While it is considered nowhere near as successful as their ventures in mobile device sales, Apple’s TV product still has some air of respectability in the set-top box market due to where it has come from, but their stock might fall a little after the announcement that they have received reports of some users experiencing ‘connection issues’ with the internet TV service.
The problems said to have been experienced include an inability to find Wi-Fi networks, inability to join the networks if they are found, or ‘intermittent connections’, said to have been caused by a change to ‘Broadcom wireless chips’ on newer versions of the hardware.
In response to the controversy, Apple are covering themselves by announcing that for any models purchased during the past two years that have such a problem, an exchange can be called, according to a leaked ‘internal document’ addressed to employees, who are required to investigate each device handed in and only issue a replacement if they feel the problem is serious enough.
The message to staff at their own-brand retail stores read: “Apple has determined that a very small number of Apple TV (3rd generation) products might experience one of these Wi-Fi related connectivity issues: Cannot locate network, Unable to join network, Dropped or intermittent connection.”
It is also noted that ‘affected units’ will have the common theme of a serial number ending in ‘DRHN’, a code which will also have a third and fourth character pairing from a list of codes (H9, HC, HD, HF, HG, HH, HJ, HK, HL, HM, HN, HP, HQ, HR, HT, HV, HW, HX, J1, J2, J3, J4, J5, J6, J7, J8, and J9).
While Apple appear to have isolated the issue and offered the minimum of what would be considered an appropriate response for customers, there still remains the fact that the almost-untouchable company in terms of reliability and product ‘quality’ has had to effectively issue a recall. Is this a rare one-off from Apple’s form, or will there be any future devices that fall foul of such issues?