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Apple Says Some 2018 iPad Pros Ship Bent, But It's Normal and Not a Defect
Apple told The Verge that some 2018 iPad Pro models are indeed shipping with a "very slight bend in the aluminum chassis," which is a "side effect of the manufacturing process" that is not expected to worsen over time or negatively affect the iPad's performance "in any practical way."
Apple says the bend, which can impact both sizes of the new 2018 iPad Pro models, is caused by a cooling process involving the iPad Pro's metal and plastic components during manufacturing. Apple told The Verge that the bend is not considered to be a defect.
2018 iPad Pro models that are exhibiting this problem have it right out of the box, according to Apple, so it does not appear to be an issue that shows up over time. There were videos indicating that the new iPad Pro models bend more easily than other models, but Apple says that concerns over the iPad Pro's "structural rigidity" are "unfounded" and that it "stands by the product." Apple has not experienced higher-than-normal return rates for the 2018 iPad Pro.
The Verge suggests that those who are irritated by the bend "shouldn't have any trouble exchanging or returning" an iPad Pro at an Apple Store, but that statement likely only applies to devices that are still under the return policy. Apple typically does not replace devices experiencing issues that are not considered manufacturing defects, so it's not entirely clear if those with bent tablets outside of the return period will be able to get replacements.
Apple experienced major consumer outcry over a "bendgate" controversy with the iPhone 6 Plus, which saw that iPhone bending due to regular use. Apple rectified the problem with later iPhone models, and given the concern over the potential for a similar issue, it's no surprise that Apple is attempting to reassure customers that this is a manufacturing issue that won't worsen over time.
Despite the fact that iPad Pro models experiencing this minor bend allegedly won't end up with future problems because of it, many iPad Pro users may be unhappy with the slight cosmetic and functional problems caused by an uneven surface.