Apple halts iOS 9.3 updates for older iPads, iPhones after activation issues [u]

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2016
Following reports of activation errors from users updating older iPhones and iPads to Apple's recent iOS 9.3 release, which rendered their devices unusable, the company on Thursday recognized the issue and temporarily paused downloads for affected models as it works on a fix.




According to a statement provided to iMore, the problem lies in the password authorization phase of the iOS 9.3 setup process. The exact issue has not been revealed, though Apple seems to believe users are at least partially to blame.

"Updating some iOS devices (iPhone 5s and earlier and iPad Air and earlier) to iOS 9.3 can require entering the Apple ID and password used to set up the device in order to complete the software update," Apple said. "In some cases, if customers do not recall their password, their device will remain in an inactivated state until they can recover or reset their password. For these older devices, we have temporarily pulled back the update and will release an updated version of iOS 9.3 in the next few days that does not require this step."

AppleInsider was first to report on the iOS 9.3 issue earlier this week, noting certain device owners, specifically those with older generation hardware like the iPad 2, were unable to proceed past the password authentication stage after installing Apple's new software. Those affected usually see authentication error messages in line with Apple's statement.

Some users found success in downloading iOS 9.3 through iTunes on a Mac and installing the firmware via a hardwired connection, suggesting there is an underlying issue on Apple's end. Others have found a full system restore also works, though the method is hit-or-miss.

In conjunction with the announcement, Apple published a support document offering workaround suggestions. The company urges affected users to reset their password through iCloud, perform an iTunes-based installation and activation, or remove Activation Lock through iCloud.com. As reported on Tuesday, those who tried these methods have found limited success.

Update: Apple has pushed out iOS 9.3, build 13E236, for iPad 2 models affected by the authentication issue.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    I updated an Ipad 2,  bought in December 2011 without a hitch, seems it may be early models with 3G that are the main ones having problems (from what I've seen).

    Really, limited success, how on earth would you even know that. I know 3 out of 4 who tried those methods and it worked.
    That seems to say that those methods are not crapshoots (or I'm in a statistically unlikely cluster of people).
    Success may not be assured but "limited success" is plainly a lie.
    Journalism is 100% dead, that's a "sure thing".

    So, yes many who had that were able to update eventually, but it's still a bug for a substantial number of people; nothing can be said beyond that.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 2 of 44
    This bit us on two different iPad2 models with ATT Cellular (but cellular service unactivated). Both were being updated from 9.2.1, and we never even got far enough to be asked our passwords. Activation did not work via either the iPad itself or iTunes, and we tried to be patient and tried both dozens, maybe hundreds of times. Doing an update did not work for either of us, it led to the same "activation" timeout/error, so we ended up having to do a full restore on both iPad2s. Took the better part of a day for each to do the update, then restore a restore + reload the backup to get everything back to where it was before. I since have updated an iPhone 4S, 5S and 6S+ without any issues. So we now have 2 iPad2s successfully running iOS 9.3...but are sad to see that the iPad2 does not support NightShift, which was the main reason we were updating right away.
  • Reply 3 of 44
    "Some iOS devices (iPhone 5s and earlier...")?  Aren't HALF the the installed base 5s and earlier?
    cornchipchuck1252
  • Reply 4 of 44
    Swift2Swift2 Posts: 4member
    I updated my iPad mini 2 (Retina) after having the beta onboard the whole time. No problems whatever. 
  • Reply 5 of 44
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    "Some iOS devices (iPhone 5s and earlier...")?  Aren't HALF the the installed base 5s and earlier?
    Not all of the early devices have this issue, they're trying to narrow it down and until then they're postponing updates to be safe.

    5s and early is probably 35% right now. Before september 2015 it was about 50% I believe.
  • Reply 6 of 44
    brainsbrains Posts: 11member
    There may be some validitity to the bug being part of the Apple ID verification.  On one iPad2 that gave me issues, I never assigned an Apple ID.  It simply refused any attempts at validation, and iTunes refused to touch it pointing me to the Apple store.  

    Still a pretty BAD bug though, odd they never tested these scenarios.
  • Reply 7 of 44
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,651member
    I updated an iPad Air 2 and an iPhone 5S as soon as the update was released, and no issues here.
  • Reply 8 of 44
    foggyhill said:
    "Some iOS devices (iPhone 5s and earlier...")?  Aren't HALF the the installed base 5s and earlier?
    Not all of the early devices have this issue, they're trying to narrow it down and until then they're postponing updates to be safe.

    5s and early is probably 35% right now. Before september 2015 it was about 50% I believe.
    I saw a chart recently that showed about a 50-50 split between 6/6s and 5s/earlier somewhere here on AI.
  • Reply 9 of 44
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    What?!! A problem with new software from Apple?? I'm so shocked. All they're releases have been so rock solid over recent times. /s
    brakken
  • Reply 10 of 44
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,354member
    5s and original iPad mini updated with no issues.
  • Reply 11 of 44
    I bet the Apple call centers and stores are a mess right now. The problem is with the consumer on this one. After the update you are required to sign into your apple ID. Its very simple and it works flawlessly. Unless you don't know your apple ID or password. I work for a cellphone company and had 6 customer yesterday alone who couldn't even guess what their Apple ID email was. Not even a guess...... Sorry folks, Its impossible to reset a password if you don't know the email address nor can I figure out what that e mail address is. The phone is a complete brick at that point with absolutely no solution. Hope apple finds a way to help all those customers stuck with a bricked phone.
    teaearlegreyhot
  • Reply 12 of 44
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,371member
    bobschlob said:
    What?!! A problem with new software from Apple?? I'm so shocked. All they're releases have been so rock solid over recent times. /s
    Apple Insider said:
    ....Apple seems to believe users are at least partially to blame.

