Apple Discontinues 10.5-Inch iPad Pro Following Launch of Lower-Priced 10.5-Inch iPad Air

Apple has stopped selling the second-generation 10.5-inch iPad Pro, originally released in June 2017, after launching a new 10.5-inch iPad Air today.


The 10.5-inch iPad Pro had remained available from $649 following the release of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models in October 2018, but it has been replaced by the 10.5-inch iPad Air with a cheaper starting price of $499.

The new iPad Air features a 10.5-inch Retina display, A12 Bionic chip, and Apple Pencil support and is available to order on Apple.com starting today.

Apple also released a new iPad mini with an A12 Bionic chip and Apple Pencil support today. The 9.7-inch iPad was not updated.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

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Apple Launches New 10.5-Inch iPad Air With A12 Bionic Chip and Apple Pencil Support, Starts at $499

Apple today introduced an all-new iPad Air with a 10.5-inch display, A12 Bionic chip, and Apple Pencil support.


The new iPad Air is available to order on Apple.com and at Apple Stores and select resellers starting today with 64GB and 256GB storage. Prices start at $499 for Wi-Fi models and $629 for Wi-Fi + Cellular models in the United States.

The new iPad Air is a lower-cost replacement for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which was priced from $649 prior to being discontinued today.

Apple also introduced a new iPad mini with the A12 Bionic chip and Apple Pencil support. The 9.7-inch iPad was not updated today.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

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Apple Shipped 14.5M iPads in Holiday Quarter According to Strategy Analytics

Apple shipped an estimated 14.5 million iPads in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.


Apple no longer discloses iPad, iPhone, or Mac unit sales in its earnings reports, leaving us with these estimated figures, which can vary quite significantly between research firms. With the iPhone, for example, estimated shipments have ranged from 65.9 million to 68.4 million to 71.7 million for the quarter.

Apple reported sales of 13.2 million iPads in the fourth quarter of 2017, when it was still disclosing unit sales, so the Strategy Analytics data suggests that iPad unit sales have grown nearly 10 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Strategy Analytics estimates that the iPad's average selling price was $463, an increase of just over four percent from $445 in the year-ago quarter. This sounds unsurprising, as Apple raised prices with its new iPad Pro lineup in 2018, with the cheapest model starting at $799 compared to $649 in 2017.

Apple remained the world's most popular tablet vendor, easily topping Samsung's estimated 7.5 million tablet shipments in the quarter, according to Strategy Analytics. Amazon, Huawei, and Lenovo round off the top five with an estimated 5.5 million, 4.6 million, and 2.3 million shipments respectively.


On an operating system basis, however, Android tablets from multiple brands still commanded an estimated 60 percent of the market.

Apple reported iPad revenue of $6.7 billion in the quarter, a 17 percent increase over the year-ago quarter.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPad mini 5, iPad

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New 10-Inch iPad and Cheaper iPad Mini Coming ‘As Early As This Spring’

Apple is working on an updated version of the $329 6th-generation iPad and a new, cheaper iPad mini, Bloomberg today confirmed in an extensive report on Apple's future product plans.

The new version of the iPad will feature a "roughly 10-inch screen," which would be slightly larger than the 9.7-inch model that is currently available. The device is also expected to have a faster processor and a Lightning port instead of a USB-C port.


Apple is also working on an iPad mini 5, a followup to the 2015 iPad mini 4. The iPad mini 5 will be cheaper than the existing model, but no other details were provided.

Prior rumors have suggested both the new iPad and the iPad mini 5 will feature Touch ID Home buttons rather than Face ID, which would be appropriate as both are seemingly positioned as lower-cost devices.

Code found in iOS 12.2 indicates the two new tablets could potentially offer support for the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard as well.

According to Bloomberg, Apple could be planning to introduce the new iPads "as early as this spring," which is in line with other recent information.

New iPad models were registered with the Eurasian Economic Commission earlier this month, something that is generally done shortly ahead of a product launch, and references to new iPad models have been found in iOS 12.2.

For the last several years, Apple has held an event in March, and the company could be planning to do the same thing this year. If that's the case, we could see the new iPad and the iPad mini 5 at some point in March.

