New hardware launches rarely go as planned. Despite the best efforts of the manufacturers’ best and brightest, first generation hardware and software are notorious for having issues, and it appears the iPad appears to be no exception.
As early as Saturday, iPad users began to report connectivity issues, and as of noon today, a thread title “Weak wifi” on Apple’s support forums has been viewed by over 25,000 people (between writing and editing this article, that number jumped by over 2,000). Users complain that the Wi-Fi signal has issues connecting to Wi-Fi networks and difficulty retaining a steady signal when it does connect.
In response, Apple released a support sheet yesterday covering iPad connectivity issues. The page suggests that the issue might be a result of third party Wi-Fi routers that are dual band capable, but many users have stated that they are also experiencing issues with connectivity while connected to Apple’s “Airport” routers, and the website Macworld even confirmed issues using an all Apple setup.
Theories on the support forums range from software issues to a hardware problem involving a misaligned Wi-Fi antennae inside the iPad. Whatever the cause, it is apparent that Apple is taking the issue seriously, but despite their potential fixes, users continue to report connectivity issues.
With over 300,000 iPads sold the first weekend, this could either be a minor bump in the road for a minority of users, or the first sign of trouble in Cupertino.