Expert Says iPad Wi-Fi Issues May Be Caused By Bad Power Management



After ripping into the new iPad when it finally landed in their hands on March 16th, a sizable number of customers began to notice their tablet experiencing issues with Wi-Fi. Worse, it’s not an isolated problem with a few bad iPads: in fact, there are enough people complaining that they’ve managed to fill up a huge thread on Apple’s official support forums.

So far, Apple’s remained mum on what’s causing the issue. However, a repair expert thinks that the issue with the iPad’s Wi-Fi may be caused by bad power management to the Broadcom BCM4330 chip that handles Wi-Fi on the device. While it’s a hardware issue, though, the expert says Apple could probably fix it with a software update. 

Expert Aaron Vronko explained the issue to ComputerWorld.  The Broadcom BCM4330 chip was first introduced with the iPhone 4S, and features an array of power saving features. In order for this same chip to support the new iPad’s beautiful mew Retina display, though, Apple had to juice it up and let it draw more power from the battery. It’s this super-charge that has has caused weak Wi-Fi connections for some users, Vronko explained:

[The Broadcom BCM4330 chip] boasts a new design including several new power-saving features. Wi-Fi can be a hungry customer in mobile devices and Apple knew that the new LCD and its requisite monster truck GPU would be guzzling battery juice. They had to go aggressive on performance per milliwatt on every other component.

But it’s fixable. The solution that Apple could employ is to use adjust how much power is fed to the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip through a software update. As a temporary measure, Apple told customers last week to reset the network settings to factory settings to try to address the issues.

For users that have been affected and find that Apple’s temporary solution isn’t working, Apple is replacing broken units at its retail stores.

  • technochick

    1. any issue is going to come off like a big one if you are looking at the boards on the Apple site. Too many folks thinking that’s the way to contact Apple Tech Support instead of going into a store and getting the damn thing replaced. Something Apple happily does with any launch item because they want those ‘bad’ units for testing.

    2. some self proclaiming ‘expert’ ‘thinks’ he knows the problem and the blogs pick it up as if he actually has tested and is speaking facts when he could be dead wrong. Typical hit foddering games by folks that will claim they are journalists when it suits their needs but then cry ‘we are just a blog’ when they are called out negatively.

    IF there was an issue with something hardware based like what this expert claims it would be affecting way more iPads than we’ve seen. Hell between work units and all the ones we’ve bought for personal use I know of a good 100 new iPads that haven’t had a single wifi or 4g issue, don’t have piss yellow screens, dying batteries etc. 3 personal ones I just in my house and I’ve handled most of the 40 work units since we bought them the week after launch.

  • KevinSRT

    This problem was really annoying, I couldn’t live any longer with it.
    So I ended up spending a lot of time reading, looking for a solution to this issue, and found a lot of blogs with articles mentioning the “Forget This Network” reset solution, and it didn’t improve my wifi range at all.
    Right when I lost all hope, I came across WIRED magazine and found a review of Pong Research cases, after looking at the great feedback on their products, I decided to place my order, to finally solve the <a href=””>new iPad 3 wifi issues</a> . The back cover has a built-in antennae in between it’s layers, which redirects and boosts the signals and range, allowing me to getting connected from the distance!