Here we go again.
Following a near-scandal over the new iPad allegedly overheating and a debate over its battery recharging capabilities, complaints about the device's WiFi radio have become so loud that Apple is taking quiet action to resolve the matter.
An internal AppleCare document obtained by 9to5Mac shows that Apple is looking into reports that the WiFi radio in some new iPad units isn't up to snuff, a problem that's affected a small subset of iPad users since the very first Apple tablet launched in 2010.
Apple Insider first pointed out the new WiFi issue just five days after the new iPad's March 16 release and now calls attention to an ever-growing thread on the company's Support Communities page entitled "Poor wifi reception on new iPad." At time of writing, the thread had 722 replies.
Apple is reportedly directing its contact centers and retail stores to "capture" and replace any third-generation iPad devices with symptoms of intermittent connectivity, slow WiFi speeds and a missing WiFi network. Intercepted devices will be sent to Apple engineers for investigation.
9to5Mac also notes that 4G LTE-equipped iPad devices shouldn't run into connectivity difficulties due to "extra network power allowed by the black rubber cut on the top of the unit."
An Apple rep was not immediately available to comment.
Although reviews for the new iPad have been largely positive, some outspoken users have claimed problem after problem with the device. Take a look at the slideshow to see the 9 most common user complaints about the iPad.
What kinds of problems, if any, have you been experiencing with your new iPad? Let us know in the comments!
A <a href="http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/04/02/changewave-82-of-new-ipad-owners-are-very-satisfied/?section=magazines_fortune" target="_hplink">survey from ChangeWave</a> of 200 recent iPad buyers (small sample size, take with grain of salt) found that the number one complaint amongst owners was the new iPad's price (followed by the cost of a data plan for those 4G LTE iPads). The iPad, which <a href="http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_ipad/family/ipad/select_ipad" target="_hplink">retails for somewhere between</a> $500 and $830, depending on the model, has seen some pressure from cheaper competitors. Amazon's $200 Kindle Fire, for example, <a href="http://9to5mac.com/2012/03/13/cheap-kindle-fire-absorbed-some-tablet-marketshare-ahead-of-new-ipad-launch/" target="_hplink">took a sizable chunk</a> of the tablet market when it was released in late 2011. Given the new <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/19/ipad-sales-first-weekend_n_1365421.html" target="_hplink">iPad's robust sales during its first weekend on shelves</a>, however, its price tag hasn't turned off too many people just yet.
<a href="http://9to5mac.com/2012/03/21/new-ipad-wi-fi-issues-seem-to-be-software-related-should-be-easy-to-patch/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+9To5Mac-MacAllDay+%289+to+5+Mac+-+Apple+Intelligence%29" target="_hplink">Apple Insider first reported</a> that many new iPad owners had <a href="https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3812929?tstart=0" target="_hplink">taken to the Apple forums</a> to complain about weak Wi-Fi reception; that thread has now reached almost 40,000 views with 500+ replies. <a href="http://9to5mac.com/2012/03/21/new-ipad-wi-fi-issues-seem-to-be-software-related-should-be-easy-to-patch/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+9To5Mac-MacAllDay+%289+to+5+Mac+-+Apple+Intelligence%29" target="_hplink">9to5Mac thinks that</a> if the iPad 3's Wi-Fi problem is anything like the first iPad's Wi-Fi problem, then the poor reception is being caused by a software issue that should be fixed with the next version of iOS.
The "iPad overheating" saga began with a post on CNET, which found several owners complaining in the Apple forums that their new iPads were becoming warm to the touch. This was followed by internal temperature tests <a href="http://tweakers.net/nieuws/80769/nieuwe-ipad-wordt-vijf-graden-warmer-dan-ipad-2.html" target="_hplink">from Dutch website Tweakers.net</a> showing that the new iPad did indeed run hotter than the iPad 2; <a href="http://news.consumerreports.org/electronics/2012/03/our-test-finds-new-ipad-hits-116-degrees-while-running-games.html" target="_hplink">Consumer Reports then tested</a> these claims (see photo above) and found that though the 'iPad 3' did run "significantly hotter than the earlier iPad 2 model," it was not uncomfortable to the touch. Apparently feeling the heat, Apple put out a statement addressing its torrid new tablet: <blockquote>The new iPad delivers a stunning Retina display, A5X chip, support for 4G LTE plus 10 hours of battery life, all while operating well within our thermal specifications. If customers have any concerns they should contact AppleCare. </blockquote> Though complaints about the iPad's external temperature have died down, you can still <a href="http://www.apple.com/support/products/" target="_hplink">contact AppleCare right here</a>.
