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Old Apr 26, 2010, 10:47 PM   #1
macbook123
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Will 3G iPad also have better WiFi reception?

The 3G iPad has a black plastic opening on the top to allow for good 3G reception. I wonder, would we also expect it to have better WiFi reception as a result? This question should be answerable by anybody who has taken the WiFi version apart, i.e. is the WiFi antenna close to the top of the iPad? If so, presumably it will also be there in the 3G version and reception should be better...

Thanks for any thoughts on this...
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 11:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by macbook123 View Post
This question should be answerable by anybody who has taken the WiFi version apart, i.e. is the WiFi antenna close to the top of the iPad? If so, presumably it will also be there in the 3G version and reception should be better...


The WiFi/Bluetooth card is integrated into the dock connector cable.

Step 19
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 11:14 PM   #3
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 11:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by shady825 View Post
The WiFi/Bluetooth card is integrated into the dock connector cable.

Step 19
That is correct...however look at Step 24:

Step 24
Here's a detail shot of both WiFi antennas. The wireless reception should be decent with such dense antennas.

Adding 3G capability to a Wi-Fi only iPad is not going to be a very feasible upgrade.

Based on the photos released by the FCC, the 3G models include additional antennas as well as a plastic strip in the rear panel to improve reception.
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 11:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by shady825 View Post
The WiFi/Bluetooth card is integrated into the dock connector cable.

Step 19
Oh, too bad, I suppose that entails that the WiFi reception on the 3G won't be better than on the WiFi ones...

...unless they change the location of the WiFi card...
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 11:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rkdiddy View Post
That is correct...however look at Step 24:

Step 24
Here's a detail shot of both WiFi antennas. The wireless reception should be decent with such dense antennas.

Adding 3G capability to a Wi-Fi only iPad is not going to be a very feasible upgrade.

Based on the photos released by the FCC, the 3G models include additional antennas as well as a plastic strip in the rear panel to improve reception.
Touché
I didnt read any further than 19
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 11:22 PM   #7
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Oh, too bad, I suppose that entails that the WiFi reception on the 3G won't be better than on the WiFi ones...

...unless they change the location of the WiFi card...
Im half right. Read the post above yours. He is 100% right
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 11:48 PM   #8
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The wifi antenna is behind the plastic Apple logo on the back. I suppose they could've added another one up top, but I doubt it.

edit: whoops, didn't see in the reply above that they actually added more antennas
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 12:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rkdiddy View Post
That is correct...however look at Step 24:

Step 24
Here's a detail shot of both WiFi antennas. The wireless reception should be decent with such dense antennas.

Adding 3G capability to a Wi-Fi only iPad is not going to be a very feasible upgrade.

Based on the photos released by the FCC, the 3G models include additional antennas as well as a plastic strip in the rear panel to improve reception.
Sorry but I don't follow. Are you suggesting there will be additional WiFi antennas in the 3G version, making its WiFi reception better? Or are you saying WiFi reception should be the same as in the WiFi-only version of the iPad?

Last edited by macbook123; Apr 27, 2010 at 02:10 AM.
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 08:00 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by shady825 View Post
The WiFi/Bluetooth card is integrated into the dock connector cable.

Step 19
It makes sense, communications hardware colocated, but irrelevant concerning WiFi reception. The location of the module is not nearly as important as the location of the antenna(e). On the 3G version, at least the GSM antenna will be routed towards the plastic window. It is possible that the WiFi antenna will be similarly routed. We'll have to wait for a teardown to know for sure.
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 08:14 AM   #11
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Hm. I would have *assumed* they would just plug in the 3G module in the right upper corner in these models, and that's it. I can't see making a major change like re-routing the WiFi antenna from behind the Apple logo (which is transparent to EMF for that reason).

If WiFi was good enough in the WiFi version, it (originally) should have been planned to be good enough for the combo version.

I would also think when they assemble these, there are only two options: for a 3G: take the different back-shell, and then plug in the 3G module.

BUT, as you say, we could be wrong, and we do need a tear-down to be 100% sure. If WiFi is indeed different/beter in the 3G version, there will be a flood of eBaying going on.

I'll bet, though, it's like I said: 3G = WiFi + 3G module + different back-shell
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 08:32 AM   #12
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Wow if the 3g models actually do have better wifi reception, I may have to get rid of my current iPad.
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 08:35 AM   #13
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Wow if the 3g models actually do have better wifi reception, I may have to get rid of my current iPad.
and I will be extra glad I already did! I plan to get a 3G even though I probably wont turn on the 3G until this Fall. Hope it somehow pwns the Wifi only in Wifi as well.
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 08:02 PM   #14
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Thanks for the comments all. Now I wonder how to test for this in the Apple store tomorrow. I wonder if the signal in the stores is so strong that the WiFi model has perfect reception, or if one will be able to tell the difference.

Or are there any "standardized" tests one could ask folks receiving their 3G's in the mail today to do?
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 08:19 PM   #15
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I posted this elsewhere.. is there a way to see the strength of the WiFi signal being received on an iPad *without* loading an iPhone WiFi app? There has to be a way, obviously, for Apple techs, but is there a way *we* can do it easily?
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 08:41 PM   #16
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 08:48 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by macbook123 View Post
I wonder if the signal in the stores is so strong that the WiFi model has perfect reception,
Is that plausible?
I'd never would have known people were having wifi connection problem when i was at the apple store last week, because I was browsing away and I was ready to buy one, despite the fact that I wasn't able to access safari books online (that got rectified) but I didn't because my wife made a good argument for the 3g and the store was out of stock anyway.
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 11:32 PM   #18
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I'd probably be more worried about battery life.
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