The New iPad Mistake Steve Jobs Never Would Have Made


Steve JobsGood news for "new iPad" shoppers. Now that Apple (AAPL) has begun shipping its new uber-tablet, customers are discovering that the company has included -- totally free of charge -- a cooking "app."

Turns out, the new iPad generates so much excess heat that you can fry an egg on it. (Almost.)

Comparing a new iPad running "GLBenchmark" with a similar iPad 2 running the same program, Dutch website reported on Tuesday morning that the new iPad runs nearly 10 degrees hotter than the old -- 92.5 F, versus 82.9F for the iPad 2.

Tweakers points out that the hottest part of the new tablet is in the lower-right corner of the casing, behind Apple's new processor. And an informal poll of users closer to home confirms that when running certain apps on the iPad (Garage Band, for example), the gadget heats up like crazy.

In the grand scheme of things, this probably wouldn't be a huge issue. Warts and all, The Wall Street Journal calls the new iPad "the best tablet on the market." But considering the outrage Apple sparked during the whole you're-holding-it-wrong iPhone 4 bad-reception brouhaha, it's clear that Apple users are a finicky bunch.

And maybe we should be. We're paying up to $829 for these wunder-devices, for goodness' sakes. That's more money than some fairly potent laptop computers will run you. For that price, we demand perfection, and with every glitch like this one, the impression will build that Apple may not be up to the task.

You've got to wonder, would Steve Jobs have permitted the new iPad to go to market with this heating problem? And more crucially for investors, can Apple hold onto its $600 stock price, and half-trillion-dollar market cap, if mistakes like these continue to crop up?

Motley Fool contributor Rich Smith holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple.

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Not sure Jobs wouldn't have made this mistake...and I'm not sure his response to all of this coverage about the iPad's cooling system would have been an apologetic one. The basic fact of the matter is that the new iPad requires more power and will get warmer than its predecessors; it lacks fans that are used to cool computers and laptops, but the device is functioning just as it should: the back aluminum plate serves as the device's cooling system, absorbing heat as it is emitted during intensive processor and battery functions.
Personally, I believe this is why Apple's smart cover does not have a back cover, but only the screen cover. Beginning with iPad 2, iPad designers were aware that the back of the iPad would be getting warmer than the original iPad. Covering that back which serves as a cooling feature could potentially allow the device to overheat.

No tablet on the market has a screen like this new iPad. Apple is on the cutting edge of technology, as far as the screen is concerned. When a company is leading the way with a product, there is sure to be some error along the way...but that doesn't mean that the product is a poor one. Have you forgotten Job's response to "Antenna-gate"? In a special announcement event, he addressed the issue, explaining that the media is making a big deal out of this when it really shouldn't be; he demonstrated how the iPhone's antenna is top of the line and still dropped fewer calls than other antennas; he even started off the announcement with this video, stating that it was certainly appropriate:

And at the end, he still explained how Apple was going to assure their consumers are happy - offering a free bumper to all iPhone 4 buyers, which did aid the iPhone 4's antenna in dropping fewer calls.

Antenna-gate was solved; Apple found a way to satisfy customers and improve their product's flaw. I'm sure, given time, they will address this heating and cooling issue as well, but I'm not sure there is any way to solve it since the product clearly must have a means to cool itself off.

March 24 2012 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to djameson's comment

Sounds like you're a devout Apple follower trying his best to justify a poor design flaw overlooked by Tim Cook, who cares what Steve Jobs would have noticed, he's not around anymore, this is a Tim Cook mistake. Just a little tired of Apple users tooting their own horns over piss poor software and over priced hardware.

March 24 2012 at 10:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to charlesdjones1's comment

I mentioned Steve Jobs because the author of the article assumed to tell others how he would have treated this situation.
As for the rest of what you said; yes, I've never had a problem with an Apple product, and I've been using them since the 80s. I've also used non-Apple products during that time; I'm sorry that I can't say that I haven't had problems with those flaws, glitches and viruses abound.
There's a reason I've stuck with Apple.
Sorry that you're bitter.