As for the iPad Pro, Apple is said to be planning a major upgrade for 2020 with a laser-powered 3D camera for augmented reality purposes. No major changes are planned for 2019, and it is unclear if the iPad Pro will get a 2019 update at all.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPad mini 5, iPad

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Apple’s Interactive Mobile Website Highlights New Features of 2018 iPad Pro

Apple is featuring a mobile website that allows visitors to interact with the 2018 iPad Pro, "the biggest change to iPad since iPad," according to the interactive website's banner (via Reddit). The page features four tabs revolving around the biggest features of the new iPad Pro: screen size, Face ID, thinner design, and new Apple Pencil.

The site starts out displaying an older model iPad Pro with a Home button and large top and bottom bezels, but a tap on the screen swaps this model out with the 11-inch 2018 iPad Pro. These models have much thinner bezels and no Home button.


To unlock the new iPad Pro, users implement a swipe up motion, much like iPhone X family devices. There's also Face ID to secure the iPad Pro, and the second tab on the new website allows users to simulate this unlocking process by swiping up on the tablet's screen.

The third tab lets visitors tilt their iPhone or iPad to see new angles of the 2018 iPad Pro and its thin design, while the final tab instructs users to swipe and attach the Apple Pencil magnetically to the side of the tablet. From here, customers can tap "Learn more" to watch videos, read more details, and purchase an iPad Pro on Apple's website.

The iPad Pro micro-site follows in the footsteps of a similar website that Apple debuted for the iPhone XS and XS Max last September.

You can check out the website for yourself by following this link on the mobile version of Safari or Chrome.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

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Apple Addresses 2018 iPad Pro ‘Bending’ Controversy, Says Subtle Deviations May Be More Visible Due to New Design

Apple yesterday posted a support document addressing the 2018 iPad Pro bending snafu that's been circulating around the internet over the course of the last couple of weeks.

Image via MacRumors reader Bwrin1

In the document, Apple describes the new design of the unibody enclosure of the device and how cellular models use a new co-molding process to create the antenna bands in the chassis.
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.
Apple says this process helps ensure the new iPad Pro models can meet a flatness specification of no more than a 400 micron deviation along any side, which less than the thickness of four sheets of paper. This is a tighter specification than on any previous model, but Apple says the new design could make any minor deviations more visible than before.
The new straight edges and the presence of the antenna splits may make subtle deviations in flatness more visible only from certain viewing angles that are imperceptible during normal use. These small variances do not affect the strength of the enclosure or the function of the product and will not change over time through normal use.
New iPad Pro owners first began noticing slight bends in their tablets shortly after the launch of the new device, prompting them to share their concerns on the MacRumors forums. iPad Pro users were worried about the structural integrity of the device, which is the thinnest iPad ever.

Users are encouraged to contact Apple if they believe their devices do not meet Apple's stated specifications, and the company reminds users of a 14-day return period and one-year warranty available on Apple products.

Apple devices have previously had issues with bending, and there was major consumer outcry over a "bendgate" controversy with the iPhone 6 Plus, which saw the iPhone bending due to regular use. iPad Pro owners are, understandably, concerned about another bendgate situation.

Apple last month told The Verge that the slight bending that some iPad Pro models are exhibiting is a side effect of the manufacturing process, caused by cooling of the metal and plastic components, but the new support document offers additional detail on the situation. While no official Apple statement was included in The Verge's article, it clearly said that Apple did not consider the bend to be a manufacturing defect, leading to customer confusion.

(Thanks, Bob!)

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2018’s Biggest Apple Leaks: iPhone XS and XR, iPad Pro, Macs, and More

As 2018 comes to a close, it's a great opportunity to take a look back at the year that was. Yesterday we shared our review of everything Apple announced during the year, and today we're taking a look at the rumors and leaks that gave us details on Apple's plans ahead of those announcements.


This year saw the typical iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch updates, although there were a few wrinkles thrown in with the new iPhone XR size, a redesigned iPad Pro without a Home button, and some changes to the Apple Watch with larger displays and thinner bodies.

The Mac side also saw some interesting rumors and product releases, with major improvements to the MacBook Air and the Mac mini coming alongside minor enhancements for the MacBook Pro, but unfortunately a few of Apple's Mac lines like the iMac and MacBook didn't see any updates.

Below we've rounded up some of the most interesting and notable leaks and rumors for 2018, organized by product.

