I like to think I'm a pretty good software engineer, but I've had problems in my own code which took me weeks to figure out. Saying you want a fix now is fine, but GETTING the fix means Apple and their engineers need to figure out what is happening and sometimes that takes time -- especially if you don't want the fix to cause other problems.
Just for example, my company worked with another company who had a cellular/wifi modem for defense systems. We experimented with it and found that there was a bug in the 3g (yes I said 3g, this is a defense device) code. After a short time, especially when under traffic, the modem crashed. We talked to them and after about a week they came up with a fix that fixed the 3g and broke the wifi. They eventually came up with another one that fixed both. If they had felt like they had to rush maybe that first fix would have been deployed before they realized that they had broken wifi. Sometimes you have to give a company time to really understand the problem and fix it properly. It's a sad fact of life, but often in these cases you have to probe till you get a flash of inspiration. It's hard to know when that inspiration will happen.
If you can wait, then you will have to decide whether to wait for Apple to fix it. If you can't wait you will have to return it and either buy one after the problem is solved or buy a different machine.
You forget that some of those who had wifi issues in Mac OS X did not when they booted into Windows 7 via BootCamp. (I'd really like to see more people with issues try to install Windows 7 and report their findings — you can try it without a license for a month).
Then there's the bloke who lost touchpad functionality simultaneously with losing wifi — and saw a power management event in the log at the exact same time. Plus the guy who said his phone wouldn't charge properly over the USB port on his new Air.
My guess is that this is indeed power related. I'm speculating that Apple are pushing power consumption so low and so close to the absolute minimum that they cross some operational margins of one or more chips, which causes these "blackouts" to occur. We do agree that this is the least power hungry and highest stamina laptop Apple ever produced, right? That would also explain why not only wifi, but also a USB device (the touchpad) would fail. And why the USB port doesn't supply enough power to charge a phone. Would be interesting to know if those with issues experience fewer issues when on AC power than when on battery.
This could explain why some people have fully functional systems while others don't. All chips have rated power requirements, and all chips have margins to their specs. The quality of any piece of silicon depends on a number of factors which is why, for instance, Intel makes processors that are rated to very different power and GHz specs from the same wafer of silicon. The closer to the center of a wafer you get your chip, the better it gets. If you push any chip to the very extreme of either performance or minimum and maximum power tolerance, you can't expect that to necessarily hold with another chip with the same SKU, not even from the same batch. In this case, the extreme would be minimum power supply.
This would also line up nicely with the reports of no issues in Windows 7, where power management is different (and battery time lower, i.e. more juice is given to each chip).
It's just speculation on my part, but it adds up in my head I'm guessing we'll se a software fix, and with it a drop in battery time. And this is why it's taking Apple so long to fix, because they really don't want battery time to drop after this massive marketing of 12+ hours of cordless action.
Machine is a stock MBA, 2013 model - 13"/i5/4G/256G running 10.8.4.
I first tried to get the flickering with Photoshop CS3 and couldn't do it. Then after some comments by people on the other thread I downloaded a trial version of Photoshop Creative Cloud and reran the tests, also no flickering. Procedure was to work on a large RGB image with very large brush sizes. Absolutely no problems although other people had flickering running same tests.
Don't understand it.
I wouldn't think it is a power issue, because if it would be we wouldn't have problems when charger is plugged in... Although win7 test would be interesting, because at least that is a workaround for a sw issue like this. I might give it a go since I go away next week, for applying a big network change and the last thing I want to have issue with is a wifi issue on my own computer...
I was thinking about that, too, and it definitely speaks against my theory. Unless the performance of the wifi chip doesn't change with power (which seems illogical) and so there wouldn't be any reason to increase voltage when running on AC (rationale: lower electricity bill, faster recharges, less heat). But I do agree with you.
I actually just ordered mine. I really need a laptop at the end of next week, and I already sold my 2011 MBA.
The guy I spoke to on the phone assured me that I'd be able to return the laptop within 14 days, even if used, no questions asked, and I won't be paying for the return either. I just hope I won't have to. Hope that either I get a "lucky" sample or in the meantime it turns out to be software fixable.
