As anecdotal evidence of Apple iPad WiFi connectivity issues
continues to mount, experts within the reseller channel believe that
partners who make the effort to learn about workarounds stand to gain.
The homework they do now will add to their iPad expertise which will
lead to greater opportunities down the line when the iPad gains more
traction in the enterprise.
Apple’s early success with iPad – the company says it has sold one million units already — has been clouded by reports within Apple forums
and online technology communities of iPad users experiencing
connectivity issues. Apple has acknowledged the issues, claiming that
the trouble occurs with third-party (read: non-Airport) routers when
the iPad tries to rejoin a WiFi network after a reboot.
According to Michael Oh, founder of the Apple-centric reseller Tech
Superpowers, even though the iPad’s penetration into the typical
business network is still miniscule, channel partners can help
customers and their high-value, iPad-toting executives by finding
workarounds until Apple offers more concrete fixes.
"I think the way channel partners can help to address is to use their
networking expertise to get to the root of the issue," Oh says.
"The most popular explanation for the problem backed up by various
research organizations is that the iPad as well as the iPhone doesn’t
handle DHCP leases as network standard devices should,” he says. “There
are workarounds that can happen in the firewall level, there are things
that you can do to avoid the problem, but ultimately it’s going to be
up to Apple to research the issue, admit that there’s a problem and
create a firmware fix for it."
Even though Apple currently blames third-party routers for the issues,
Oh believes the company will endeavor to fix the issue in order to keep
the business community optimistic that the iPad is a viable enterprise
"The way I look at it is that Apple’s not stupid," Oh says. "They
realize in order for this to be popular with the enterprise — even if
it is a fringe issue and it’s only affecting various small percentage
of users — from a perception standpoint they have to resolve the
And Oh is among many that do have faith that the iPad will eventually
make its way into the enterprise. In many ways, the iPhone stands as a
testament to how the cool factor Apple develops into its devices
eventually washes away the resistance enterprise IT initially puts up
"I think that the introduction is going to look and feel from a
corporate standpoint very similar to what happened with the iPhone,"
says Andrew Rubin, CEO of Cymtec Systems, an IT security vendor.