Apple's latest iOS 9.3 update 'bricks' some older iPads, making them unusable

Posted:
in iPad edited March 2016
It seems the release of Apple's feature-packed iOS 9.3 update is not going over well with some users, as a small contingent of iPad owners are complaining of "bricked" hardware after attempting over-the-air and iTunes upgrades.




An unknown number of iPad owners, specifically those with second-generation models, are having trouble installing and activating the latest iOS version released Monday, according to posts on Apple's Support Communities forum and readers who reached out to AppleInsider.

The issue, which appears to be limited to older iPads, usually presents itself during the activation stage and multiple users have reported seeing authentication error messages. While the symptom suggests overly congested activation servers on Apple's end -- situation normal for a new firmware release -- some iPad owners have been waiting for 24 hours without luck.

A few Support pages forum members said they were able to work around the issue by downloading iOS 9.3 through iTunes on a Mac and installing over a hardwired USB connection, but others have attempted the same without success. Another method that proved effective for some is a full restore. It is recommended that users conduct a local or iCloud backup prior to restoring their device as the process erases all user data.

At least one Support Communities member affected by the potential bug took their device into a local Apple Store for help, but employees were unable to offer assistance.

Apple has not issued a statement regarding the matter and did not respond to a request for comment.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Updated the Ipad 2 (monday evening) and Air 2 (today) just fine, was a small 183MB OTA update too on the Ipad 2 (didn't look how much on the Air 2). Heard some people had issues when doing it from 9.2 (I had 9.2.1)
    cornchip
  • Reply 2 of 56
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Traffic in the early days of a release just mean
    trouble one way or another. I'll do a nice iTunes download and update (separate events) some time this weekend. 
    edited March 2016 jony0
  • Reply 3 of 56
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,718member
    Just drive them over to Craig's house.

    At least one Support Communities member affected by the potential bug took their device into a local Apple Store for help, but employees were unable to offer assistance.
    robertwalter
  • Reply 4 of 56
    physguyphysguy Posts: 915member
    I have an iPad 2 from the original build. I have this problem and contacted apple support chat and they are working on it. The case was escalated to senior Eng. And they will be back in touch tomorrow. 
    robertwaltercornchipMacsAlwaystigerandyx9
  • Reply 5 of 56
    tredtred Posts: 2member
    I have had the same issue with my iPad 2. Did a DFU hard reset then was able to restore from a back up via the 30 pin cable.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 6 of 56
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Wonder if it has to do with when the Ipad 2 were sold, the one I have (no issue) wasn't bought in mid 2011 (when they originally came out), but 6 months later.
  • Reply 7 of 56
    tredtred Posts: 2member
    I purchased mine in April 2011
    foggyhill said:
    Wonder if it has to do with when the Ipad 2 were sold, the one I have (no issue) wasn't bought in mid 2011 (when they originally came out), but 6 months later.
  • Reply 8 of 56
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    tred said:
    I purchased mine in April 2011
    foggyhill said:
    Wonder if it has to do with when the Ipad 2 were sold, the one I have (no issue) wasn't bought in mid 2011 (when they originally came out), but 6 months later.
    So, that may explain things, they may be some difference between early Ipad 2's and later ones. Probably in the peripheral chips.
  • Reply 9 of 56
    The last iOS update left my iPad 2 a brick.  Took it to the apple store and techs said nothing could be done.  Complained to apple and to the BBB about apple.  Here is Apple's verbatim response:

    "7. Disclaimer of Warranties."
        "7.2 YOU EXPRESSLY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, USE OF THE iOS SOFTWARE AND ANY SERVICES PERFORMED BY OR ACCESSED THROUGH THE iOS SOFTWARE IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK AND THAT THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO SATISFACTORY QUALITY, PERFORMANCE, ACCURACY AND EFFORT IS WITH YOU.
        7.3 TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, THE iOS SOFTWARE AND SERVICES ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" AND "AS AVAILABLE", WITH ALL FAULTS AND WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, AND APPLE AND APPLE'S LICENSORS (COLLECTIVELY REFERRED TO AS "APPLE" FOR THE PURPOSES OF SECTIONS 7 AND 8) HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE iOS SOFTWARE AND SERVICES, EITHER EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND/OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY, SATISFACTORY QUALITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ACCURACY, QUIET ENJOYMENT, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT OF THIRD PARTY RIGHTS.
        7.4 APPLE DOES NOT WARRANT AGAINST INTERFERENCE WITH YOUR ENJOYMENT OF THE iOS SOFTWARE AND SERVICES, THAT THE FUNCTIONS CONTAINED IN, OR SERVICES PERFORMED OR PROVIDED BY, THE iOS SOFTWARE WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS, THAT THE OPERATION OF THE iOS SOFTWARE AND SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE, THAT ANY SERVICE WILL CONTINUE TO BE MADE AVAILABLE, THAT DEFECTS IN THE iOS SOFTWARE OR SERVICES WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE iOS SOFTWARE WILL BE COMPATIBLE OR WORK WITH ANY THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE, APPLICATIONS OR THIRD PARTY SERVICES. INSTALLATION OF THIS iOS SOFTWARE MAY AFFECT THE AVAILABILITY AND USABILITY OF THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE, APPLICATIONS OR THIRD PARTY SERVICES, AS WELL AS APPLE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES."
        We appreciate the customer providing Apple feedback regarding the iPad and iOS Software Update. Please be assured that Apple considers all of our customers' concerns to be important. 
        As part of the iOS 9 software installation process, the customer is presented with the option to review, and must agree to, the aforementioned software license agreement before the download and installation of the software can proceed.
        Apple records confirm the customer purchased the iPad 2 on July 12, 2011, and it was covered by the Apple One (1) Year Limited Warranty - iOS. Prior to submitting the letter to the Better Business Bureau, the customer visited the Apple Retail Store regarding an issue with updating the software on the iPad. The store determined the iPad required hardware service. The iPad was approximately forty-one months beyond the "Warranty Period". As such, the store offered out-of-warranty service, however, the customer declined.

