Apple details iPad Pro’s new unibody enclosure design, manufacture, and flatness tolerance

Apple on Friday published a support document which details the new iPad Pro’s unibody enclosure design, manufacture, and flatness tolerance.

Apple explains:

iPad Pro cellular models now feature Gigabit-class LTE, with support for more cellular bands than any other tablet. 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.

These precision manufacturing techniques and a rigorous inspection process ensure that these new iPad Pro models meet an even tighter specification for flatness than previous generations. This flatness specification allows for no more than 400 microns of deviation across the length of any side — less than the thickness of four sheets of paper. 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.

In the document, Apple explains what to do if you believe you have an issue with your iPad Pro enclosure:

If you believe your new iPad Pro does not meet the specifications described in this article, please contact Apple Support. Apple offers a 14-day return policy for products purchased directly from Apple. Apple also provides up to a one-year warranty on our products and will cover damage if it has occurred due to a defect in materials or workmanship.

Source: Apple Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve written throughout this latest “gate” issue, “If your iPad Pro is warped out of the box, return it within the 14-day return window for a new one.”

Apple’s gaslighting over bent iPads is a stunning response to a serious problem – December 27, 2018
Apple’s Dan Riccio says 2018 iPad Pro ‘meets or exceeds’ quality standards of design and precision – December 21, 2018
Apple says some 2018 iPad Pro units ship with bent chassis, but they don’t consider it a defect – December 20, 2018


  1. This is a perfect storm for Apple. Cook thinks his consumers are so gullible and stupid that they will actually buy the line: “Bending iPad Pros that cost 1 to 2 grand are normal”. Expect Cook’s resignation soon or watch this company become the next Nokia and RIM.

    1. I’m guessing neither resignation nor becoming the next Nokia. Most people don’t know what 400 microns are and wouldn’t be able to see it if you pointed it out to them. The ones that do don’t care because… 400 microns. Older iPads were indeed worse, but the curves made it harder to see.

      There are FAR more serious issues with Apple and their products to gripe on.

      1. @Wrong

        If nobody could see it, there wouldn’t be a bend, now would it, you apologetic jackass!

        By the way, all the other outstanding issues with Apple are Tim Cook’s fault also, genius. So what exactly is your fucking point asshole?

        1. If nobody could see it with the unaided eye, it would still be bent.

          Apple’s correct that the amount of bend is very small and many people would not notice it if they didn’t have it demonstrated to them.

          But it is easily observed/measured by simply aligning with something that is straight, such as a tabletop or even another apple device which is not bent.

          Apple should have been in front of this, not behind it where they look like they’re being sneaky again, a la the Battery slowdown fiasco.

    2. Zerorandy, no where in that article does it say anything about “bending” and iPad. These are fluctuations in the manufacturing cooling process that cause contractions resulting in an extremely minor bend. It doesn’t say you can bend them, or that they will bend during use. Pay attention son.

  2. … I know .0156″ isn’t a lot, but if it pertains to flatness it could rock a bit on a perfectly flat surface. The problem is that a visual imperfection can be just as important as a functional imperfection, and we expect Apple products to look perfect.

  3. I’ve had 3 iPads— A 2G, a 3G, and now a 12.9 iPad Pro (1st G). My wife has had 3 also — the initial 2010 iPad, a mini, and most recently, a 9.7 non-Pro model. All have been kept in protective cases, leather folios, etc. A 400-micron variation in thickness wouldn’t be noticeable at all. This iPad “Bend-gate” seems very silly for someone to complain about — I agree with others here sharing the same sentiment.

      1. I have both the new iPad Pro and a 2016 MacBook Pro – I love both, including the keyboard on the MacBook. At first I thought I saw a bend in the iPad, but actually laying it flat with camera up, realised there was none.

  4. 0.4 mm is acceptable to the company that spent over a year approving door handles?

    Door handles that had to be scrutinized down to 0.001 mm in order to pass mustard?

  5. Great when there are no insurmountable obstacles, and there are interesting solutions. Cncnow machining is one of the leading companies in China that specializes in grinding, drilling, cleaning and fitting metal castings to the specified part parameters using a CNC station. The equipment can be adjusted both for serial production and for single orders.

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