With Apple's acknowledgment of some iPads have a Wi-Fi problem, we have confirmation that the problem isn't one of those made-up-by whiner iPad issues. Looking for things to complain (and write) about, iPad users (and bloggers) created non-issues, like a battery charging "problem" and Warmthgate, in which the tablet warmed to "uncomfortable" temperatures. Considering all the possibilities for why a device might not connect to wireless, the Wi-Fi problem seemed to fall under that category. But per an Apple Care document from 9to5 Mac, the Wi-Fi thing is real, and Apple's on it, instructing it Geniuses to "capture" the renegade Pads.
iPad owners have complained of this iPad issue as early as the weekend after the gadget went on sale. The issue, as its name suggests, is that some iPads will not connect to Wi-Fi. "The Wi-Fi is driving me nuts. My wheel keeps spinning waiting for pages to connect while lying on my bed," said one annoyed Apple Forum commenter back in March. At the time, we suggested taking the tablet back, which worked for some forum users. Now, the "Poor Wi-Fi Reception on New iPad" forum has 49 pages of similar complaints. Considering these are Wi-Fi only objects, without mobile data capabilities, the tablet is kind of useless without a Wi-Fi connection.
Unlike the fake Warmthgate issue, which Apple (rightfully) brushed off with a comment that the iPad runs "within our thermal specifications," Apple has a real solution for this problem. "Contact stores and retail centers should capture iPad (3rd generation) Wi-Fi only devices if they exhibit any Wi-Fi issues," reads the internal memo. "Capture" sounds like an intense procedure to us, and according to 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman it kind of is. "According to one source," he writes. "'Captured' is code for the device to be immediately packed up and shipped to Apple’s engineering centers for examination and investigation." Apple will replace the defective iPads. And, hopefully with a little investigation, the company will figure out the underlying issues.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.