Apple Recalling Verizon iPad 2 Orders in Transit? [Updated]
Yesterday, we began to hear word that Apple had intercepted certain iPad 2 orders while in transit, with FedEx tracking having shown the orders nearly reaching their destination before being updated with a "package returned to shipper notice". 9 to 5 Mac received similar information and discovered that the issue is affecting quite a few orders, although seemingly limited to Verizon models.
According to one Apple retail store employee, the company's stores have also been provided with a list of serial numbers of Verizon iPads that are to be pulled from inventory and returned to Apple, suggesting that the issue is not in fact limited to engraved units.
Apple has given all the stores a list of serial numbers to scan, if it's a match we were told to set aside and ship back to Apple, these are only for Verizon ipads. This was to be done on Monday and continue to scan all shipments thru June 11. I had over one hundred to send back.
Based on updated information, it appears that the issue may be a malfunction causing Verizon iPad 2s that have had cellular service activated to be unable to bring up account information for viewing and editing.
Customers calling FedEx and Apple to inquire about their order statuses are apparently being given conflicting information, although the overall picture does seem to be that Apple has pulled the order mid-shipment and is sending out replacements. The reason for the withdrawal of Verizon iPad 2 units is unknown at this time, although it seems reasonable to speculate that Apple has identified a bad batch of units containing some sort of defect.
Some affected customers have reported requesting and receiving credits or free accessories from Apple as compensation for the delays in receiving orders due to the issue, although it is unclear whether this is a specific company policy in place regarding the issue or simply customer service representatives acting at their own discretion within general policy guidelines.
Update: An Apple Store employee has informed us that the issue stems from Verizon having accidentally duplicated Mobile Equipment Identifiers (MEIDs), issuing on the bad batch MEIDs that had been previously used on other Verizon iPads. When users with iPads carrying duplicate MEIDs attempt to set up cellular data accounts, the system sees their devices as having already been set up.