Dear Apple: Please fix our MacBook WiFi issues. Love, MacBook users

Dear Apple: Please fix our MacBook WiFi issues. Love, MacBook users

Summary: Having WiFi issues with your new MacBook Air like I am? Hop aboard the "WiFi issue" train and let's see if we can put the press (no pun intended) on Apple to actually do something about it!

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Problem?

Problem?

I don't know about you, but I'm getting really tired of the WiFi issues I've been experiencing with my MacBook Air ever since I purchased it 2-3 months ago. For me, it was one of those deals where I hadn't heard a single thing about this whole WiFi problem until after the fact, and now, all I've been doing is keeping up with the countless other individuals experiencing this problem not just with MacBook Airs, but MacBook Pros as well.

On Apple's support community forum, there are a number of active threads regarding this prevalent problem (see here and here). The amazing thing to me is how new this problem is NOT. I thought it was an issue unique to the latest version of the MacBook Air (the one I have that I'm experiencing issues with), but apparently not, what with the two threads noted above being started in November 2010 and January 2008, respectively.

As of now, the overwhelming consensus by owners actively trying to fix the issue themselves is that it's software-based -- somewhere between a Bluetooth/WiFi conflict and Lion itself. According to one user from this thread on Apple's support forum: "The irony, in bootcamp the wifi reconnects like a charm" after resuming from standby, which seems to be the root cause of the issue many are experiencing (including me).

Lion update after Lion update since July, release notes have noted a fix pertaining to WiFi issues, yet after every successful installation of said updates, the issues persist for many, including myself. With that said, it's only fair to note that some users have chimed in with success stories after updating to the latest version, Lion 10.7.2 (see here and here).

To be honest, I'm kind of baffled by the fact that this is such a prevalent issue. At best, one of the WiFi fixes -- with its vaguely-worded description -- will magically fix the issue in a future update. At worst, this single issue exploits the whole "Apple products are consistently and supremely stable because their hardware and software are developed in unison and in controlled environments" thing.

"It just works"? Not quite.

Now, I understand the M.O. of companies who refuse to acknowledge faults in their products while actively pursuing solutions in a short-term capacity, but it would be really awesome to MacBook end-users if Apple -- after all the time that has passed with this WiFi issue persisting -- would at least say, "we understand you're all having these issues and we're trying our best to replicate them and solve them."

Perhaps that's an unrealistic and unreasonable request, since the issue may not actually be as widespread as the Internet has a way of making things seem. But it seems to me that it's at least widespread enough to address. Hopping on Twitter to do a quick search, there are plenty of people reaching out there and looking for a solution (see here and here). Never mind Facebook and enthusiast forums.

Honestly, I would be willing to go so far as to offer my MacBook Air to Apple so they can get their hands on an actual unit that's having the issues many of us are having. And before you say to take it to the "Geniuses" at an Apple store, a journey through those threads I linked to above yields unsuccessful results by those who have already ventured that route -- sans ones like this, to which only a very temporary solution was applied.

Maybe there is a solution out there that preferably doesn't require downgrading (one of the only solutions I've seen that appears to work for a number of people), to which I welcome your contributions. As a tech writer, my reach is but so far, but it's certainly much farther than the everyday MacBook user's. And though it aggravates me that it sometimes takes a red flag post like this on ZDNet to try to get a response from an 800-pound gorilla like Apple, being one of those affected by an issue so many have experienced for so long has motivated me to do just that: throw up a big, ginormous red flag.

So, Apple? Please fix our MacBook WiFi issues.

Loooove, MacBook users

Are you a MacBook user who is experiencing WiFi issues as well? Or, are you perhaps one of the lucky folks who was experiencing WiFi issues but no longer do after a recent update? Please share your experiences with us below! Maybe, just maybe, Apple will see this and show us all some love.

-Stephen Chapman

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Topics: Laptops, Apple, Hardware, Mobility, Networking, Wi-Fi

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59 comments
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  • Clearly there is no problem with WiFi

    If there was a problem with WiFi, Apple wouldn't sell so many macbooks.
    toddybottom
    • RE: Dear Apple: Please fix our MacBook WiFi issues. Love, MacBook users

      @toddybottom: Just because yours works, doesn't mean others don't have a probelm. I have this same problem - reconnecting to "preferred" networks coming out of standby. My previous MBA (fall 2010 version) was fine. My new one is terrible. Same problem at home and work networks, very intermittent. I have been on the phone more than 4 hours with apple with no joy. They refuse to send me a replacement and I am just about fed up.
      kevin_talbot
      • This is just antennagate all over again

        @kevin_talbot
        Very few people were affected by antennagate so it simply isn't worth it to do anything.

