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