March 27 2012 at 5:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
Jeff Burns

Apple does this sort of thing all the time - Jobs or no Jobs. Software updates that brick the phone due to limited/no qa testing has been pretty normal as well. Why spend money on proper QA/Devtest when you can just pile more money in the bank?

Apple released the iPhone(you're holding it wrong)4 which was possibly worse, since the FCC hadn't seen the final design for certification. Jobs and several minions could've gone to jail on that one. Apple didn't even test the final design properly as evidenced by the iPhone4 leak that was in a 3GS case which obsfucated the reception problems. Statute of limitations hasn't run out for the FCC to levy fines and possible prosecution for that one.

Apple has no real good QA, and stupid stuff keeps escaping, and device security is pretty low (as evidenced by a remote jailbreak in hours due to a security hole)

March 22 2012 at 9:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

hate to say it but heat issues have been around for a while even when steve was here. so yes he would allowed it to go out. i am an apple fangirl and i still admit apple products have dealt with heat for a long time now, but its something most overlook for how amazing the product is.

March 21 2012 at 10:26 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

And now the latest issue has to do with weak wifi connections. Much weaker wifi connections on new iPad than iPad 2.

And there is the issue of the yellowish/warmer hue of the screen vs the iPad 2's cooler white screen.

This device seems to be getting worse by the day. Some users have begun to return devices because of the wifi issues. I don't blame them.

March 21 2012 at 6:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I have an iPhone 4s and an iPad first generation. Both are wonderful tools. Apple has created a "cult" of followers who are willing to pay very high prices for state of the arts tools. They deserve the utmost consideration when purchasing one of these expensive "toys for boys" (no sexist remark intended)......

March 21 2012 at 6:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This mistake may come back to haunt Apple. The Lithium/Ion battery on the i-Pad if it experiences such high temperatures may degrade faster and similarly safety issues may prop up. It is not clear how hot the battery may get as a result of running those apps, but if the processor is heating up that high it is not out of the question that the battery will too and therefore some safety issues will arise.

March 21 2012 at 5:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to zackchem's comment
Jeff Burns

GOOD POINT. Most people don't realize that. If the heat spreads close enough to the battery, it will degrade it. Even with safety circuits, a LiIon that short circuits internally is a raging fireball that you can't do anything about other than cover it quickly with something like a ceramic bowl for containment. Lot of house fires from ruptured LiIon batteries.

Depending on how this pans out, the iPad3 could be recalled.

March 22 2012 at 9:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

MY MY, how hot is 92+ degF. Your internal body temp is 6 degrees hotter than that! As a commercial and gov't electronics designer for 30 yr+ I can say that is not hot for electronic gear. Every device generates heat, and the more compact it is, the more concentrated the heat. With all the technology in the new APPLE device I am surprised they got it in that package at all. Unless it fails, SUCK IT UP!

March 21 2012 at 5:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If Ishould havemore SS$s then I want and need it

March 21 2012 at 3:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jason g

Run Apple Minions!!!! Run!!! Next Year Apple can add one little upgrade to the IPad and everyone will go out and buy that one too. What a bunch of tools we have in our society.

March 21 2012 at 2:51 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

The only mistakes made are by the folks who feel they MUST have the very latest toy on the market. You folks are the ones who APPLE is making all of their money off of, just so you can play a game faster???? The engineers know the problem of heat....that is what holds back processor speed. Once they can resolve the heat dissipation issue the pc/tablets will run cooler.

March 21 2012 at 2:48 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Stryyder56's comment

I keep reading Apple has sold 50 million iPads. But wait, wouldn't 40 million of those be repeat buyers? Meaning, Apple isn't really selling more iPads to new users, but actually just selling new iPads to repeat buyers. Nothing wrong with this, just wish people would recognize that Apple is generating a ton of money off iTunes and AppStore, but they will never actually reach as many people as Microsoft can with Windows by selling 300 million systems a year.

March 24 2012 at 10:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply