Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

Scattered Complaints Arise About Apple’s New MacBook Air and Wi-Fi Connectivity

The battery life on Apple’s newest MacBook Air is great.

The Wi-Fi connectivity? For some users, not so much.

Over the past week, some complaints have popped up on Apple message boards about the newly launched MacBook Air’s ability to maintain a consistent connection to local Wi-Fi networks.

“Just got my new 2013 Haswell MacBook Air and it won’t say connected to the wifi. It will connect at first but then the connection drops,” one such complaint reads.

“Having the same problem and I just bought my MBA last night. Giving up and heading to the apple store today,” another customer wrote.

For many on the message boards, the issues appear to be fixed once they update the firmware on their at-home Wi-Fi routers, or switch modem channels — which may say more about their routers than it does about the machine.

Some have suggested that the problem could lie in the software or firmware of the super-slim laptop, rather than in its hardware design.

Contributing to the problem may be Apple’s inclusion of a new, high-speed Wi-Fi chip (technical jargon: 802.11ac) that might not be “playing nice” with older router models.

But one of our own AllThingsD staffers, Eric Johnson, was having trouble connecting to Wi-Fi with his new, Haswell-based MacBook Air, and was told by an AppleCare specialist, independently of this report, that it could be a hardware issue.

Apple, for now, has kept mum on the topic, and declined to offer a statement on the matter. Sources close to Apple, however, say that the company is in fact looking into the Wi-Fi connectivity complaints. Given the whole kerfuffle with iPhone 4 AntennaGate back in 2010, it’s hard to imagine that the company would ignore this issue entirely, no matter how tiny the sampling of unhappy users might be at the moment.

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