The Tame Apple Press moved into damage limitation mode this morning to reassure Apple fans that their keyboardless netbooks were not really broken after Jobs’ Mob ordered the expensive toys recalled.
Jobs’ Mob has formally announced that it is recalling an “extremely small number” of them due to a manufacturing defect that could cause problems with connecting to a 3G network.
Normally we would take that statement at face value, but given the fact that Apple has consistently used the phrase “small number” when it actually meant a huge number we are a little suspicious.
For example Apple said that antenna-gate problems were only affecting a small number of people. It turned out that it was the “small number of users” who were left handed or tried to make a telephone call with the iPhone.
Every tablet is hardcoded with an MEID, or mobile equipment identifier, which works sort of like a serial number for accessing a wireless network service. The code is sent out to the carrier, which verifies its authenticity before allowing the tablet online. No two devices should share the same MEID.
Apple said that it noticed the problem, but not quick enough to stop “a few” affected units from getting onto the shelves.
Basically if you recently purchased a 3G iPad 2 from Verizon and find yourself unable to connect or getting kicked offline quickly, you might be one of the few.
We will probably never know how many a few is this time. Apple is replacing all those duff iPads and never tells anyone how many of its toys are replaced.