Apple Details 2018 iPad Pro Manufacturing Process After ‘Bendgate’ Controversy Angered Customers Earlier

Jan 5, 2019
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Apple has published a detailed article on its website, providing information on how its 2018 iPad Pro line is manufactured. This move comes after numerous reports came in where disgruntled customers complained that their latest iPad Pro was bending.

Apple did little to improve the PR nightmare by stating that this issue was normal, with a company executive stepping in later, saying that the new iPad Pro adheres to or exceeds high-quality standards. Let us take a closer look at the published literature and provide important info to owners or potential customers of the new iPad Pro.

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Apple Claims That Slight Bends of the iPad Pro May Be More Prominent Due to the New Straight Edge Design

The support article says that Apple adheres to just 400 micron of flatness tolerances and anything outside of that range will qualify for a warranty repair or replacement. However, new information added to the article mentions a new manufacturing process called ‘co-molding’. Specifically, on cellular iPad Pro models, the plastic antenna bands on the sides of the new iPad Pro are bonded with metal, as described below.

“iPad Pro cellular models now feature Gigabit-class LTE, with support for more cellular bands than any other tablet. To provide optimal cellular performance, small vertical bands or “splits” in the sides of the iPad allow parts of the enclosure to function as cellular antennas. For the first time ever on an iPad, these bands are manufactured using a process called co-molding. In this high-temperature process, plastic is injected into precisely milled channels in the aluminum enclosure where it bonds to micro-pores in the aluminum 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.”

According to Apple, the new design and the presence of antenna modems on the new iPad versions might make it easier for the slight bend to be visible by the customer from certain angles. Under normal usage, an iPad with 400 microns of bend will make it difficult to spot with the naked eye. The tech giant states that its tolerances are even higher on the new 2018 iPad Pro lineup.

Customers who believe that their iPad Pro is out of shape considerably should head to their nearest Apple store outlet and request for a warranty replacement or repair. You’re also entitled to a full refund if you’ve returned the tablet within a limited purchase window and by providing proper proof of purchase. To recap, the new iPad Pro comes in the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models, with both variants powered by the A12X Bionic chipset. The new silicon is Apple’s fastest, with benchmarking scores revealing that the mobile SoC is negligibly slower than an Intel Core i9-fueled 15-inch MacBook Pro.

The latest tablets also get support for Face ID and a new Apple Pencil that can attach magnetically and receive charge at the same time. The starting price of the 2018 iPad Pro is $799, which will explain why customers are livid about the slate displaying a bend.

Source: Apple

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