Apple has instructed AppleCare employees to replace iPads that have faulty Wi-Fi radios, according to leaked info.
Apple is actively investigating claims of poor Wi-Fi performance on the new iPad, says an internal document published by 9to5Mac. In Apple's support forums, a thread about the Wi-Fi problem has garnered 700 responses from users claiming to have experienced the issue. Media reports about the problem surfaced soon after the new iPad became available.
The document reads, in part, "In the U.S., contact centers and retail stores should capture iPad (3rd generation) Wi-Fi only devices if they exhibit any issue related to Wi-Fi. Symptoms can include, but are not limited to: intermittent connectivity, slow Wi-Fi speeds, and Wi-Fi network not seen."
Captured devices are affected units that are collected by Apple as customer returns/exchanges. They are sent to Apple's labs for testing.
Apple instructed its AppleCare employees to verify that the problem is hardware-related--rather than software-related--before accepting returns and sending the units in for evaluation. Employees were told to collect the iPad, cable, and charging adapter, and return them all to Apple.
It appears that the problem occurs only on devices that have Wi-Fi radios; LTE 4G versions are not affected. Apple hasn't offered any explanations, but 9to5Mac posits that the LTE version offers more power to the radios. The LTE versions also have less metal obstructing the radios from finding nearby Wi-Fi networks, thanks to the black plastic casing near the top edge.
What about you--any Wi-Fi-only new iPad owners out there having Wi-Fi problems? I have not noticed the problem on my LTE 4G iPad at all.
In addition to the Wi-Fi glitch, Consumer Reports pointed out that the new iPad also gets much warmer than the original iPad and iPad 2. Apple says the new iPad operates within accepted thermal boundaries. After a month, my device has yet to warm up at all, even after hours of use.
The new iPad has also been called out for odd charging behavior. Some owners have reported that the device wouldn't charge when plugged in, or it would charge for hours after the battery indicator said the battery was fully charged. Apple later explained that all iOS devices fully charge the battery, then discharge a little and recharge it while it is plugged in.
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