Apple Recalls Small Number of Verizon IPad 2s

Apple Friday confirmed it recalled a number of iPad 2 devices shipped with identical serial numbers, another hiccup for the popular tablet device.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company announced duplicate mobile equipment identifiers, or MEID, were installed on a small number of Verizon iPad 2s, halting sales while recalling the product. MEIDs, which should be unique to each device, are codes that recognise when a device connects to a network.

“Duplicate MEID codes were flashed onto an extremely small number of iPad 2 units for the Verizon 3G network,” said Trudy Muller, an Apple spokeswoman.

Many of the affected devices were found before being shipped, but others have found their way onto shelves and homes. The issues appears to affect both 32-gigabyte and 64-gigabyte devices. AT&T iPads are not expected to be affected because they use a micro-SIM card, not a MEID code.

The MEID problem is the latest in a series of setbacks for the wildly popular iPad 2 device that has struggled since its launch to keep up with demand.

Last month, Apple supplier Foxconn suspended production of the iPad 2 after a deadly explosion rocked the factory. Three people died while 15 others were injured after dust from a polishing workshop spontaneously combusted in Chengdu.

The Foxconn location was responsible for less than 20 per cent of iPad 2 production.

Like several other companies, the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan also hurt Apple’s product production. In addition, the subsequent relief efforts further disrupted the supply chain for the iPad 2, leaving some of its customers waiting between four and five weeks to get their hands on the device.

The earthquake and tsunami also led to Apple delaying the launch of the product in Japan. The company planned to launch the iPad 2 in Japan on March 25, but delayed it to April 28.

The iPad-maker has had difficulty meeting supplies for the high-demand of the tablet, leading some consumers to literally fight over the device.

In May, a scuffle broke out after a customer allegedly cut in line, leading to an Apple employee to confront him. Four people were injured after a glass door shattered.

Since launching its first generation iPad in April 2010, Apple has sold over 25 million units. Barring any other production or sales issues, the company plans on selling nearly eight million units this quarter, which would exceed analyst predictions of seven million.

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