2018 in Rumors


iPhone


Following the September 2017 launch of the iPhone X, attention quickly turned to Apple's 2018 iPhone lineup, and usual suspect Ming-Chi Kuo was quick to outline Apple's plans for a larger 6.5-inch model and a lower-cost 6.1-inch LCD model, correctly predicting a number of details about the devices including a full-screen design with notch, rough pixel density, and general pricing range for what would become the iPhone XR.


In January, Kuo weighed in with a few more details about the iPhone XR, including its single-lens rear camera, aluminum frame, 3GB of RAM, lack of 3D Touch, and pricing. The claim of no 3D Touch was met with considerable skepticism, but it did in fact turn out to be true, with the iPhone XR offering a scaled-back Haptic Touch feature.

A month later, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman revealed that the iPhone XS Max would have a resolution of 1242x2688 and that it would be available with dual-SIM capabilities and a new gold color option. Apple itself revealed an unreleased gold version of the iPhone X that was submitted to the FCC in September 2017 and which became public in April 2018.


In early April, we also got word that a launch of (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 8 and 8 Plus models was imminent, and this indeed turned out to be true, with Apple offering a new mid-cycle color option to benefit a worthy cause.


Later in the month, Kuo returned to reiterate his claim that the iPhone XR would not support 3D Touch, outlining changes to the display and touch-sensing technology that led to Apple removing the feature.

By early June, we were getting a good idea of what the new iPhones would look like, with increasingly accurate design drawings and renderings surfacing, likely from third-party case manufacturers sourcing leaked information from Apple's supply chain. And in late June we learned more details about the dual-SIM functionality of the upcoming iPhones, based on one physical SIM and one eSIM.


Early July was the first time we heard the 2018 iPhone lineup could see some vibrant new colors, with Kuo claiming that the iPhone XR would come in colors such as red, blue, orange, gray, and white. And a few weeks later we got our first really good look at the front glass panels for all three 2018 iPhones, clearing showing the slightly thicker bezels on the iPhone XR compared to the iPhone XS and XS Max.


Late July was also when we started hearing more substantial rumors that the iPhone XR might launch a bit later than the rest of the 2018 lineup, and this did turn out to be the case. The iPhone XR reportedly faced some technical challenges such as LED backlight leakage, but the staggered release also gave Apple an opportunity to spread out promotion of its new phones a bit.

Physical dummy units of the new phones also started showing up by late July, giving people an opportunity to see how the new models felt in the hand. We also learned that iOS 12 had optimized apps for landscape mode on the iPhone XS Max.


A major iPhone leak came straight from Apple just a couple weeks ahead of the company's iPhone media event, when the company uploaded an image of the iPhone XS and XS Max in gold to its live streaming page for the event. The leak confirmed several rumors regarding the device, including its "iPhone XS" name. A week later, multiple sites learned that Apple was likely to use the "iPhone XS Max" name for its largest phone, while Mark Gurman indicated the LCD phone could be named "iPhone XR."


Apple wasn't done leaking its own announcements, as just ahead of its September 12 media event, the company prematurely updated the product sitemap on its website to list the new phones. The listings confirmed the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR names and also revealed the color and storage capacity options for each model.

iPad Pro


As with the iPhone, rumors about Apple's redesigned iPad Pro kicked off in the final quarter of 2017, with Ming-Chi Kuo predicting that the device would include a TrueDepth camera system supporting Face ID. Just a month later, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman accurately described a number of other details about the iPad Pro, including slimmer bezels, a custom Apple-built GPU, Face ID, and no Home button. Gurman also correctly predicted that the iPad Pro would continue to use an LCD rather than an OLED display and that a new version of the Apple Pencil was in the works.


Following the release of iOS 12 betas starting in June, we began to see more evidence of Face ID support on iPad, with developer Steven Troughton-Smith noting that the AvatarKit framework used to drive the Animoji feature had been adapted to work on iPad.

In late July, we heard from Japanese site Mac Otakara that the updated iPad Pro would not include a headphone jack, following in the footsteps of recent iPhone models. The report also claimed the redesigned iPad Pro would include "diamond cut" edges on the front and back, and while the iPad Pro did indeed sport flatter sides and less rounded edges than on previous iPads, we didn't quite get the beveled edges of the iPhone SE, for example. The report also claimed the Smart Connector would be moving from the edge of the iPad Pro to the bottom rear, which didn't make a whole lot of sense at the time.


