Apple recall could affect iPad supplies

Apple is recalling an unknown number of Verizon iPads after an identical cellular serial number was flashed to the devices

A recall of some Apple iPads could further constrain supplies of the popular tablet device at a time when the company is already struggling to meet demand.

But the latest hiccup is unlikely to have long-term consequences.

Apple is recalling a number of Verizon-issued iPad 2s after they were sent out with identical cellular serial numbers. It's not clear how many units are affected but 9to5mac quotes an anonymous Apple store employee who said he sent more than 100 back to Apple's headquarters.

Customers are peeved, chiming in on an Apple discussion forum.

The issue appears to affect both 32GB and 64GB iPads and revolves around Mobile Equipment Identifiers (MEIDs) that identify the device on the Verizon CDMA cellular network. These are used for billing purposes, among other things.

Because GSM-based iPads from AT&T rely on micro-SIM cards, which users insert into the devices, it's unlikely they'll also be affected by this issue.

AllThingsD quotes an Apple representative who said "duplicate MEID numbers were flashed onto an extremely small number of iPad 2 units for the Verizon 3G network."

Apple has already sold 25 million iPads, it said at the WWDC earlier this week, and aims to sell eight million more this quarter. However, a tragic explosion at the Foxconn plant that manufactures iPads has added to supply concerns.

The earthquake in Japan has also made it difficult for some manufacturers to receive components, although there are reports that Apple is seeking new component suppliers to step-up production of tablet devices.

It's not clear if the MEID is irrevocably hard-coded onto each unit, or whether it's merely stored as a variable within the firmware. If the latter is the case, it could be possible for Apple to easily fix the issue by reflashing the device ROM.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags tablet PCApplewwdcapple ipadat&thardware systemstabletstablet PCslaptops

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Keir Thomas

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?