According to an internal AppleCare document, Apple is actively investigating a series of WiFi-related issues affecting the third-generation iPad. Since the new iPad’s launch, many users have been complaining about third-generation iPad WiFi issues ranging from connection drops, slow download and upload speeds, or the device’s inability to even pickup local WiFi networks. A thread discussing the issue exists on Apple’s online support forums has almost amassed 700 replies from users with similar issues. Here are some examples from the forum thread:
I am in a hotel with my laptop and new ipad3. The laptop wifi reception is as strong as it gets, but the iPad only registers a weak signal. Anyone else having similar problems? Any suggestions?
It has absolutely nothing to do with routers. I am right next to my wife, to whom I gave my iPad 1: she has full bars and I have 1-2. FYI: on Speedtest near the router I get over 10 mb downloads; 20 feet away I get .2 mb downloads. That’s ridiculous.
Same problem; same issue. Mine with University’s wifi or my home wifi (Airport Express). Original iPad maintains a strong connection right next to new iPad, which doesn’t.
Besides the supposed third-generation iPad charging and overheating issues, the iPad WiFi issues were noted by the media during the past couple of weeks. Apple has taken notice and has admitted internally to some new iPad models having the WiFi issues described in numerous reports and on forum threads. The company says “symptoms can include, but are not limited to: intermittent connectivity, slow WiFi speeds, and WiFi network not seen.” Apple tells AppleCare employees to ensure that devices they test are not facing these issues due to normal software bugs, but instead because of the actual hardware components.
WiFi-only third-generation iPads are the only devices affected by these issues, according to Apple. The 4G LTE models are presumably safe from these issues due to the extra network power allowed by the black rubber cut on the top of the unit.
iPads that are affected by WiFi issues are supposed to be “Captured.” According to one source, “Captured” is code for the device to be immediately packed up and shipped to Apple’s engineering centers for examination and investigation. Apple employees are instructed to Capture the iPad itself and included accessories (the charging adapter and USB cord). Apple will replace affected units.