Photo: Alex Cranz (Gizmodo)

Remember when Zack Nelson from JerryRigEverything got everyone worked up into a tizzy after he bent an iPad Pro in half with his bare hands and mused whether Apple’s new tablet might be a little weak? Well, it seems he may have been onto something.

Originally, when Zack bent his iPad Pro, claims about potential design flaws were dismissed largely because his test didn’t exactly replicate a typical real-world scenario. But in the past month, a number of users on the MacRumors forums and even a writer at the Verge ran into issues with iPad Pros that showed signs of bending either out of the box or shortly after being purchased.

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Now, Apple has responded to those reports in a statement to the Verge, saying that while some users may see new iPad Pros with a slight bend to them, the bend “is a side effect of the device’s manufacturing process and shouldn’t worsen over time or negatively affect the flagship iPad’s performance in any practical way.”

Apparently, small bends in a new iPad Pro’s chassis are due to part of the cooling process used to make some of the tablet’s plastic and aluminum components, with both the 11-inch and 12.9 models susceptible to small amounts of bending. The new iPads are much thinner than previous versions and the exceptional thinness of the metal could have contributed to the devices’ susceptibility to temperature.

While what Apple says may be true, the one thing that throws a bit of a wrench into the company’s explanation is that in pictures of bent iPads, many of them exhibit some curving on or near one of the microphone holes located on the long side of the iPad Pro’s body—precisely where Zack Nelson said the tablet seemed a weakest.

In its statement to the Verge, Apple says it hasn’t seen an above average return rate for the new iPad Pro. Unfortunately, to make matters slightly more confusing, it seems that currently there’s not a clear message as to whether users are entitled to return bent iPads for brand new devices, or if the bending is categorized as accidental damage and therefore subject to an AppleCare claim.

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However, the most frustrating part about all this is that when it was released, the new iPad Pro’s new super-thin body was hailed as a revolution and a breakthrough in modern engineering. But with its durability now in question, one has to wonder if it really would have been that big of a deal to make the damn thing a little thicker?

We’ve reached out to Apple for clarification and will update should we hear back.

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