Last week, it was reported that setting your iOS device’s date and time to January 1, 1970 would crash your iOS device, bricking it completely. Apparently setting the date that far back prevented the device from booting up until the battery died.
Since the bug was published, (MacTrast didn’t publish the news, hoping to prevent more folks from trying the bug out, just to see if it was true), AppleCare has been flooded with calls and visits from folks who did try it just to see if it worked. ::SIGH!:: Now, Apple has acknowledged the bug, and says a fix is on the way in the form of a software update that will prevent the issue from affecting iOS devices in the future.
Apple’s comment on the bug is short and sweet, and falls short of the “WTF, People?!?!?” comment that they should have posted.
Manually changing the date to May 1970 or earlier can prevent your iOS device from turning on after a restart.
The company suggest users affected by the problem, (and a lack of common sense), should contact Apple Support for assistance. 9to5Mac reports hearing mixed experiences from users, with some getting a full device replacement at the Genius Bar, while other folks report being turned away with no replacement.
The 9to5Mac post also reports that – as could probably be expected – A$$hole pranksters are intentionally setting the date back on demo iPhones and iPads in Apple retail stores, in order to brick the products that are on display.
Apparently, a decent amount of you have tried this at home, (UGH!), and have been looking for help from an article we posted back in 2013, “How to Restore a bricked iOS Device,” making it the most read article on our site last week. While we doubt following the steps in that article will bring your “1970” bricked device back from the dead, let us know in the comments section below if it actually helped.
Apple didn’t go into details about when the “upcoming software update” would be released, so we don’t know if the fix will be a part of iOS 9.3, which will likely be released in March, or if it will be an OTA x.x.x bug fix between now and then. We’ll keep you posted.