As the calendar flipped over to August, we saw our first sign of redesigned iPad Pro models direct from Apple, with a new low-resolution battery usage icon in the fifth iOS 12 beta depicting a device with slim bezels and no Home button. Similarly, UI masks found in the same beta indicated the iPad Pro display would likely include rounded corners similar to those found on the iPhone X.

Late August saw our first third-party case leaks for the iPad Pro showing a mysterious cutout on the rear of the device just above the Lightning port, which corresponded with rumors of a relocated Smart Connector. Speculation centered around a portrait orientation Smart Keyboard attachment, but that didn't seem to make much sense and it really wasn't until we saw the Smart Keyboard Folio unveiled at Apple's October event that we really understood how Apple intended for the new Smart Connector location to work.


In early September, Kuo issued a new report claiming the new iPad Pro would come with a USB-C port rather than a Lightning port, and that an 18-watt USB-C power adapter would be included in the box.

Early in October, 9to5Mac reported that the new Apple Pencil would feature AirPods-like proximity pairing, rather than requiring the Apple Pencil be plugged into an iPad for pairing purposes. A few days later, we saw our first claim that the new iPad Pro would be just 5.9mm thick, Apple's thinnest iPad ever. There was some uncertainty about whether this would be true of both iPad Pro sizes, but they did indeed both end up having the same thickness.


Just ahead of Apple's October 30 event, Benjamin Geskin shared details on the second-generation Apple Pencil that would ship alongside the new iPad Pro, including aspects such as the simpler design, tap and swipe gestures, and magnetic attachment and charging along the side of the iPad Pro. On the same day, a higher-resolution icon was also discovered in iOS 12 revealing the design of the iPad Pro.


iPad


Shortly before the calendar rolled over to 2018, DigiTimes claimed Apple was working on an updated 9.7-inch iPad that could come in late 2018 at a cheaper price point. The timing and pricing claims were off, but Apple was indeed working on a new iPad. The website followed up in early February with a claim that a refreshed iPad could appear as soon as the following month, and a few weeks later new iPad models received certification with the Eurasian Economic Commission.


Once Apple announced its education-focused event in Chicago for March 27, Mark Gurman confirmed that Apple would be introducing a new iPad and education-focused software at the event. That same day, Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the new low-cost iPad would also include Apple Pencil support, which turned out to be correct.

Macs


Rumors about a new 13-inch notebook surfaced all the way back in January, with DigiTimes claiming Apple was working on a likely replacement for the MacBook Air that hadn't been updated since 2015. No other details on the machine were shared at the time, and confusion persisted all the way up until release about whether the machine would be a new MacBook Air, a MacBook, or something else, but it eventually made its debut carrying the MacBook Air name.


In January 2018, Gurman offered a vague rumor claiming that Apple was working on a trio of new Mac models that would include a custom coprocessor like the T1/T2 chips found in the MacBook Pro and iMac Pro. He didn't specify which models these would be, but the claim did end up being true with the MacBook Air, updated MacBook Pro, and Mac mini all gaining the T2 chip in 2018.

Kuo popped up again in March to claim that Apple was preparing a cheaper MacBook Air for launch in the second quarter of the year. It was the first time we'd heard about the new notebook being an updated MacBook Air, and while the timing was a bit off and it certainly wasn't cheaper than the previous model, the new machine was definitely in the works. DigiTimes followed up a few days later with its claim that the new MacBook Air would include a Retina display, which was welcome but expected news.

By late April, we started hearing better information on the timing of the new MacBook Air, with DigiTimes claiming it was pushed back to the second half of the year, tempering hopes that it might appear at WWDC in June. Reports in mid-August said we should expect a launch around the end of the third quarter, which would put it at the end of September, and we ended up getting it almost exactly a month later than that.


It wasn't until the latter part of August that we got our first word of a redesigned Mac mini from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. He didn't have much detail to offer at the time, although he said it would be focused on pro users with storage and processor options that would likely push the price higher.


By early September, we heard from Ming-Chi Kuo that the new MacBook Air would include Touch ID support, although it would not have the full Touch Bar seen on the MacBook Pro.

Apple Watch


Late March was the first time we heard anything substantial about the Apple Watch Series 4, with Ming-Chi Kuo revealing that the new models would include 15 percent larger displays, although at the time it wasn't clear whether that would come from smaller bezels or a larger body, and it eventually turned out to be a bit of both.