A few reviewers noted the long time it took to charge -- MG Siegler of Aol sister site TechCrunch <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/14/the-new-ipad-review/" target="_hplink">recommends</a> plugging in overnight if you want to use it with full battery -- and the complaints about the slow charging cycle keep on coming. A smattering of posts have popped up on the Apple forums, and <a href="http://www.displaymate.com/iPad_ShootOut_1.htm#Battery_Charging" target="_hplink">Dr. Raymond Soneira of Display-Mate chimed in</a> with a research note, writing on his website that it takes "a relatively long time" to juice up the iPad: 5.5 hours when the display is off, up to 20 hours with the display on at full brightness.
A recent bit of controversy surrounds the iPad battery indicator. The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/27/ipad-battery-apple_n_1383774.html?ref=technology" target="_hplink">long version is on our site</a>, but here's the short version: Dr. Raymond Soneira (you might remember him from the previous slide) <a href="http://www.displaymate.com/iPad_ShootOut_1.htm#Battery_Charging" target="_hplink">found that the iPad</a> was really only 90 percent full when the indicator read 100 percent; he then pointed to a quote from an Apple spokesperson (given to CNBC's Jon Fortt) claiming that if you leave your iPad plugged in after the indicator reads 100 percent, you risk damaging the battery long-term. This is a problem, obviously: Should you leave your battery not-quite-charged, or keep it plugged in and risk damage? Cue an Apple exec <a href="http://allthingsd.com/20120327/apple-ipad-battery-nothing-to-get-charged-up-about/" target="_hplink">swooping in and telling AllThingsD</a> that no one should worry: Leaving the iPad plugged in after it reads 100 percent is just fine and does not pose a risk to your battery, and that iOS devices have ALWAYS had this feature. Problem (apparently) solved.
The <em>Wall Street Journal</em> <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303812904577293882009811556.html?mod=djemalertTECH" target="_hplink">had a big story</a> on the fact that the 4G LTE on the new iPad enabled such fast streaming of video (which eats up a lot data) that many consumers found that they had gone through their monthly data allotment in a matter of hours. <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303812904577293882009811556.html?mod=djemalertTECH" target="_hplink">From the report</a>: <blockquote>"With LTE, the quality and the streaming is fantastic," Mr. Wells said. "But man, you're really limited in terms of the amount of content you can consume." </blockquote> First world Catch-22s are the worst.
Speaking of those 4G LTE speeds: FaceTime, Apple's fancy name for videophone convos, are not supported over the faster mobile network being touted in all those commercials. Now, Apple is apparently not to blame here: It's the mobile carriers like AT&T and Verizon who are concerned that their networks will be overburdened by all that video-chatting. But whoever is preventing it, you won't be conducting a face-to-face call on your iPad unless you're in range of Wi-Fi.
We'd <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/20/ipad-smart-cover-problem-_n_1367046.html" target="_hplink">heard multiple reports that</a> some old Apple Smart Covers, as well as imitation third-party covers designed for the iPad 2, weren't working with the new iPad. <a href="http://markshangout.com/blog/2012/3/17/ipad-3-smart-cover-sleepwake-feature-not-working.html" target="_hplink">Blogger Mark Booth found</a> that this was due to a new magnetic polarity in the iPad that rendered certain of these smart covers with the magnets facing the wrong way inoperable. Several manufacturers of the now nonfunctioning cases accepted free exchanges; Apple was not one of these companies, though we've heard that certain stores are handing out newer Smart Covers if the customer can show that the old Smart Cover doesn't work.
The <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/apple-does-an-iphone-4s-with-new-ipad-disappointed/71038" target="_hplink">headline of a (mostly positive) ZDNet editorial</a> following the iPad's unveiling: "Apple 'does an iPhone 4S' with new iPad: Disappointed?" That's a reference to the apparent public disappointment when Apple announced the iPhone 4S (and not a totally redesigned iPhone 5) last October. Just as some were underwhelmed by the 4S, not everyone was thrilled with the new iPad's "resolutionary" display and upgraded camera. Lance Ulanoff of Mashable, for example, <a href="http://mashable.com/2012/03/07/new-ipad-did-not-blow-my-mind/" target="_hplink">wrote that the new iPad</a> "did not blow [his] mind" in a lukewarm reaction piece, lamenting that "[t]his was supposed to be a bigger deal." CNET, meanwhile, <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57392471-37/ipad-3-what-we-didnt-get/" target="_hplink">followed the event</a> with an "iPad 3: What we didn't get" countdown of missing features (including "New design," "Siri," and "Lighter Weight"). A <a href="http://seekingalpha.com/article/418661-the-resolutionary-new-ipad-a-disappointment" target="_hplink">writer at Seeking Alpha concluded</a> that "nothing new and fantastic" had been announced by Apple, though he doesn't think that will hurt sales. "The "resolutionary" new iPad has nothing revolutionary, but just look at how the supposedly "disappointing" iPhone 4S performed."
How does the new iPad compare to a tablet costing half the price?