    THE LAST STATEMENT IS UNTRUE.  THE STORE OFFERED NO OUT-OF-WARRANTY SERVICE AS THEY SAID NOTHING COULD BE DONE -EXCEPT BUY A NEW iPAD.  PERHAPS THAT IS WHAT THEY MEAN BY "SERVICE"


    roger wade
  • Reply 10 of 56
    erksweerkswe Posts: 1member
    Had that problem with my Mini 2. I turned off the device (top button, slide to turn off). Turned it on again, repicked network and auth worked again. Got the feeling its more of a network problem....

    Hope this helps someone else...

    Erik
  • Reply 11 of 56
    No problems at all on any old devices, clear memory though, it takes a lot if GB
  • Reply 12 of 56
    No problems at all on any old devices, clear memory though, it takes a lot if GB
    iphone 4S, Ipad mini1, Ipad2 first edition
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 13 of 56
    vision33rvision33r Posts: 210member
    Updating on the 1st day is always problematic.  Too many people all downloading at once.  Give it a few days then try updating.
  • Reply 14 of 56
    There was a major issue with updating older (before iOS 6, I believe) iPads to 9.2, that was fixed in 9.3 beta.  More info at the Apple forums.

  • Reply 15 of 56
    USUS Posts: 2member
    Apple should test on all Apple items that may be downloding updates by customers. Then have a message that it will not work on certain models. Or a message stating you must download the update a specific way for it to work. I think sending updates out without these messages is irresponsible and should make Apple liable for customer Apple hardware failures. Just my view as a long time Apple customer.
  • Reply 16 of 56
    we experienced pretty similar with iphone 5C... activation did not work due to servers (for like 12 hours at least) - we could solve it by connecting to iTunes and activate it there... (the SW update was done by OTA without any problem)
  • Reply 17 of 56
    I had this issue as well on my daughter's iPad 2. Luckily nothing on there was critical, so I just put it into recovery mode, plugged it into iTunes and restored it. Fixed it and it's fine now.
  • Reply 18 of 56
    US said:
    Apple should test on all Apple items that may be downloding updates by customers. Then have a message that it will not work on certain models. Or a message stating you must download the update a specific way for it to work. I think sending updates out without these messages is irresponsible and should make Apple liable for customer Apple hardware failures. Just my view as a long time Apple customer.
    Of course, it does. The download info included a list of iPods, iPads and iPhones which were deemed compatible. The 2nd-gen iPad was on that list. 

    What is clear is that very few people chime in on sites like this to report success with updates. Most of the posts relate to failures, but it is risky to try to extrapolate the experience of all iPad owners just from the comments in a place like this. If it is 5% of 2nd-gen iPad owners who experience difficulty, it sucks to be in the 5% but it also obscures the 95% who had no problems. 

    With my iPhone 6S and iPad Air, I had no qualms about doing an OTA update. With my 1st-gen iPad mini, I did full iTunes backup, wipe and restore. For me, that's the only smart way to do it. I wouldn't assume a device so relatively old would respond easily to any iOS 9 iteration. 
    techprod1gypscooter63
  • Reply 19 of 56
    Had the problem with my iPad Air (first gen). Just activated it by connecting it to iTunes. since then it works just fine
  • Reply 20 of 56
    Let's first thank Apple for even supporting older generation devices.  It is very difficult and not the $$$ thing to do for a corporation.  It would be easier to remove legacy devices.  Sounds like there is a certain group of devices that are impacted.  It still could be related to early updating.  In any event make sure you back up your device.  If you are on older equipment I would recommend the wired iTunes clean update method described earlier.  It sucks to be part of the group that is having problems but it happens from time to time especially when you have so many devices to consider.  Good luck to those who are navigating the issues!
    GeorgeKaplanpscooter63auriconis
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