The same late August leak straight from Apple that gave us a look at the iPhone XS and XS Max also revealed the new Apple Watch Series 4, showing off a gold stainless steel body, a new red ring for the Digital Crown, a larger edge-to-edge display, and a new Infograph watch face. Subsequently, it was discovered in the watchOS beta that the larger Series 4 model would carry a 384x480 display, a significant increase from the previous 312x390 resolution.


Apple's premature update of its website sitemap just ahead of its September 12 event revealed that the casing sizes for the Apple Watch would be increasing by 2mm each, as well as various finish and band options.

Software


Following a number of performance and quality issues with iOS 11, Apple took a step back in 2018, with Axios' Ina Fried reporting in January that Apple would be delaying some changes originally intended for iOS 12, including a Home screen refresh, CarPlay enhancements, Mail app improvements, and various photo-related updates. By pushing those features back to iOS 13 in 2019, Apple hoped to put more emphasis on stability and bug fixes for iOS 12 while also improving responsiveness and speed. Mark Gurman quickly followed up on Fried's report to claim that the feature delay also extended to macOS, although to a lesser degree.

In February, Gurman revealed that iOS 12 would bring Animoji to FaceTime and that the update would bring deeper Siri integration, improved Do Not Disturb options, and a redesigned Stocks app. And just a few days before WWDC, Gurman shared his expectations that the conference would focus on software news like digital health tools in iOS 12, ARKit 2, and more, with hardware news coming separately later in the year.


In late May, we found evidence of recent trademark activity from Apple surrounding several potential macOS names, with the greatest amount of activity surrounding the name "Mojave." Apple itself was responsible for a major macOS leak just a week later, prematurely publishing a brief Xcode 10 video on its Mac App Store servers. The video revealed dark mode, an Apple News app for Mac, and a desert desktop background supporting the possibility of macOS 10.14 being named Mojave.

Miscellaneous


In what was undoubtedly the most ironic and amusing leak of 2018, an internal Apple memo cautioning employees against leaking information to the media was itself leaked in full. The memo specifically mentioned several previous leaks including the iOS 11 gold master, with Apple noting that the employee responsible for the leak was identified and fired. Apple also highlighted the fact that employee leakers can not only lose their jobs but also be subjected to criminal prosecution. The company said it caught 29 leakers in 2017 among its employees, contractors, and supply chain partners, with 12 of those individuals being arrested.


In early May, we saw our first leak regarding an Apple-designed 18-watt USB-C power adapter to support faster charging of iOS devices. There was confusion as to whether it would ship in the box with this year's iPhones, and while that did not turn out to be the case, it did ship with the new iPad Pro models with Apple starting to sell it on a standalone basis a few weeks later. We got our first look at an actual prototype version of the adapter in early July.

What's Next?


2019 should once again be a busy year for Apple and we'll have more to say on that next week, but at a minimum there are still a number of rumors from 2018 that are carrying over into the new year – everything from the ongoing AirPower and AirPods saga to rumored over-ear headphones, Apple's promised revamped Mac Pro, and much more.


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Tutorials, Tips and Tricks for New iPad and iPad Pro Owners

Get a new iPad or iPad Pro for the holidays? If so, you may want to check out our extensive collection of iPad how tos and guides to learn all of the ins and outs of your new tablet.

Even if you've had an iPad before, if you got one of the new 2018 iPad Pro models, there are a lot of new features to get acquainted with due to the new Face ID feature and the removal of the Home button, which introduces a whole new swipe-based interface. Below, we've organized many of our iPad-related how tos into categories for quick access.


Beginner Tips

Useful iOS Features

Hidden Tricks

Important Security Tips

Advanced Functionality

The Apple Pencil

Must-Watch Videos


We've also created several iPad-related tutorial videos that are well worth watching if you have one of Apple's new devices.






Selling Your Old iPad


If you're planning to sell or give away your old iPad now that you have a new model to play with, make sure to check out our detailed guide on how to cleanly erase your old devices to get rid of all your data.

More Info


Have any useful iPad-related tips and tricks that other MacRumors readers should know? Share them in the comments!

If you want to know more about Apple's 2018 iPad and 2018 iPad Pro models, make sure to check out our full roundups with complete details on the different tablets: iPad Pro and iPad.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPad

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Apple’s Dan Riccio Says 2018 iPad Pro ‘Meets or Exceeds’ Quality Standards of Design and Precision, More Info to Come

Earlier this week, Apple told The Verge that some 2018 iPad Pro models are shipping with a slight bend in the aluminum chassis, which is a side effect of the manufacturing process that is not expected to worsen over time or negatively impact the iPad's performance.

