General Question

Dog's avatar

Is it possible to warp the aluminum frame of an iPad by frequently holding it the same way?

Asked by Dog (24827points) October 9th, 2010

I have an iPad that I baby. It is in a heavy-duty case and has never, ever been dropped or harmed in any way.

Last night I had trouble plugging in the charger- it was oddly tight. On investigation the aluminum is actually warped down around it by about 1/16th of an inch.

I am completely blown away at this and cannot figure out how it could have happened.

Oddly enough I hold the device with my thumb on the case right at that very point. Could this have caused the damage?

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12 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

It could have yes. I have worked with metal a lot over the years, specially sheet metal. and ultra thin aluminium is very easy to bend. most metals are if they are thin. aluminium is very soft, you could even bend a sheet that is say 2.5mm thick with your hands and without much effort.

If this piece of metal is anywhere near a heat source, such as the batery, then the heat would make it even easier to bend.

Dog's avatar

@poisonedantidote So then if I wait till it heats up and try I may be able to bend it back? I know Apple will not repair it free even though it was done under normal use.

poisonedantidote's avatar

could you maybe upload a close up picture of it for me to see? then i could advise better. at the moment i imagine a little piece of sheet metal rolled up in to a tubular shape.

if you want to fix it, you dont really need to wait for it to get hot, if its that thin you could try to fix it now and it wont make too much difference. the heat would only make a difference if you where trying to bend it with a very little amount of pressure.

EDIT: i just looked at a picture of one online, i see, its a kind of USB slot. and very thin at that. that would be tricky to fix DIY style. it would not be too hard to make it worse.

Dog's avatar

You have no idea how bummed out I am over this. I cannot afford to repair it.
It is charging a bit slower than usual but it is charging.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Well, i think you are well within your rights to demand a free repair, looking at it im sure this is down to a design fault. a soft material combined with a nice big hole to weaken it further. when you consider how long the ipad is in relation to how thick the material is, its not hard to see how some leverage would cause this damage. specially if you read laying down on your back holding it in front of you at any kind of angle.

my advice, if it is still functional and you are able to charge it, i would ignore the problem and try to hold it in a different place. and if you cant charge it and need it to be fixed and/or insist on fixing it, i would fix it slowly. personally i would go with a wide flat head screw driver, i would balance it in the hole and let the weight of the handle bend it back over time. if you are actually going to put any pressure on it, i would do so very very slowly and gently.

EDIT: my main concern would be that you dont damage the circuit thing inside, it looks very thin, and if you damage it trying to fix it then there is no way at all that they will cover the repair.

prolificus's avatar

Oh my that’s terrible! Isn’t your ipad under warranty? Have you taken it to the Apple store and had them look at it? Why do you say Apple won’t repair it? It seems like a manufacturing defect that they should cover.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Absolutely.Aluminum is highly malleable.

Dog's avatar

I think I will try at Apple just for the heck of it. (@prolificus they do not cover damage repair under warranty) It really is a design flaw because the button is right there and resting the thumb is natural at that point to access the button. With the smudge-friendly glass screen it is my habit to touch the outer edge where the case is and not the glass- putting all the stress on the aluminum right at the weakest point.

I will try…. backing it up now.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@Dog how heavy is an ipad? because im betting that if you where to weigh it, and then apply the same amount of pressure to that area that it would not hold. with that in mind you could argue that the design is fundamentally flawed on the basis that it will not even support its own weight.

i imagine, this has happened when you let go with one hand for a moment, maybe to sip a cup of coffee, leaving the entire weight of the ipad to rest on that one spot.

Dog's avatar

According to the specs on the Apple site it weighs 1.6 pounds.
Not too heavy- but then add the case- which I purchased FROM the apple store. When it is done syncing I will weigh it with the case.

Aqua's avatar

I second the idea of calling Apple. Chances are they’ll fix it for free, warranty or not. They have great customer service. I had a 5th gen iPod that started acting up on me a few months ago and wouldn’t play music. I called up Apple and explained everything, and they said other people had similar problems and sent me a replacement 5th iPod free of charge (after I sent them my old one so they could diagnose it). It was 4+ years old and definitely not covered under warranty.

ruairidhbruce's avatar

Yes, you can do this. Aluminum is soft enough to be precision machined, allowing for a great finish, and a good fit of all parts.

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