Apple is investigating Wi-Fi troubles with new iPad, reports say

Apr 5, 2012
Tech

Reports that users are encountering issues with the Wi-Fi capabilities of Apple’s third-generation iPad are cropping up around the Internet, with users claiming the tablet is struggling to hold down a solid Wi-Fi signal. According to a story from 9to5Mac, Apple is actively looking into the problem. The report cites an internal AppleCare document that […]

Reports that users are encountering issues with the Wi-Fi capabilities of Apple’s third-generation iPad are cropping up around the Internet, with users claiming the tablet is struggling to hold down a solid Wi-Fi signal.

According to a story from 9to5Mac, Apple is actively looking into the problem. The report cites an internal AppleCare document that points to Apple employees investigating the complaints, which include the iPad’s inability to find networks, slow download speeds and weak Wi-Fi signals. There’s also a thread on the Apple forums that has garnered some 700 replies, on which users are explaining their difficulties.

The only devices apparently affected by the issue are the Wi-Fi-only versions of the new iPad, according to Apple’s memo, but it seems that at least internally the company is acknowledging some devices have a problem. The list of symptoms clearly delineates what the AppleCare representatives should be looking out for, and the tests involved state that those reps should make sure they’re dealing with a real hardware issue and not some kind of software bug.

The 4G LTE models of the iPad seem to be unaffected. As 9to5Mac points out, this may well be due to the fact that the iPad has a black rubber cut on the top of its casing to allow for additional network access power.

The internal memo states that AppleCare reps are instructed to “capture” iPads experiencing the glitch; as 9to5Mac reports, “Captured” is code for immediately sending the device to Apple’s engineering centers, where the problem can be investigated more thoroughly – at least according to one source. The “capture” order extends to the accessories included with the iPad as well, namely, the charger and the USB cord that comes boxed with the tablet.

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Unlike other issues with the iPad, including the overheating problem and the charging troubles some users have reported, this latest issue with the iPad seems to be a little more serious. Several media outlets have conducted tests to suggest that the new iPad doesn’t really get much hotter than other tablets on the market, and the charging issue also recently got a fairly thorough explanation. This, however, seems to have attracted the attention of Apple.

On the plus side, it seems Apple is replacing devices affected with the issue.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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