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Apple investigating MacBook Air Wi-Fi issues, orders store workers to ‘capture’ faulty machines

Apple-MacBook-Air-13_inch-2013-650x325When Apple’s Phil Schiller unveiled the latest iteration of the MacBook Air to great fanfare at the company’s WWDC in San Francisco recently, he promised speedier Wi-Fi with the new ultra-slim laptop, together with better battery life and a quicker graphics processor. The update, while not enough to knock Apple fans from their seats, was still significant and garnered a modest round of applause from the gathered audience.

Now, about that new 802.11ac Wi-Fi. In the last few days, a number of those who’ve bought the new machine have been complaining of lost connections with Apple’s new 11-inch and 13-inch computers.

While you might expect glitches with a new product, a ropey Wi-Fi connection is not one you want with a product as mobile as the Air. The problem has been deemed serious enough by the Cupertino company for it to instruct Apple store employees to “capture” any new McBook Airs with Wi-Fi issues, according to Apple news site 9to5Mac.

Specifically, the directive obtained by the website says, “In the United States, Apple Geniuses and Advisors should capture MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) and MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013) computers with any Wi-Fi issues.”

By “capture”, we assume Apple means something along the lines of “don’t let a consumer who brings a faulty MacBook Air to the store return home with it,” as 9to5Mac adds in its report that such machines are being sent to the tech giant for testing in an effort to get to the root of the problem. However, it appears that while some Apple store customers visiting with a troubled MacBook Air have been given a replacement machine, others have left with a USB-to-Ethernet adapter enabling their Air to connect to the Internet until a fix for the current stability problem is issued.

Another report Monday, this one from AnandTech, found data transfer rates with the new Air to be less than stellar, a problem it attributed to networking issues in Apple’s OS X software.

The tech company hasn’t yet made any official announcement regarding the issues affecting the new Air, though we can expect to hear something once it’s had a chance to better assess the situation. We’ll keep you posted.

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