Why Apple wants to 'capture' defective 3rd-gen iPads

Why Apple wants to 'capture' defective 3rd-gen iPads

Summary: 'Capturing' defecting products for investigation is a common practice in the tech industry as a whole. It's a way of gathering information about defective products with the idea of making fewer of them.

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According to a document posted on 9to5Mac, Apple wants to 'capture' samples of iPad 3 tablets that are experiencing WiFi issues reported by some users.

But why does Apple want to 'capture' defective devices?

Use of the word 'capture' is telling. It means that Apple has ruled out the possibility of this being a general problem with the new iPad, and instead now believes that it is down to a specific issue affecting only certain iPads.

What could this issue be? Well, it could be down to a number of things:

  • Defective component(s), or a higher than expected failure rate
  • Damaged components or component assemblies
  • Manufacturing defect, perhaps a bad batch of components
  • Assembly problems, maybe only affecting a single assembly line
  • Sabotage (it can happen, and at various points in the supply chain)
  • Hardware damaged in transit after assembly

EFFA, or 'Early Field Failure Analysis' is a common practice in the tech industry as a whole. It's a way of gathering information about defective products with the idea of making fewer of them. Every company does it. It's only sensational when Apple does it. Sometimes it results in a minor revision change for the product, and sometimes just a tightening up of the assembly line of supply chain.

I'm not speculating as to what the problem may be down to (it's impossible to tell), but the fact that Apple wants to 'capture' defective devices shows that the company needs to pop these problematic iPads on the autopsy slab in order to get to the bottom of the problem.

Image credit: 9to5Mac

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Topics: Tablets, Apple, Software, Networking, Mobility, Laptops, iPad, Hardware, Enterprise Software, Wi-Fi

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11 comments
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  • interesting. Glad to see Apple is on top of this a per usual.

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • Yeah right Jim

      Perusual...
      slickjim
      • Glad we agree on this much at least:)

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
    • Unlike their response to their Java issue

      even Microsoft is faster at releasing security fixes
      deaf_e_kate
  • What isn't telling is

    that, yes Apple used the word "capture", but did they choose it as they believe it is down to a specific issue affecting only certain iPads, or using it to create that illusion, when in fact it is a much larger issue.

    Look at you - you've already dismissed it as a specific issue affecting only certain iPads, based on the use of that one word alone.
    William Farrel
    • And you know this...

      how?
      msalzberg
      • I believe he was asking a question as to the word chosen

        it did not appear as though he was claiming definitively that it is a much larger issue then it may be.

        I too thought the same thing, in the sense that Apple is getting some negative press of late, why add any more to it.
        John Zern
    • What if it sucks your blood?

      Perhaps they used it to draw attention away from the possibility that iPads are radioactive and cause cancer. Or maybe they are all at risk of exploding in users' hands. If our goal is to find a way to make up bad stuff and say it while not appearing to be a Microsoft shill, then speculating is as good a way as any, eh?
      Robert Hahn
  • most industry does this

    what is the big mystery here? when I made bottles for a living we did the very same things - it is called quality control. been around a long time. one would hope, since there is no gods and apple products are made by humans, apple has enough sense to engage some form of quality control. no conspiracy here folks. go back to playing with your iWhatever device . . .
    photomstr@...
  • TF&ITW

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    Contact: TheFashionAndITAmerica@yahoo.com
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    J.M. USA
    • Errrr....

      Off-topic, but does anyone notice how ZDNet doesn't give a crap if spammers post crap like above on their site? The one above posted it 3 days ago. Someone flagged it - but it is still there.
      Notice how you can't even report this directly by form or Email address? There is no "Contact us" in the footer. Seems ZDnet doesn't care.
      Gisabun