        Besides, every single WiFi enabled computer has trouble reconnecting to networks coming out of standby. This isn't an Apple only thing so to point the finger at Apple is simply not fair.
        toddybottom
      • RE: Dear Apple: Please fix our MacBook WiFi issues. Love, MacBook users

        @toddybottom
        I have never had any issues with Wifi on any Windows computer I ever owned or used. When i come back from standby I am up and running within seconds and wifi is usually connected by the time I login. And by the way Consumer Reports could not recommend the iPhone 4 because of antennagate, so to say only a few were affected is not true and is why Apple gave out so many cases and redesigned the antenna in the 4S. You are exactly the people I am talking about that claim up and down that nothing is wrong even if it slapped you right in the face.
        OhTheHumanity
      • RE: Dear Apple: Please fix our MacBook WiFi issues. Love, MacBook users

        @kevin_talbot: I also have this problem. Also, the speed slow down occasionally. I've tested these issues on 3 different networks. And in Windows (via BootCamp) I do not have these issues. That tells me it's not the hardware but software.
        stephen@...
    • RE: Dear Apple: Please fix our MacBook WiFi issues. Love, MacBook users

      @toddybottom
      I think its clear there is a problem. As he stated if he goes into boot camp it works like a charm, so its obviously a software issue and not hardware. Also Mac users have a very hush hush approach to admitting of any problems ever which does give many a sense of confidence when buying their products, but trust me they are not without their issues. Frankly just about every product on earth at sometime will have issues, but Apple does seem to enjoy a very high level of avoidance around issues with their products. People just don't like to talk about it much.
      OhTheHumanity
      • Do not pay attention, he is trolling; he is a long-time ZDNet poster

        @OhTheHumanity: ... who changes his nickname like twice a year (when everyone else is already ignoring him as troll so he had to start "anew" with new nickname).
        DDERSSS
      • DeRSSS: Do you admit there is a real problem with MacBook Wifi?

        If you do believe it, say so.

        If you don't believe it then I'm clearly not trolling since I'm stating a fact that you agree with.
        toddybottom
      • RE: Dear Apple: Please fix our MacBook WiFi issues. Love, MacBook users

        @DeRSSS
        I can guess from your statement that you have nothing better to say since you know that what I am saying is exactly the truth. Next time try sticking to the topic and not taking things all personal man. Troll or not, the facts are the facts and really you can call me the worst things in the world and it won't affect me one bit. Sorry!
        OhTheHumanity
    • RE: Dear Apple: Please fix our MacBook WiFi issues. Love, MacBook users

      @toddybottom I've got a MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad and a Lenovo T510 (my work laptop) at home.
      I've got the wifi problem with all three of my apple devices, no problems whatsoever with the PC.
      There IS a problem, you better believe it.
      frf1
  • RE: Dear Apple: Please fix our MacBook WiFi issues. Love, MacBook users

    I think Apple should not be using "It just works" slogan any more, as almost every day I see some issues (like the one with that trojan and now this and some fan nose etc)
    AdnanPirota
    • RE: Dear Apple: Please fix our MacBook WiFi issues. Love, MacBook users

      @AdnanPirota Trust me compared to other brands, it really does just work!!
      Hasam1991
      • THAT'S THE SPIRIT!!!

        @Hasam1991

        [i]Trust me compared to other brands, it really does just work!! [/i]
        There you go!

        "We measure our success based on failure of the other brand!"

        "...except the other brand has ~90% marketshare"

        "...wait :| "
        UrNotPayingAttention
  • RE: Dear Apple: Please fix our MacBook WiFi issues. Love, MacBook users

    I've had Wi-Fi issues on my MacBook Pro for the last few months when attempting to connect to some routers (but not all) since I upgraded to Lion. I don't know if the issues are related are not, but I understand the frustration!
    RachelKing
  • RE: Dear Apple: Please fix our MacBook WiFi issues. Love, MacBook users

    How DARE you question us! These aren't the droids you're looking for.

    -Tim Cook
    Sent from my iPad.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Dear Apple: Please fix our MacBook WiFi issues. Love, MacBook users

      @Cylon Centurion LAME!
      Hasam1991
  • Bad Hardware

    There have been a number of Apple products that have experienced WiFi issues at, and after, launch. This is because Apple uses the Broadcom chipset for WiFi in all their devices. That's because it's one of the cheapest on the market and to compensate, most of the work has to be done in software (think win modems from back in the day). So when Apple decides to go for a little quality over maximizing the profit margin (they make most of their products for about half what you pay), there will be improvements.

    Also, well done with the trollface.
    Big Sparky
    • RE: Dear Apple: Please fix our MacBook WiFi issues. Love, MacBook users

      @Big Sparky
      You are correct, its amazing how their hardware is second class hardware, but people pay first class prices for it. If they cared about the user experience they would take a few percentages from the 50% margins they make and get a good product in the users hands. But Apple doesn't have to worry as people just accept it is first class hardware without even knowing.
      OhTheHumanity
      • really?

        @OhTheHumanity
        what products are you referring to? ipads? seems to me that comparably spec'd tablets from competitors have no price advantage. how about the air's? ultrabooks are having problems matching the apple price and intel is also helping them out.
        so where are you getting this 50% from? since you call out other people for not knowing then enlighten us.
        oneleft
      • RE: Dear Apple: Please fix our MacBook WiFi issues. Love, MacBook users

        @oneleft

        http://www.tomsguide.com/us/iphone-4-iphone-4g-phone-3g-phone,news-10096.html

        Says it costs about 180 to make an iPhone 4, they get the carrier to buy the phone from them for upwards of 600 dollars. Then consider that the boost in flash storage only costs about another 10-20 bucks in parts (at the most), and they tack on another 100 to the consumer. This is a nifty investigative tool: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=apple+manufacturing+costs
        Big Sparky