    "You're not updating it right...."   :*

    edited March 2016
  • Reply 13 of 44
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 677member
    bobschlob said:
    What?!! A problem with new software from Apple?? I'm so shocked. All they're releases have been so rock solid over recent times. /s
    Me-ow! Love it! I'd love Apple to do several years of updates with no issues at all, lulling us all into a false sense of security!
  • Reply 14 of 44
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    foggyhill said:
    Not all of the early devices have this issue, they're trying to narrow it down and until then they're postponing updates to be safe.

    5s and early is probably 35% right now. Before september 2015 it was about 50% I believe.
    I saw a chart recently that showed about a 50-50 split between 6/6s and 5s/earlier somewhere here on AI.
    That was the case pre 6s, not now.
  • Reply 15 of 44
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    I bet the Apple call centers and stores are a mess right now. The problem is with the consumer on this one. After the update you are required to sign into your apple ID. Its very simple and it works flawlessly. Unless you don't know your apple ID or password. I work for a cellphone company and had 6 customer yesterday alone who couldn't even guess what their Apple ID email was. Not even a guess...... Sorry folks, Its impossible to reset a password if you don't know the email address nor can I figure out what that e mail address is. The phone is a complete brick at that point with absolutely no solution. Hope apple finds a way to help all those customers stuck with a bricked phone.
    Ipads can be factory reset I think, but phones could not unless Apple has pitty on those people if they turned on activation lock (considering they didn't even know their Apple ID, probably not so they should be OK). Factory reset otherwise should work there too. Of course you lose everything on the phone or Ipad if its not backed up somewhere (as it should be when updating,).

     Only X.X.# updates really are benign, everything else needs a backup.

    I find it surprising so many people never use their Apple ID  for anything.
    edited March 2016 baconstang
  • Reply 16 of 44
    subbiessubbies Posts: 71member
    No issues with my iPad 2. 
  • Reply 17 of 44
    raz0rraz0r Posts: 28member
    Apple is wrong thinking that the users are to blame (even partially)

    I have an ipad 2 among other devices. When the 9.3 update installed, it entered a sort of a setup loop for me (I had to go through the initial setup twice. Setup - everything done, restart, again with the Hello, setup - everything done, restart. I entered the password both times and no errors on each try). There's definitely a bug here and it's not related to not entering the password.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    Updated a 3G iPad 2 on Tuesday with no problems. It asked me for the AppleID to get past the activation lock, and once I had entered my details the iPad activated and I went through the rest of the process.
  • Reply 19 of 44
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    raz0r said:
    Apple is wrong thinking that the users are to blame (even partially)

    I have an ipad 2 among other devices. When the 9.3 update installed, it entered a sort of a setup loop for me (I had to go through the initial setup twice. Setup - everything done, restart, again with the Hello, setup - everything done, restart. I entered the password both times and no errors on each try). There's definitely a bug here and it's not related to not entering the password.
    Did Apple declare all users to blame, I don't think so.
    There is a way to recover through a factory reset and then redownloading everything (a pain in the ass but doable).

    But there are also dumb dumb out there; that's also a fact.

  • Reply 20 of 44
    Following reports of activation errors from users updating older iPhones and iPads to Apple's recent iOS 9.3 release, which rendered their devices unusable, the company on Thursday recognized the issue and temporarily paused downloads for affected models as it works on a fix.




    According to a statement provided to iMore, the problem lies in the password authorization phase of the iOS 9.3 setup process. The exact issue has not been revealed, though Apple seems to believe users are at least partially to blame.

    "Updating some iOS devices (iPhone 5s and earlier and iPad Air and earlier) to iOS 9.3 can require entering the Apple ID and password used to set up the device in order to complete the software update," Apple said. "In some cases, if customers do not recall their password, their device will remain in an inactivated state until they can recover or reset their password. For these older devices, we have temporarily pulled back the update and will release an updated version of iOS 9.3 in the next few days that does not require this step."

    AppleInsider was first to report on the iOS 9.3 issue earlier this week, noting certain device owners, specifically those with older generation hardware like the iPad 2, were unable to proceed past the password authentication stage after installing Apple's new software. Those affected usually see authentication error messages in line with Apple's statement.

    Some users found success in downloading iOS 9.3 through iTunes on a Mac and installing the firmware via a hardwired connection, suggesting there is an underlying issue on Apple's end. Others have found a full system restore also works, though the method is hit-or-miss.

    In conjunction with the announcement, Apple published a support document offering workaround suggestions. The company urges affected users to reset their password through iCloud, perform an iTunes-based installation and activation, or remove Activation Lock through iCloud.com. As reported on Tuesday, those who tried these methods have found limited success.

    Update: Apple has pushed out iOS 9.3, build 13E236, for iPad 2 models affected by the authentication issue.
    Thank you for forwarding Apple's statement.
    The problem is that nothing works.
    I posted a discussion on the Apple Community forum and they posted the same "info".
    After that I said that it did not work, they censored my post.
    This guy is the one who censored my post:
    He said that he does not work for Apple.
    Which is hard to believe...
    I did some research and found out that he works in that college:
    I called him and he did not respond.
    So are those methods from Apple loyal towards a full paying customer?
    On every blog, it looks like Apple is doing active community management.
    Which is understandable. But it is unfair that injured clients get censored.
    My iPad is bricked since tuesday. Since then I spent hours trying all the solutions.
    And it does not work, we even get insulted by other users telling that we are dumb.
    FYI I have a 12 years professional background in Technology.
    So please keep this kind of comments for you.

    I expect from Apple a rapid solution.
    If they don't manage to activate my iPad I'm going to organize a class action together with all the injured customers.
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