Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
IT | By Lester Massey

Apple explains why some LTE iPad Pros might come bent

Apple explains why some LTE iPad Pros might come bent

The strips are added using a process called "co-molding" where "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", it says.

Apple's support note also explains that plastic strips or "splits" in the sides of the iPad allow parts of the enclosure to act as LTE antennas. When the new iPad Pro was released late previous year, there was no doubt it's a great device but the price was quite eye-watering.

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.

Apple's iPad exploded into the consumer tech market in April of 2010, months ahead of the first Android-powered tablet, and since then the company has sold some 400 million units. It seems it's the process of combining plastic with antenna "splits" for the cellular model using a new co-molding technique that may result in slight bends. 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. The product specifications dictate that the flatness of finished models can not deviate more than 400 microns. Nobody wants to spend big bucks on a fancy new tablet and have it arrive bent, so make sure to check it right when you buy it and, if you see a curve, send it back within Apple's 14-day return period.

That's not likely to be of much comfort to new iPad Pro owners who place as much a premium on aesthetics as they do performance.

If my inbox is anything to go by, there's one question about the new iPhone 6s that Apple hasn't answered satisfactorily - does it bend?

Apple's jargon-laden explanation of the slightly curved devices outlines the manufacturing and cooling process for the new design of this generation of iPads Pros. And, while Apple says there's a factory allowed variance of 400 microns, it's possible that some devices are slipping through the testing process. That said, it admits that users might notice "subtle deviations in flatness more visible only from certain viewing angles that are imperceptible during normal use".

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