iPad 3 stuck "Searching" for Cellular Data Connection

SLOWBRA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 11, 2012
25
1
I've encountered a problem with my iPad 3 where it will never connect to the cellular network. The top left corner always says "searching".

I've used the cellular data plan (AT&T) twice since purchasing the iPad (only when traveling). I bought a 3month plan back in October and it worked fine. I tried it in November and it worked fine. However, now it's suck on "Searching". AT&T did some troubleshooting with me and asked that I go into the store and replace the sim. I did that yesterday and that did not resolve the issue.

I thought maybe I would try using the iPad in a different location and that didn't work. I did a complete restore and that also didn't work.

Interestingly, I am sitting at the airport and tried again and noticed that it showed 1 dot (instead of "searching"). This lasted a few seconds and then reverted back to "Searching". I called AT&T and went through the troubleshooting again. They think that my first SIM card went bad and that I may have gotten a bad SIM card from AT&T. That's hard to believe, but I guess anything is possible.

I'm curious as to if any of you have seen this problem before and if you have any suggestions on what to try. I've done the normal resetting of network settings and a full restore.

I will be going back to AT&T tomorrow to replace the SIM card, but have a feeling they will send me to Apple. Not a bad thing, but I have no warranty left and have only used the cellular data plan 2 times. The iPad is in great shape, has always been in a case and has never been dropped so it seems silly to me I am having a problem.

One thing to note is that I did upgrade to ios7 and did the updates over the past few months so the iPad is fully up to date.
 

SLOWBRA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 11, 2012
25
1
Unfortunately, I am the only one that I know with an iPad that has Cellular.

Is having a hardware issue with the cellular piece common? I have only used the cellular service 2 times and as luck would have it I am outside the warranty period.
 

SLOWBRA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 11, 2012
25
1
AT&T replaced the sim today. The device was able to connect to the Cellular network, but a few minutes later the signal degraded and it went back to the searching issue.

The technician did something on his machine that caused it to come back so we tested the network. The speed at which pages were loading were very slow. He thought it may be a hardware issue around the sim port.

Unfortunately, a few minutes later it lost the signal and I am back to square one. He said Apple has to look at it, but since it's out of warranty they will not be able to help much.

This is a real bummer. I've used 1gb total of service over the past 18months on 2 separate occasions.

Given how little I used the cellular I guess I should be happy the iPad still works on wifi.

I wish there was a way to diagnose if the issue is hardware or software.
 

ugcop

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2012
599
103
Traveling @ Warp Speed ...... USA
It is sounding more like a hardware issue but you could do a wipe and set it up as a new iPad instead of a restore. You will have to reload everything by hand but at this point if you want to try to bring it back to life that is about all you can do.
 
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