Apple's 2018 iPad Pro models have suffered a slight bendgate issue recently, with Apple saying everything's fine, nothing to see here, move along now everybody. But, unfortunately, some difficult people aren't buying this reassurance and are returning them for an exchange or refund, which Apple will honour. Even an awkward former Apple marketing director returned their one for this issue, because they're not so hot on curvy iPads, alas.
However, our sources (who wished to remain anonymous damnit) tell us that when Apple's quality department inspected these returned bent iPads, they noticed something very surprising: the iPads were more immersive and engaging to use, especially when playing games or watching movies! Our sources enthusiastically described using these as a "really incredible experience, raising the bar for the iPad to a whole new level!"
The experience is similar to those curved screen monitors and TVs that one can buy at a silly price premium, so Apple's research and development department started experimenting with different amounts of curve and settled on a radius of about 30 centimeters as the best one.
Our sources tell us that when these specially made iPad Pros were shown to Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, he liked them a whole lot and decided to launch a new, special limited edition iPad Pro, in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes, called PRODUCT(CURVED). This name is in the same style as Apple's PRODUCT(RED) special edition iPhones and looks really cool in my opinion.
So, how does Apple make them? It turns out that they can be made quite cheaply, since they're all just regular iPad Pros that have been bent into shape using a special Apple patent pending curved press that's been fitted with a soft padded surface to prevent scratches, scuffing and splintering during bending.
The iPads are pressed against it for around 10 minutes and if they haven't quite matched the shape of that curved press, ie not curved enough, they're given another 10 minutes, at which point, even the most stubborn iPad will succumb to its fate.
Our sources explained that this process is possible, because it turns out that the aluminium shell and internal components such as the screen, circuit board and even the battery, are all very sturdy high quality components that can tolerate bending just fine. Note that Apple will use the bent returns first so that it can finally get rid of them instead of being stuck with unsellable kit.
In particular, we were assured that the battery wouldn't explode into flames from going curved. Well, not in most cases anyway and even then only at the point of bending. If it survives that ordeal then it's all good. For safety's sake, the actual bending is performed in a reinforced sealed glass box with the technician operating the press standing well back, just in case the battery goes bang.
Interestingly, the iPad Pro retail box won't require any modifications at all, since the newly curved iPads are actually quite springy, so will just squash flat into their slot and will spring right back when the box is opened. The tight cellophane seal around the box will ensure that the lid doesn't pop off, but once opened by the customer, getting the iPad back into the box and properly closing the lid is another matter.
These curved iPad Pros will initially be launched as a limited edition product, but will become a permanent product line if they sell well.
We were informed that prices for these curved iPads will be even more reassuringly expensive than usual at about 15% more than their regular versions and that only the higher end models would be offered in curved versions. This price hike is required to make up for breakages during bending and well, to help the loyal Apple customer feel like they have bought something even more special than usual. And because Apple being Apple, Apple can.
Note that any intrepid Apple enthusiast attempting to create their own curved iPad to try and save on the price premium is very likely to break it, will void their warranty even if it survives and could hurt themselves, too. Finally, Apple can tell which model it really is (straight or curved) by the model number burnt indelibly into the chipset, so don't do it, kids.
It's not yet clear if the Apple Pencil and iPhone range will also get the curved treatment, but our sources will check and get back to us.
Launch is due in around two months, so stay tuned for further updates on this innovative product.
The video below shows an extreme curvature enthusiast, JerryRigEverything, attempt to make a DIY curved iPad Pro of his own. Alas, it hasn't survived the process, so he'll just have to save up for another one. And not bend it.
So, would you buy a curved iPad Pro? Let us know in the comments!