An iPad Firestorm About Nothing

on March 29, 2012

Apple’s newest iPad hit the market three weeks ago and already their have been a number of controversies surrounding the device. As expected, all of the issues fizzled out because there was really nothing there in the first place.

iPad screen imageThe first issue brought up by Consumer Reports was that the iPad was much hotter than its predecessor. This, coupled with the organization’s appearance on CNBC saying the iPad is “hot enough to be uncomfortable at least,” sent the media scrambling for their computer keyboards to write a story.

The interesting thing about Consumer Reports that very few people picked up is that they contradicted themselves. In a blog post on its own Web site they said the iPad “felt very warm but not especially uncomfortable.”

So, which is it? Is it hot and uncomfortable or just warm?

From a news cycle standpoint, it doesn’t really matter. Consumer Reports got it’s moment of glory and every blog and news story written for the next 24 hours quoted them.

In what turned out to be a reality check for many, heat tests conducted by a number of media organizations revealed that the iPad heat problem could not be replicated.

“Though the new iPad did run hotter than the iPad 2, the difference wasn’t great,” wrote PC World’s Melissa J. Perenson. “And in repeated lab tests of the new iPad, we could not replicate the disturbingly high temperatures that some sources have reported. More important, the new iPad was not dramatically warmer than either the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE.”

There goes one controversy.

The next iPad issue people latched onto was the battery. The battery supposedly showed a false reading when charging and it took significantly longer to charge than the iPad 2.

According to AllThingsD, who spoke with Apple about this issue, all iOS devices will show 100 percent when it’s completely charged. The device will then discharge a bit and charge itself back up until it is unplugged.

The issue of taking significantly longer to charge is simply because Apple put a larger battery in the iPad. The company needed to do that to ensure similar battery life to the iPad 2, while still adding new features like improved graphics to the new iPad.

Another controversy gone.

The last major firestorm for the iPad came when people noticed they were running out of data on their plans very quickly.

The Wall Street Journal noted a user that watched hours of video found he used up all of his data. USA Today’s Ed Baig wrote that he used up his entire 2GB data plan downloading apps on the iPad.

This is not an iPad problem, it’s a user problem. If you have a 2GB data plan and you download 2GB of data, whether that’s watching video or downloading apps, you will have no data left. Simple math.

Third controversy gone.

Each Apple product launch is similar in a number of ways. One of the most disturbing is that people look for ways to knock Apple and its product down. More often than not, the so-called problems turn out to be untrue, but in many ways the damage has already been done.

All the average consumer hears is the iPad has heat problems and the battery is messed up and you can’t use the data connection because it uses too much.

Luckily consumers are educating themselves more each day about the products they buy, and it shows in the numbers. Apple sold 3 million iPads in the first weekend alone, making it the most successful iPad launch yet.

As consumers and journalists, it’s important to make sure all companies produce the best products they can, but making up controversies is not the way to do it.