Apple addresses 802.11ac Wi-Fi coverage problem

Addressing the fact that inclusion of 802.11ac Wi-Fi in its latest Macbook Airs apparently resulted in spotty wireless connectivity, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) released an update aimed at fixing the problem.

The issue came to light in late June, when users began complaining about connection problems and Apple reportedly began investigating the issue.

Releasing "MacBook Air (Mid 2013) Software Update 1.0" last week, Apple said, "This update fixes an issue that in rare instances may cause an intermittent loss in wireless connectivity, an issue with Adobe Photoshop which may cause occasional screen flickering, and an issue which may cause audio volume to fluctuate during video playback."

Some commenters have suggested the connection issue was due to the way Apple's OS X software handled the additional bandwidth provided by 802.11ac. According to The Register, the problem likely stemmed from a GPU or driver issue and should be easily corrected with the new software update.

802.11ac products, which operate in the uncongested 5 GHz band, should provide reduced latency and data rates more than double those of a typical 802.11n network. Most Wi-Fi certified 802.11ac products are expected to operate in both bands, providing support for the older 802.11n standard at 2.4 GHz. The Wi-Fi Alliance officially launched its "Wi-Fi Certified ac" program for 802.11ac, last month in advance of finalization of the IEEE standard.

ABI Research forecasts shipments of dual-band Wi-Fi chipsets will exceed 1.5 billion by the end of 2014.

For more:
- see this Apple update
- see this Register article
- see this CNET article

Special Report: 802.11ac Wi-Fi--Top Wireless Technologies in 2013

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