Once again, Apple has been hounded by customers for providing a sub-par product.
This time, the iPad Pro is at the centre of a “Bendgate 2.0” scandal after users found their devices were delivered with noticeable bends.
Upon opening their brand new iPads, customers were quick to post on social media, checking if others had similar problems. However, speculation regarding the cause varied. Some blamed generic wear and tear while others were adamant their devices were delivered in a bent condition.
Now, in an interview with The Verge, Apple has confirmed some of the 2018 iPad Pros were shipped with distinct bends.
And justifiably, customers aren’t happy.
@Apple I promise if I ever order and iPad and it comes bent, I will be sending it back and you will be giving me an unbent one. Dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. For the money, you guys need to be better.— Josh Merritt (@joshemerritt)
— Adam Mckeithan (@Adammck)
Despite the noticeable bend in the aluminium chassis, Apple denies that it’s a product defect. Instead, the problem has been attributed to “a side effect of the device’s manufacturing process”.
When the iPad Pro is built, the tablet goes through a cooling process involving both metal and plastic components of the device. Apple alleges this procedure can cause the slight bending customers have observed in both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models. iPad users have been told this is “normal”.
According to the tech giant, the bend shouldn’t affect iPad use, nor should it worsen over time. But given Apple’s history of product misgivings, customers are sceptical.
Apple’s response was prompted after several users on the MacRumors forum reported issues after their tablet shipments arrived. User MacDonaldTrump snapped a photo of the slight bend, querying if other Apple fans had similar defects. Many did.
And it wasn’t just those on the forum that found issues either. YouTube channel JerryRigEverything tested the durability of the iPad Pro in November, finding it bent in half with minimal effort.
Users noticed the bend was more pronounced on the LTE models due to a plastic strip separating the two flat aluminium sides.
It’s not the first time Apple has been forced to release a statement after public outcry. The tech giant has built a sturdy resume of device blunders.
In 2010, during the “Antennagate” fiasco, Apple told iPhone 4 customers they were simply holding the phone incorrectly after problems with reception quality were highlighted. A few years later, tech fans were hit by the original “Bentgate” scandal where the iPhone 6 came under fire for bending in people’s pockets.
Apple fans also suffered through the touchscreen error “Touch Disease”, a raft of application issues, a forced U2 album on iTunes and the alleged slowing of iPhones upon new smartphone releases.
Apple claims there hasn’t been a significant rise in iPad Pro returns since the issue was discovered. However, if more customers receive dissatisfactory iPads, return numbers could spike.
According to the ACCC, disgruntled recipients of bent products should be entitled to exchanges or refunds. Under Australian Consumer Law, customers receive an automatic product guarantee which requires items to “look acceptable” and be of a quality with “no faults”.
For those who come across a bent iPad, customers are advised to contact Apple.