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Verizon 3G iPad 2 owners report reboot problem

Owners of the Wi-Fi + 3G versions of iPad 2 are complaining that they must reboot their devices if they want to connect to 3G after previously switching the feature off.

For countless months, iPad and iPhone owners longed for Verizon to swoop down from on high and offer them versions of their favorite devices free from the accursed AT&T network. Now, users have those Verizon-based Apple gadgets--along with the first consistent reports of a recurring problem unique to one of them.

Owners of Verizon's native iPad 2 with both Wi-Fi and 3G (in 16, 32 and 64GB memory configurations) are complaining in online forums that they must reboot their devices if they want to connect to 3G after previously switching that feature off.

The Apple Support Discussion boards list five pages discussing the problem. Wi-Fi functions work well enough, but 3G connections either take several minutes or never occur at all. While there's no clear evidence that all Verizon iPad 2 users face the same problem, the complaints coming in from those affected are very similar. When the Verizon iPad 2's 3G function is deactivated, it will not reactivate or connect without a reboot. Switching the device in and out airplane mode has no effect.

Board posts complain of hours on the phone to Apple Customer Service and trips to the Genius Bar without solving the problem. Some extreme cases report Apple Store reps tapping out and simply handing over a replacement iPad 2--only to see the same problem return.

Multiple forums offer the same procedure for overcoming the problem:

1. Turn the cellular data switch to on.
2. Power off the iPad.
3. Power up the iPad.
4. Turn on cellular data. Data switch is already on.
5. The Verizon service turns on and connects properly.

Still, some users grow weary of repeatedly rebooting their devices--Verizon iPad 2 owners are starting to contemplate the previously unthinkable: returning to AT&T and its overworked, much maligned 3G network for better connectivity.

An Apple representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.