Many MacRumors readers were concerned about Apple's position that a noticeable bend is not a manufacturing issue, prompting MacRumors reader Craig to send an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook to express his concerns.

Image via MacRumors reader Bwrin1

While Cook didn't respond, Craig did get a reply from Apple's VP of hardware engineering, Dan Riccio, which he shared with MacRumors and we which we have confirmed to be from Apple's corporate mail servers in Cupertino, California.

In the email, Riccio says that the iPad Pro's design "meets or exceeds" all of Apple's quality and precision standards.

Apple's specification for iPad Pro flatness is up to 400 microns, which is "even tighter than previous generations." Riccio reiterates that this level of flatness won't change during normal use, nor does it affect function. From the email:
Relative to the issue you referenced regarding the new iPad Pro, its unibody design meets or exceeds all of Apple's high quality standards of design and precision manufacturing. We've carefully engineered it and every part of the manufacturing process is precisely measured and controlled.

Our 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.

Again, thanks for reaching out and I hope the above explanation addresses your concerns.
Riccio's email also says that a company statement was not included in the original information disseminated by The Verge, and that Apple will be reaching out to media outlets to comment officially.

The original email was sent late on December 20 and suggested a comment would come "later today," but that didn't happen, so it's not quite clear when Apple will provide more info to the media. We may be hearing an official, more reassuring statement on the 2018 iPad Pro before the end of the day.

Minor bending of the new iPad Pro models first came to light shortly after the devices launched, and new iPad Pro owners who noticed bends shared their concerns on the MacRumors forums.

Apple was quiet on the issue until this week, when the company told The Verge that the bending is a side effect of the manufacturing process and not a defect that impacts iPad performance.

The bend is said to be the result of a cooling process involving the iPad Pro's metal and plastic components during manufacturing. iPad Pro models experiencing this issue are exhibiting the problem right out of the box, according to Apple, so it's not an issue that shows up or worsens over time.

Apple told The Verge that concerns over the structural rigidity of the iPad Pro are unfounded and that it stands by the product.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

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Apple Says Some 2018 iPad Pros Ship Bent, But It’s Normal and Not a Defect

Shortly after the new 2018 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models shipped out to customers, some MacRumors readers found bends in their tablets. Unsurprisingly, new iPad owners were upset and disappointed to find unwanted defects in devices that cost hundreds of dollars, but according to new information from Apple, a slight bend isn't out of the ordinary.

Apple told The Verge that some 2018 iPad Pro models are indeed shipping with a "very slight bend in the aluminum chassis," which is a "side effect of the manufacturing process" that is not expected to worsen over time or negatively effect the iPad's performance "in any practical way."

Image via MacRumors reader Bwrin1

Apple says the bend, which can impact both sizes of the new 2018 iPad Pro models, is caused by a cooling process involving the iPad Pro's metal and plastic components during manufacturing. Apple told The Verge that the bend is not considered to be a defect.

2018 iPad Pro models that are exhibiting this problem have it right out of the box, according to Apple, so it does not appear to be an issue that shows up over time. There were videos indicating that the new iPad Pro models bend more easily than other models, but Apple says that concerns over the iPad Pro's "structural rigidity" are "unfounded" and that it "stands by the product." Apple has not experienced higher-than-normal return rates for the 2018 iPad Pro.


The Verge suggests that those who are irritated by the bend "shouldn't have any trouble exchanging or returning" an iPad Pro at an Apple Store, but that statement likely only applies to devices that are still under the return policy. Apple typically does not replace devices experiencing issues that are not considered manufacturing defects, so it's not entirely clear if those with bent tablets outside of the return period will be able to get replacements.

Apple experienced major consumer outcry over a "bendgate" controversy with the iPhone 6 Plus, which saw that iPhone bending due to regular use. Apple rectified the problem with later iPhone models, and given the concern over the potential for a similar issue, it's no surprise that Apple is attempting to reassure customers that this is a manufacturing issue that won't worsen over time.

Despite the fact that iPad Pro models experiencing this minor bend allegedly won't end up with future problems because of it, many iPad Pro users may be unhappy with the slight cosmetic and functional problems caused by an uneven surface.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

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