Former Apple exec returns his iPad Pro because of noticeable bend

A former Apple executive returned his iPad Pro because it too had a noticeable bend

Michael Gartenberg, a former Apple executive, shared on Twitter earlier today that he had returned his iPad Pro because it too had a noticeable bend. Gartenberg who is currently an analyst and tech journalist was previously a senior marketing director at Apple.

Recently, several customers who bought the 2018 iPad Pro noticed that their iPads had a slight curve right out of the box. In a comment to The Verge, Apple said that the bend is not a cause for concern.

Instead, Apple say, the slight bend is a side effect of the iPad Pro’s manufacturing process (apparently during the cooling down process of the metal and plastic components). According to Apple, the bend is not expected to worsen over time or affect the iPad’s performance in any way. Essentially, Apple doesn’t consider the slight curve present in some iPad Pros a defect.

Some customers have sent emails to Apple for further clarification on the matter. One such customer received a reply from Dan Riccio, Apple’s VP of hardware engineering. Ricco explained that the iPad Pro’s unibody design “meets or exceeds Apple’s high-quality standards and precision manufacturing”.

Ricco goes on to explain that the current specification for the flatness of the iPad Pro is up to 400 microns which he claims is less than half a millimetre (or the width of fewer than four sheets of paper). However, Apple has not come out with an official statement about the matter.

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I get it, manufacturing especially something that requires precision and tight tolerances like the iPad Pro is not easy. I can understand that bad batches happen, and I think customers can understand that too. What customers can’t understand is the way Apple is handling the matter.

If indeed some iPad Pros do have a slight curve right out of the box, then Apple needs to acknowledge it. If that’s not the case, then Apple needs to clarify. How many iPad Pros are affected by this? Is this problem coming from a bad batch? Has it been fixed? What is Apple doing to make sure that it doesn’t happen again? Customers have the right to know.

In certain markets, like the United States, customer can return their purchase for any reason, so if you’re in the States and you find that your brand-new iPad Pro is slightly curved, no problems, just return it within 14 days and have it replaced, you could even get a refund. In Malaysia, this is not the case.

According to Apple’s return policy in Malaysia, you can’t return or exchange the product unless the product is defective. Since Apple claims that this bending issue is not a defect, you can’t return your unit even if it has the slight curve.

The iPad Pro is the most expensive iPad Apple has ever sold with prices starting from RM3,499 for the 11-inch, 64GB WiFi version and going all the up to RM8,199 for the top of the line 12.5-inch, 1TB, 4G LTE version. Imagine forking that amount of money only to find that your iPad Pro has a curved right out of the box, how would you feel? I know I won’t be happy about it and I would be furious if I am not able to return it for one that’s not bent.

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Having said that, I don’t deny that the iPad the only tablet that I would buy. There’s simply nothing like it and if you’re planning to get the iPad Pro, I would suggest unboxing the device in store and checking to make sure that it’s not bent. If it is, you might be able to ask for an exchange on the spot. The store should oblige. If not, even if Apple’s return policy say you can’t return in, I would still contend it as consumers are protected under the Consumer Protection Act 1999 – specifically section 32(1), section 41 and section 42.

Did you just get a 2018 iPad Pro? Does yours have a curve or is it perfectly flat? If you had a curved iPad right out of the box, would you mind? Share in the comments

Amin Ashaari