The Future Is Here
We may earn a commission from links on this page

Does the New iPad Have Wi-Fi Reception Problems? (Update 2)

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Users are reporting new problems with the new iPad: the Wi-Fi seems to be a lot weaker than the iPad 2, the iPhone or MacBooks, according to numerous reports on AppleCare support thread. Could this be another antennagate? Have you experienced the same?


Updated with new information on this apparently very real problem.

This AppleCare support thread started like this:

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?


From there, the answers started to pour in with people reporting the same problem and comparing it to other Apple devices. There are already 63 replies in that thread. Some of them:

Same here ipad2 has twice the wifi range with the same settings as the ipad3. The screens nice but I may return mine if this is the way they all are.

Same here! Will not hold WIFI for more than a few minutes. Two MacBooks and iPhone working fine from same router. Ready to return iPad!!!!!

Same problem. Have the Decorah Eagles live cam running on my MacPro, Mac desktop, and Mac Air on home network no problem. The New IPad - continually loading with occasional brief connection. THIS IS A PROBLEM APPLE YOU NEED TO FIX IT!
Thank you.

And it goes on and on. Of course, this is not proof that there's a generalized problem with the iPad's Wi-Fi connectivity. But it's a strong indication that something may be wrong, at least in some manufacturing batches. The random sample is too high to think otherwise. [AppleCare Forums via AppleInsider]

Update: One of the commenters in the Apple forums had this to say here:

I'm one of the people referenced by Jesus Diaz in his story today on wifi issues. It's not a fabrication, and it's happening geographically across the globe, judging by the comments on the Apple forum. I switched out my iPad 3 three times, and all had the same problem.

Side by side with iPad 2, using speedtest, a government site and a Danish testing site, the wifi connectivity speeds of the new iPad were 1/10th to 1/2 of iPad 2, most often about 1/4 the speed. When you're adjacent to the router, speeds are fine. But as you move away, say, to the bedroom, like I did, my iPad 2 was blazing fast, and I had trouble getting a connection with the iPad 3.

One of my iPad 3's I got from Apple online. The other 3 exchanges were from Glendale, Ca. I saw posts on the forum from across the u.s., and England.

And today, the frequency of the posts is accelerating quickly. I was one of the first posts, almost as soon as I got the iPad 3, over the weekend.


Update 2: Another reader told us a quite enlightening story that happened to him at an Apple Store's Genius bar:

I spent 90 min in the store. We compared the speed on the 3 and my 2. Wasn't a dramatic difference (because we were in the back of the store, closer to the router mothership!) But still there was a difference.

They did an exchange—but we all decided to test the new iPad 3.

We tested it, and still there was a difference - about 2/3 the strength. It wasn't that big.

Then the clerk suggested we try another machine to compare two 3's—and my 2.

When we went to the front of the store—at the entryway to the mall—I was vindicated! Because the signal was weaker—the the 2 was flying—getting 12 or 15—while the 3 was lagging at 3 or 4.

So the manager was called over. It was decided to swap it for yet another 3.

Tested it again and it was still the same problem.

But now everyone was aware that there is a problem with the 3.

Bottom line: I returned it, got my money back - and am back to the 2. It's not as sharp, but it's fast! So, I'll wait a month or so, and see if they manage to improve the wifi issue.


Have you noticed this problem? Have you compared your new iPad's Wi-Fi signal to your other Apple or non-Apple devices? Tell us in the comments.