Apple acknowledges '1970' date bug, promises solution in later software update

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple on Monday posted a new support document, acknowledging the existence of a recently-exposed date settings bug in iOS that can render a device unusable.




"Manually changing the date to May 1970 or earlier can prevent your iOS device from turning on after a restart," the document states. When the bug was originally made public, it was believed that users had to rewind iOS' date all the way back to Jan. 1, 1970.

The company is promising to fix the issue in an "upcoming software update," but without offering any other specifics. Apple also isn't offering any temporary solutions for salvaging a device.

Any 64-bit hardware running iOS 8 or 9 is believed to be susceptible to the glitch, which will most frequently leave it stuck at the Apple logo, unable to finish booting. Even the full complement of restore options won't work.

Anecdotes have hinted that some devices may spontaneously recover on their own several hours later, but with extremely slow performance if so.

The issue became more serious over the weekend, as online trolls began trying to trick people into resetting their date. In most cases, people falling victim to the glitch will have no choice but to get a replacement device from Apple.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    Once the battery fully discharges, you'll be able to go in and fix it. iOS devices reset the date once all power is lost. 
  • Reply 2 of 23


    Apple has a new ad campaign 
    brakken
  • Reply 3 of 23
    damonfdamonf Posts: 217member
    I wonder: if someone sets the date to January 1, 1970 (for example), would the problem resolve itself 5 months later (virtual "January" -> virtual "May")?  Or would it be "stuck" on the set date?  I won't dare test that theory, but am curious about it.
    edited February 2016
  • Reply 4 of 23
    The thinking is that this is a UNIX bug, whereby an integer is created to measure time for  any date and that resetting the device date to Jan 1, 1970  sets that integer to zero.  No problem, until the device receives a notice or event that occurred "before you reset that date", which would then calculate as a negative date integer and brick the device.  As noted the easiest solution is to let the battery run completely down to zero and reboot the device.
    manfred zorn
  • Reply 5 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    I understand the teen techie wannabe crowds are invading Apple stores and setting the dates on display models to brick them. I understand people are doing this on purpose in the hope of getting a new replacement iPhone. I understand that morons are morons the world around and are bricking their phones just to see what happens or because their dumbass friend told them to.

    But it’s all Apple’s fault isn’t it. Nobody had discovered this bug for years until some OCD whack job figured it out by accident. Nobody would have reason to set their iPhone’s time and date that far back until said whack job posted it. Now the idiots and slack jawed losers are running with it. But it’s all Apple’s fault isn’t it.
    magman1979quadra 610robin huberericthehalfbee
  • Reply 6 of 23
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,312member
    lkrupp said:
    I understand the teen techie wannabe crowds are invading Apple stores and setting the dates on display models to brick them. I understand people are doing this on purpose in the hope of getting a new replacement iPhone. I understand that morons are morons the world around and are bricking their phones just to see what happens or because their dumbass friend told them to.

    But it’s all Apple’s fault isn’t it. Nobody had discovered this bug for years until some OCD whack job figured it out by accident. Nobody would have reason to set their iPhone’s time and date that far back until said whack job posted it. Now the idiots and slack jawed losers are running with it. But it’s all Apple’s fault isn’t it.
    Well its partly Apple's fault. 
    teaearlegreyhot
  • Reply 7 of 23
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    emoeller said:
    The thinking is that this is a UNIX bug, whereby an integer is created to measure time for  any date and that resetting the device date to Jan 1, 1970  sets that integer to zero.  No problem, until the device receives a notice or event that occurred "before you reset that date", which would then calculate as a negative date integer and brick the device.  As noted the easiest solution is to let the battery run completely down to zero and reboot the device.
    When I read about this I wondered if simply leaving it sit stuck along the boot path until the power ran out would solve it. I think more dust has to settle before this is fully understood.
    edited February 2016
  • Reply 8 of 23
    Just discovered there's a bug in my car. If I remove one of the battery cables it won't start. Bricked. Someone should sue. 
  • Reply 9 of 23
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,789member
    Here is my most eventful statistiic


  • Reply 10 of 23
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,705member
    Um my solution: don't change the year to 1970. 
    suddenly newtonmanfred zornrobin huber
  • Reply 11 of 23
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Just discovered there's a bug in my car. If I remove one of the battery cables it won't start. Bricked. Someone should sue. 
    You should sue yourself for writing something so inane.

    Also, the fracking use of "brick" when it's not really bricked has got to end.
    edited February 2016 pscooter63teaearlegreyhot
  • Reply 12 of 23
    I just discovered there’s a problem with one of my south-facing windows. A brick was thrown through it and the glass has shattered. I’d call someone to investigate, but I don’t want to raise the ire of foggyhill, so I don’t know what to tell them happened...

     ;) 
    robin huberpscooter63teaearlegreyhot
  • Reply 13 of 23
    And as usual - MarketWatch and CNBC has plastered this as a big story on the day Market is closed! Typical!
  • Reply 14 of 23
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,255member
    foggyhill said:
    Just discovered there's a bug in my car. If I remove one of the battery cables it won't start. Bricked. Someone should sue. 
    You should sue yourself for writing something so inane.

    Also, the fracking use of "brick" when it's not really bricked has got to end.
    I guess you missed the sarcasm. Thought the notion of trying to start a car with one of the battery cables disconnected made that obvious.
    nolamacguyrobin huber
  • Reply 15 of 23
    And as usual - MarketWatch and CNBC has plastered this as a big story on the day Market is closed! Typical!
    Somebody call sog pronto.
  • Reply 16 of 23
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,255member

    lkrupp said:
    I understand the teen techie wannabe crowds are invading Apple stores and setting the dates on display models to brick them. I understand people are doing this on purpose in the hope of getting a new replacement iPhone. I understand that morons are morons the world around and are bricking their phones just to see what happens or because their dumbass friend told them to.

    But it’s all Apple’s fault isn’t it. Nobody had discovered this bug for years until some OCD whack job figured it out by accident. Nobody would have reason to set their iPhone’s time and date that far back until said whack job posted it. Now the idiots and slack jawed losers are running with it. But it’s all Apple’s fault isn’t it.
    This is like when some people put their iPhones in the microwave because they read that it could recharge them quickly.
  • Reply 17 of 23
    this I guess will only delay the long awaited release of iOS 9.3:(
  • Reply 18 of 23
    Apple may "fix" the "bug", but not even Apple can fix stupid.
    brakken
  • Reply 19 of 23
    No, this is 100% Apple's fault....  It is not unreasonable to think that people might for some reason set the "wrong" date on their phone.  And if doing so is going to cause the system to freeze, then there should have been a mechanism to prevent users from setting illegal dates.  Or at least a warning.  People are curious and do little experiments. Sometimes they discover great things. Sometimes they discover problems. Yes, the user bears some responsibility, but after the bru-ha-ha of Y2K, I reasonably expect that ALL modern computer systems have been hardened against these sorts of problems.  This  issue really undermines my confidence in Apple.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    lkrupp said:
    I understand people are doing this on purpose in the hope of getting a new replacement iPhone.


    Thanks for the tip!
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