A slightly bent chassis may not impede the new iPad Pro from working right, but Apple implying that this happening in any quantity to end-users is okay in any way defies reason.
Contrary to appearances, I don't work all day and all night. So, when I hit the headlines this morning and was confronted with an array of testimonies talking about how some of Apple's customers with a new iPad Pro were taking them out of the box pre-bent, that took a few reads to fully process.
We've spoken about Apple's quality assurance at some length, just a hair over a year ago. We still don't think that there need to be mass firings, or sacrificial executives laid at the altar — but this iPad Pro situation isn't good, and harkens back to G4 Cube mold marks, and a few other issues from days of yore. Yes, even Steve Jobs had issues like this.
It's early on Thursday, but we've already looked at our continued collation of service data, spoken to a few Apple dealers, and to other staff inside Apple not authorized to speak on behalf of the company. Based on service data and return rates, this does not appear to be a widespread or endemic problem. However, the fact that somebody at Apple has spoken out about it means it is not a trivial amount of customers who could be easily and quietly handled by being given a replacement with a perfunctory "hey, look at that" by Genius Bar staff before before anybody catches wind of the issue.
AppleInsider's advice is this: open those iPads you've got under the tree, and check them right now, to make sure that it isn't bent prior to any use by the recipient. Take advantage of that generous holiday return period that Apple is currently offering, and get one that's not bent and don't stop until you get one.
If you've got an older unit from launch, you might be out of luck. If you think it was bent out of the box, calmly and politely talk to Apple about it, get a case number, and keep watching AppleInsider for more information on it going forward. Remember, you aren't talking to factory workers or engineers, and they had nothing to do with the current situation — so screaming at them isn't going to help you, or make them want to solve your problem. Of course, if you bent it, that's a different matter altogether, and please don't go down this road.
Pre-bent from the factory is fine in a $40 craplet. It is much less so in a $800 and up Apple iPad Pro.