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My iPad Pro Is Slightly Bent What Should I Do?

Is your iPad Pro slightly bent? You’re not alone. In fact, so many people reported a slightly bent iPad Pro— straight from the factory— that it became a minor public relations fiasco for everyone’s favorite tablet company. There’s a lot of confusing information out there: is it a defect, is it a manufacturing variant, or is it something else altogether?

Here’s the good news: it shouldn’t get worse, and it doesn't actually matter for regular use. If your iPad Pro is bent enough so it doesn’t fit into its iPad Pro case, you’ll want to bring it back to Apple for an exchange. Do the same thing if your iPad Air can’t fit in your iPad Air case, whether that’s an iPad Air 10.9 Case (4th Generation) 2020 or the iPad Air 5th generation 10.9 case. 

Still wondering what is up? Here’s everything you need to know about a slightly bent iPad Pro: what it’s caused by, what it means, and what Apple says about it. 

Brand New iPad With Slight Bending

Back in 2018, shortly after the 12.9 and 11 inch iPad Pro models came out, some users started noticing that their iPads had a discernible curve.  This wasn’t user error, or a structural weakness made worse by improper carrying methods. They actually came out of the box that way, and people were worried they’d received a subpar product. 

Some contacted Apple. While Apple made replacements when requested, it stated there was no widespread problem and explained to users that the device had been manufactured to very high quality standards. Their user support email also explained that the iPad Pro flatness was specified to 400 micron; less than half a millimeter or a few sheets of paper.  They suggested that the flat sides of the new model made any slight, irrelevant bend in the iPad more noticeable, and promised that any sub 400 micron flatness deviation the iPad might come with would not cause any problems in the tablets lifecycle. 

An article published in the Verge in December of that year suggested that there was a manufacturing variance in some iPad Pros, but also repeated the issue wouldn’t get worse and Apple didn’t consider it a problem. Currently Apple has a support page on the topic, which reads, in part:

“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.

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.”

There you have it. Within fourteen days you can return your device to Apple for any  and every reason, assuming you bought from then in the first place, so if that sub-400 micron bend bothers you can turn it in and pick up a flatter one from the shelf. If you decide to keep it, it’ll work just as well as any other tablet. If you’re out of the 14 day grace period you’ll have to just deal with it, unless your particular bend is more than 400 microns and you can demonstrate it is their fault, not yours. 

What if You Did It?

That’s everything you need to know about the possible curves that some iPads have straight out of the box— and, to be honest, that can be any iPad, and an iPad Air has just as much potential to come with a slight curve as does an iPad Pro. But what about if you got a nice flat iPad and bent it yourself? There are a number of things that can cause bends in iPads— non protected backpack rides, for instance, or using your tablet to hold up an unbalanced stack of textbooks.

Unfortunately, this is a problem that is difficult to fix. Our recommendation is to just deal with it— stick that iPad in its case, treat it more gently in the future, and avoid activities that will make the problem worse. If you’ve got Apple Care, you can bring it in for a repair, but if you’re paying out of pocket  the repair cost may be close to the price of a new iPad.

Some  iPad users have reported success with DIY fixes. Writing on Quota, one user recommends a pencil trick: balance the iPad bend side up on two pencils (one at each end). Then use your hand to provide careful light pressure, just enough to unbend the iPad. Rather than one heavy motion that does it all at once, you’ll want to aim for half a dozen gentle presses that, when added together, undo that bend on your iPad. 

It’s certainly possible to unbend your iPad this way, but it does require a certain amount of skill and luck— and it’s very easy to go wrong and make the problem worse. Try it if you will, but be careful, and don’t blame us if your screen shatters after a too-vigorous push!

Most slight bends in iPads won’t effect the user experience in the slightest, so just get yourself a high quality case and continue to enjoy your iPad the same way you did when it was unbent.  But whatever you do, don’t bring out the hammers!