Intermittent connections, slow internet, and not seeing active connections when scanning for networks are three WiFi problems that conceivably plague new iPad owners. Apple seems to recognize these problems and even plans to replace WiFi-only models exhibiting these symptoms. The leaked AppleCare document suggests hardware problem is to blame, but an expert vouches a software update would fix them. In this case, both Apple and consumers will be spared from the trouble of having their iPads replaced.
“It’s unlikely that hardware is the primary cause of the [problem],” said Aaron Vronko, CEO of Rapid Repair. Rapid Repair is a Michigan-based repair shop and parts supplier for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and has been receiving related complaints. New iPad owners report weak WiFi signal, slow downloads, and inability to maintain a connection just as Apple details in their AppleCare document – but they never said they were unable to connect to WiFi completely.
“If this was hardware related, it would almost certainly have to be an error in assembly or failure in the chip itself. However, chip-related failure would likely be more absolute in its effects,” explained Vronko to complaining users.
Last week, Computerworld was told by an Apple support representative that resetting the new iPad’s network setting might fix the problem. This backs up Vronko’s claim regarding an underlying software problem. “The fact that a network settings reset can sometimes resolve the issue points strongly to a power-saving feature run amok,” said Vronko, while referring to Broadcom BCM4430, a WiFi + Bluetooth chip with power-saving features. He further explains that its power-saving feature may be responsible for the problem, as do many other tweaks made to complement the power-hungry Retina Display.
Apple has not publicly acknowledged WiFi problems concerning the new iPad, particularly WiFi-only models. The document leaked from last week tells us Apple is willing to offer product replacement for complaining users. But Vronko’s claim that a software update is enough to fix the problem is good news. It’s more relieving to know that Apple didn’t let subpar products slip from their factories. Additionally, new iPad owners also complain of problems with 3G connectivity after coming from WiFi. Apple has not addressed the issue as well but is expected to release a software update that will fix it.