC machining operation, yielding a seamless integration of plastic and aluminum into a single, strong enclosure".

Apple has now provided more details in a support document on the new manufacturing method it is using on the iPad Pro which can be blamed for the bend. Again, a 400 micron tolerance has been specified, which Apple says is no thicker than "four sheets of paper". The new straight edges and the presence of the antenna splits may make subtle deviations in flatness more visible only from certain viewing angles that are imperceptible during normal use.

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See their blog post in full here. Although this may explain a minor bend on some of its iPad Pro tablets, it doesn't help to explain the overall weak and easily bent structure of the device itself.

Interestingly, this co-molding process isn't used as an excuse for some iPads' slight bends, but instead it's presented as evidence of Apple pursuing even stricter flatness standards than ever before.

And while Apple originally said this is a feature, not a bug, the firm now returns with a more detailed explanation on what exactly happens and why such a "subtle deviation" (Apple's very own words) shouldn't be worrying.

TechJuice for Browser: Get breaking news notifications on your browser. Apple insists, however, that an bend should be within a tiny 400 micron tolerance. The new USB-C port on the 2018 iPad Pros can mirror the display to a compatible keyboard and read photos from a memory card, but you can't plug any USB-C device in there (external hard drives won't work).

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