Apple’s inability to fix Wi-Fi issues not a threat, but could lead to an acquisition

“Last week a prominent Apple developer issued a stinging rebuke of Apple’s software quality, saying that it had ‘fallen so much in the last few years that I’m deeply concerned for its future,'” Mark Hibben writes for Seeking Alpha. “Judging by the influx of complaints about the latest Mac OS X release on Apple’s support forum, there does appear to be a problem, but it may not be software. Instead, the problem may be with a key WiFi component supplied by Broadcom.”

“I decided to poke around the Apple support forums to get a feel for what users were complaining about. At any given time, there are always complaints, but what I found was a firestorm regarding WiFi problems under Yosemite. The forum thread started shortly after Yosemite was released in October and continues to the present. The thread goes on for over 135 pages with over 2000 separate posts. This is very atypical,” Hibben writes. “The complaint scenario was always the same: WiFi had worked just fine under the previous version of Mac OS X (Mavericks), but failed intermittently under Yosemite.”

“It also became clear that many other complaints about Apple software were actually WiFi driven. Complaints about Safari (Apple’s included web browser) mysteriously locking up, inability to access email or use messaging, anything iCloud related, all seemed to be misidentified WiFi problems,” Hibben writes. “Many of the forum posts indicated some relationship between Bluetooth operation and WiFi. Often, users were able to restore some level of WiFi capability by simply turning Bluetooth off. This peaked [sic] my curiosity since many Apple Macs rely on a small card, called an Airport card by Apple, that combines Wifi and Bluetooth functions. These cards are all made by Broadcom.”

“Mavericks went through similar though not as severe problems with WiFi when it was first rolled out, indicating that Apple has had a longstanding problem getting Broadcom’s hardware successfully integrated,” Hibben writes. “The real question is why has Apple allowed itself to become so dependent on Broadcom?”

Read more in the full article here.

23 Comments

      1. Or perhaps ads today simply can’t fund quality journalism. Subscription doesn’t seem to work as well in the digital world as the physical newspaper/magazine model either, especially as people struggle to juggle their accounts and passwords across multiple devices.

        There must be a better funding model.

        Also, there needs to be a better educated populace who is more willing to castrate the sensationalist entertainers who masquerade as newsmen. You know who you are.

      1. Thanks; I hesitated before posting, not sure if there are any linguistic nuances I’m not aware of, being a foreigner. I guess it could have worked as originally written; it just didn’t sound quite right to me.

      2. Yes you are right ‘my curiosity has peaked’ would work but clearly using it the way he did it was clearly meant to be piqued, I can’t find any indication that ‘peaked my curiosity’ is an acceptable usage of the word peaked.

    1. That’s what the editor’s [sic] was for- “sic” is an editor telling you that there’s a misspelled word or an incorrect usage. Since it’s a quote, the editor really can’t correct it, so the “sic” tells you there’s a mistake…

    1. Absolutely! Yosemite is a mess from the screwy interface changes that gave us unreadable dark blue buttons with black text to the WiFi problems to turning off junk mail filtering in the Mail client for iCloud accounts to the bag of bugs and interface offenses known as iTunes.

      I’ve had to call Apple Tech Support so often that I’ve memorized my Mac’s serial number and am well on my way there with my iPhone’s IMEI number. They haven’t even changed their hold music play list in over a year.

      I seriously miss Jobs and the era of the big cats.

  1. Actually the problems started when Apple started integrating AirDrop and the new Handoff/Continuity stuff. I think the code isn’t handling things so well and it’s making it seem it’s a wifi issue.

  2. One thing that is not related to WiFi. No printer drivers. I have two Canon printers. Neither one works under Yosemite. The drivers that I can download don’t work.

    1. Have you tried resetting your printing system? It wipes out your printers, and lets you install the drivers (if they don’t get installed automatically when you click on the printers to add). I’ve found that fixed all printing issues I’ve had (it only happened on one computer, but it was an annoying problem!).

  3. BTW, I have a MacBook Pro (mid-2012) and an iPhone 6 and a LOT of different Wi-Fi networks and I’ve not had any problems. So while I’m not denying that some do have a problem, there are also a awful lot of us out here who don’t. Just sayin’

    1. Of course the bugs are not happening for everyone. If they were Apple would have had to make an emergency stop to the Mavericks to Yosemite upgrade (as they had to do with one of Yosemite’s point updates).

      But for those of us who are plagued by these issues, it is beyond annoying. I have to disable/enable WiFi all the time and its getting very old.

    2. Me too. An iPad Air 2, iPad Mini retina, and an iPhone 6 all purring like contented kittens. Guess we are just fortunate ones? Or, maybe not quite so vocal over perceived Apple failures?

      1. Well to be fair since the move to OSX I have had little to moan about as things have got easier and less troublesome as I have progressively upgraded but Yosemite and iOS 8 have really been a shock to my system. I used to doubt others complaints over the years but not this time around.

  4. I have a December 2014 Retina MacBook Pro which is in the shop for a USB issue. I’ve seen no WiFi problems at all with it so this could be a problem with a particular batch of cards and the software that goes along with it. One thing that helps at the Genius Bar is if they can reproduce the problem in the store – I think that they need to see the problem before they can authorize a repair.

  5. I’ve had no problems with Wi-Fi, using my existing wireless equipment. However, at about the time that Yosemite got released, Comcast (coincidentally) contacted me to upgrade the cable “modem” that I have been using for years with Comcast’s ISP service. The new one supposedly provides higher speed for Internet access. And it (unlike the previous one) has a built-in Wi-Fi router.

    So, I set up and used that built-in router, instead of my old AirPort Extreme Base Station. And I had problems with Wi-Fi. The connection speed would become drastically reduced for no apparent reason, and various settings on the router (accessed using a web browser interface) did not help. Also, one of my older Macs, using a third-party 802.11n USB adapter, would not stay connected.

    I then connected my old AirPort Extreme Base Station to the new cable modem using an Ethernet cable (how things were set up with the old cable modem), and everything is fine again. As an added benefit, the built-in Wi-Fi router on the cable modem seems to work fine with my older devices that use 802.11g and b. So I set the AirPort Extreme Base Station on the “802.11n only” setting (previously set to be compatible with g and b), and that has further improved Wi-Fi performance for the two newer Macs in the household that connect through my good ol’ AirPort Extreme Base Station.

    Therefore, I think some of these Wi-Fi issues are related to the shoddy gear that some ISP provides to customers. If the new stuff has built-in Wi-Fi, customers may be have started using them at about the same time as Yosemite’s release, and that is causing the some of these issues.

    Also, media reporters (like Mark Hibben) who use Apple’s support forum as their source for “research” need to understand something. “2000 separate posts” may seem like a large number, but it is minuscule (almost ZERO) compared to the total number of Yosemite users. 1000 out of a one million is one-tenth of one percent (0.001). And how many millions of Yosemite users are out there now? Plus some of those posts are from users (who have no problems) responding with suggestions. And some posts are from the same users with multiple posts. So even 2000 posts does mean 2000 unique users reporting problems.

    If it seems like there are more people reporting problems these days, compared to those imagined “good old days,” that’s because there are… Because there are 10 or even 100 times as many Mac users today, compared however many years you want to look back to reminisce. It is a symptom of Apple’s HUGE success, not Apple’s software quality.

  6. I just installed Yosemite last night and today am getting acquainted with it. My first negative impression is the Playskool interface. I like some of the new features and functionality but need time to see how well they actually work.

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