New iPad’s Newest Issue: WiFigate

Today’s mobile roundup features Apple’s WiFigate, T-Mobile and Nokia fire employees and more.

New iPad’s New Issue: WiFigate

First we heard about the heatgate, wherein consumers complained about the new iPad heating up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit.  Then there was chargegate wherein users complained of an inability to charge quickly if using the iPad while plugged up.  And now, users are complaining about poor WiFi.

Apple’s website is flooded with comments from disgruntled consumers. User ‘stlsteve’ complains, “I am in a hotel with my laptop and new ipad3. The laptop wifi reception is as strong as it gets, but the iPad only registers a weak signal. Anyone else having similar problems? Any suggestions?”

While another, ‘grubbii,’ reported the same issue with Wifi connectivity, saying, “I am seeing this too. I am currently writing this from my Ipad 1 because my new ipad RIGHT BESIDE ME doesn’t pick up my Wifi signal.”

With all these issues surrounding the new iPad, is it really advisable to buy the new Apple device?  And if poor WiFi, heating and charging issues are the price to pay for having an upgraded Retina Display, is it really worth it?  Yes, most consumers would say. The iPad still holds a top spot in consumer market trends, edging out even the top Android tablets on a global scale.

Aside from all the issues on the new iPad, the iPhone maker was fined $1.2 million or €900,000 by the Italian antitrust body for their AppleCare Protection Plan.  The AppleCare Protection Plan extends the warranty of iDevices for two years, but the problem here is that Apple pushes their customers to buy the plan, which violates the law in Italy wherein Apple is required to protect their devices for two years for free.  Apple failed to disclose that information to their customers so many Italians who bought iDevices as well as the AppleCare Protection Plan, for lack of a better term, got duped by Apple.

T-Mobile Cuts Jobs

T-Mobile USA Inc. announced that they are cutting 1,900 jobs nationwide as they consolidate their call centers to reduce costs and remain competitive in the market.  Aside from firing employees, 24 of their call centers will be shutdown by the end of June this year.  Only 1,400 of their 3,300 employees will remain in their 17 call centers.

“These are not easy steps to take, but they are necessary to realize efficiency in order to invest for growth,” Philipp Humm, T-Mobile CEO and president said in a statement.

The call centers to be closed are in Allentown, Pa.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Frisco, Texas; Brownsville, Texas; Lenexa, Kansas; Thornton, Colo. and Redmond, Ore.

Nokia Fires 1,000 workers

In an agreement with union leaders, Nokia cuts 1,000 workers in their oldest manufacturing plant in Salo, Finland as they focus on handling software customization. Their phones will be manufactured in Asia.

There are currently 1,700 workers in the Salo plant and the job cuts will be completed by the end of June.

AT&T Charged With Fraud

The Justice Department announced that they filed a complaint against AT&T under the False Claims Act for conduct related to its provision of Internet Protocol (IP) Relay services.  The complaint alleges AT&T of  facilitating and seeking federal payment for IP Relay calls by international callers who were ineligible for the service and sought to use it for fraudulent purposes.  Those with  hearing- and speech-impairment are the only people eligible for the free service.

“Federal funding for Telecommunications Relay Services is intended to help the hearing- and speech-impaired in the United States,” said Stuart F. Delery, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice.   “We will pursue those who seek to gain by knowingly allowing others to abuse this program.”

Is HTC Crossing Over To The PC Sector?

HTC will be attending and participating in its first ever keynote address at the Computex Taipei trade show in June.  Computex is tradeshow geared towards PC vendors.

According to HTC spokeswoman Jessica Pan, HTC will be showing up to the event just for support but they will not be exhibiting any devices.  But we have to wonder, is HTC thinking about PCs?  It’s an interesting consideration for the smartphone manufacturer, as it seeks diversification beyond Android’s OS.  HTC has already shared its plans to extend manufacturing support to Windows devices, as well as rolling out its own mobile platform.  The PC market is a shaky one right now, as even the top PC makers (HP and Dell) look to software and services to supplement slipping PC sales.