Less than a week after Consumer Report praised the new iPad as being the best tablet on the market and charging more demand than its previous two generations, an internal AppleCare document has surfaced reflecting wi-fi issues, including connection drops, inability to join local networks, and slow upload and download speeds.
Tack that onto the complaints of the device overheating when charging or playing games and you’re one away from a trifecta of highly-publicised problems.
Ever so quietly, Apple is beginning to replace new iPads that their owners say have wi-fi issues. According to the leaked Applecare document that was sent to 9to5Mac, “contract centers and retail stores should capture iPad (3rd generation) Wi-Fi only devices if they exhibit any issue related to Wi-Fi.” The document listed symptoms that included intermittent connectivity, slow wi-fi speeds and wi-fi networks not being seen.
According to 9to5′s source, the word “captured” is code for the device to be immediately sent to Apple’s engineering centers for further investigation.
A week ago, the Apple Support Community forum started a thread that has grown to nearly 800 posts. “Can’t believe that Apple does not or can’t fix this problem quickly… if you are such a big company, you must know how wi-fi works,” is one message posted by a frustrated new iPad owner. Others posted that after they exchanged their iPad, they didn’t experience any more problems. Not everyone was as lucky, however.
“I went through four (iPads) and gave up,” one user posted on March 30. “I’ll try again in a few weeks. I know some people are getting good ones from the exchange and some are not. I was not so lucky, but maybe in a few weeks I will be.”
Despite complaints of overheating and now wi-fi issues, Consumer Reports reported this week that the new iPad is the best tablet among all the other manufactures in the industry. The report said although the tablet can hit up to 122-degrees when playing a game at maximum brightness, it doesn’t pose any health risks. Additionally, the report found that a number of tablets running Google’s Android operating system experienced similar temperatures.
Previous issues with other Apple products have included wi-fi issues with versions of the iBook, Apple’s signature laptop that was ultimately replaced by the Macbook, Macbook Pro and Macbook Air. More recently was “antennagate,” the reception issue with the iPhone 4 when held a certain way. In an emergency keynote address, former CEO Steve Jobs admitted the phone could lose reception when held a certain way (which sparked the joke about Apple telling us that we’re holding our products the wrong way. Based on sales of that iPhone, most of us listened.). The company provided a free case for those who wanted it as a remedy to their reception issues. And just recently, some users won a class-action lawsuit that ended up earning them a whopping $15 for users who likely hold their iPhones with a death grip when talking on the phone.
Believe it or not, a video blogger on YouTube has posted a video that shows the iPad 3 losing its wi-fi signal when held in a very specific way. Commenters on the video have had mixed results in trying to reproduce the wi-fi problem.
Could this happen with the new iPad? European customers are currently up in arms about faulty advertising about the device’s 4G LTE capabilities, and returns are starting to ship in. Will this wi-fi dilemma act as a reality check for Apple? When you’re the most valuable company in the entire world, everything is under a much larger magnifying glass. We’ll see what happens.