Customers complain of worrying iPad Air 5 build quality issue

IPad Air 5 Rear Camera
IPad Air 5 Rear Camera (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

What you need to know

  • A worrying issue has been noticed by customers of the new iPad Air.
  • Multiple users of the new device say the rear of the device feels thin and makes creaking noises.
  • Some even suggested they could feel the device's battery through the back panel.

Multiple new customers who have bought Apple's iPad Air state they have noticed poor build quality on the device.

According to multiple users on Reddit who have bought the new iPad Air, the rear aluminium panel of the device feels noticeably thinner than the previous model, leading to creaking.

The post that kickstarted the thread on Reddit states:

I ordered and received two blue iPad Air 2022 today and I'm a bit shocked. The aluminium backplate is a lot thinner than on the iPad 4 which I also have. You can almost feel the battery through the plate when you hold the device. Both iPads have the same feeling and are making creaking noises when you hold them. This did not happen on the iPad Air 4. Both are going back but is it just me? I also asked a second person and she felt it too.

Other new customers of the device immediately jumped in to say they had experienced similar issues, the first reply noted:

Confirm the same here on my blue Air 5. Feels like I can feel the inside from the back. More than OK once I put it in my folio case, but feels weird when naked

"Same here, also have the blue", said another user, who confirmed elsewhere that they could feel a gap between the rear of the iPad and the internal components. They said the iPad build "feels very low quality", and that they would be returning it for an M1 iPad Pro.

A fourth users concurred saying "I thought I was paranoid." While some users said they had not experienced this, and others suggested it was a problem specific to the blue iPad, one user stated they had found the same issue with the Space Grey and had returned their device to an Apple store, adding they tried all of the colors and felt the same issue, although Apple reportedly disagreed.

As noted, some users claim the back of the iPad feels much thinner and has more give than the previous generation, which was one of Apple's best iPads, with other users even suggesting they can feel the device's battery through the housing on the back. Interestingly, the issue was not picked up on by any reviews that we could fine, with many actually praising the build quality of the device.

Apple's new iPad, unveiled last week, features the M1 Apple silicon processor, 5G for cellular models, and a new 12MP front-facing camera. The design remains otherwise unchanged from the previous model.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9