It isn’t your imagination. It has been reported recently that Apple is shipping some of the 2018 iPad Pros with slight bending in the aluminum chassis. Yet, according to The Verge, Apple claims this is normal. In their statement, it is a side effect of the device’s manufacturing process and shouldn’t worsen over time. Nor, should it negatively affect the device’s performance. In other words, it is not a defect.

It is important to bear in mind that the device itself ranges in price from $799 for the base 11-inch model up to $1,899 for a fully-loaded 12.9-inch device with 1TB of storage and LTE connectivity. Naturally, if makes sense that these devices will develop a slight bending after repeated use over time. Meaning if you carry it in a backpack or carry other devices on it, but many are claiming that the iPad comes this way out of the box.

In The Verge’s story, the writer noticed a bend after only two weeks of use. Apple requested that he return it so the engineering team could take a look at it. They replaced the 11-inch iPad Pro. However, after he took the wrapping off, he noticed that his too had a slight bend in the aluminum.
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“It’s an issue that seems to be more pronounced on the LTE model, as there’s a plastic strip that breaks up the iPad’s flat aluminum sides; it’s where the antenna line divides two sections of metal that some users have noticed a bend,” the write wrote. “Apple did not say the perceived flaw is strictly limited to the cellular iPad Pro, however, and some buyers of the Wi-Fi model also claim to have encountered it. Even if only cosmetic, the issue is out of character for Apple, which has rooted its reputation in manufacturing devices with best-in-industry fit and finish.”

The consumers frustrated by this “imperfection” was exacerbated by the claim that the 2018 iPad Pro “meets or exceeds all of Apple’s high quality standards of design and precision manufacturing.”  Dan Riccio, Apple’s VP of hardware engineering, offered the most informative response yet on the matter late Thursday night when he responded to a customer email.
We’ve carefully engineered it and every part of the manufacturing process is precisely measured and controlled,” Riccio went on to write. Riccio goes on to say that Apple’s “current specification for iPad Pro flatness is up to 400 microns which is even tighter than previous generations. This 400 micron variance is less than half a millimeter (or the width of fewer than four sheets of paper at most) and this level of flatness won’t change during normal use over the lifetime of the product. Note, these slight variations do not affect the function of the device in any way.”

Obviously, Apple would never make this “imperfection” known before consumers purchased the product. That would definitely hit them in sales. However, it doesn’t seem to be every device that has the imperfection. If you receive on this holiday season, be sure to look it over. Apple has extended holiday return policy through January. However, it is best to hold onto the receipt to demonstrate that you had it for a short time should the problem worsen.