Dear Dr. Daniel,
Below is the message that i sent to Apple Feedback. Hope this will help you guys!
Maybe you can change the authentication in your wifi router just like what i did.
By the way, it is my fist time to join a forum so i am not so much into this.
I just bought my new MacBook Air 13" here in the Philippines. I thought that I could have the best Mac experience in the world after buying it but the worst had happened. The first time I connect to WiFi connection provided by the store where i bought it, it went well.
But after connecting it to to my portable WiFi, I encountered the same problem with other Mac users.
I can connect to WIfi but after a minute or so i cannot connect anymore. I have to restart my computer every time.
I was about to return my MacBook Air to the store since i got it in an installment payment basis.
I hesitate because i know in my heart that Apple can't be wrong, so I tried to solve the problem.
By going to the settings of my portable Wifi router i changed the WLAN Basic Settings 802.11 Authentication from "WPA-PSK" to "OPEN".
And voila! The problem was solved and I can now connect to the internet and did not bring this back to Power Mac Center, and now i am writing this email to you.
I don't know if you already solved the problem, but I hope you find this information helpful!!!
Well the same worked for me as well (WPA/WPA2, WPA2 solutions didn't work out for me - they are just more stable, but the loss of connection happens anyway), but I doubt anyone here is fond of theidea of opening their networks to everyone just to fix a serious bug of a premium laptop they've purchased.
Unicobautista, please understand that what you've done is not fixing the problem — it's circumventing it to make your computer work at home. Your computer is still broken. This may be a software issue (I think it is, but none of us knows), but it may not.
Also, you've just opened up your network for anyone nearby. So anyone can use your wifi to get online and do things that you might not want to have associated with you, the owner of the internet connection you're inadvertently sharing.
If anything, for a better temporary fix, change open to wpa2-psk as it seems like most Airs like that one. If you don't have wpa2, or can't make it work, at least set up a MAC filter on that router to only allow your Air to connect when running in open mode.
If I were you, I'd return that laptop and wait for this thread to fill with "yes, it works!" and "me too! hooray!" messages.
The only reason I just ordered mine is because I need that laptop by Friday next week and the week after that, and the Apple representative I spoke to assured me that I can still return it after having used it, if there are any issues at all.
My experience: I've been working with my new MBA, 11-inch for about one week. I have a Cisco, WPA2 Enterprise WIFI at work that I am unable to stay connected. I drop about every 60 seconds followed by an automatic 5 second reconnect.
I've spent about two hours on the phone with Apple support last week and they acknowledged the issue and implied a future solution (kind of). I also spoke with a Apple Genius about this same issue at the Yale / New Haven Apple store.
I'm able to connect to my Apple Time Capsule, Starbucks, Amtrak Connect, and a few other public sites without issue. None of these are WPA2 Enterprise.
IMO, there are four possible resolutions: software fix, drive / firmware fix, hardware replacement, or software fix to a hardware bug. I'm most concerned about the fourth resolution, but the comments about Windows working make me think the first two are the most likely.
Apple Support is sending me a free USB Ethernet to use in the meanwhile -- not a great solution, but it should work.
I switched to a 13" MBPr but perhaps I would have done that even if there was no "connection problem." The main reason for me was the screen: the sharpness of text is a blessing for old eyes when you are looking at the screen many hours a day. The 11" MBA is a dream "on the go," but I don't use my Macbook much outside the house and the difference of size and weight (small but noticeable) is for me not that important.
My 14-day return window ends in five days and I'll be returning my 13" Air before it runs out. I'm certainly considering the 13" Macbook Pro retina. A little more weight and a lot less battery life, but better screen and no connectiivity problems. I don't want to take a chance on a possible inadequate fix for the Air's problem or risk being stuck with a computer I can't sell. So if Apple doesn't issue an update by this weekend, it's gone.
Today I took my Air to a local Tim Horton's and attempted to log onto their wireless network. My iPhone found the network and logged on with a strong signal; the Air didn't even see the network, so forget logging on. I like the machine a lot, but this is a deal killer for me.