Apple to send fix for 1970 date bug; devices can be affected by setting date to May 1970 or earlier

Apple says that a software update is coming to prevent 64-bit iOS devices from getting bricked when the date is set back to May 1970 or earlier

Apple says that a software update is coming to prevent 64-bit iOS devices from getting bricked when the date is set back to May 1970 or earlier


Admitting that the the "1970 date bug" does exist, Apple posted a support document today that tells users of certain iOS devices that "Manually changing the date to May 1970 or earlier can prevent your iOS device from turning on after a restart." First reports had the bug bricking 64-bit Apple iPhones, Apple iPads and Apple iPods when the date was set to January 1st, 1970.

The support document says that Apple is going to be sending out a software update to "prevent this issue from affecting iOS devices." Apple says that those whose devices were bricked by the bug should call Apple Support.

As we pointed out yesterday, letting the battery discharge completely could reset the device. However, those who have done this say that the rebooted device will run slowly.

What makes this bug so deadly is that some with a sick sense of humor are trying to trick iOS device owners who are not familiar with the bug, into setting the date back which makes the device unusable. Until Apple sends out the update to fix this issue, we would suggest not fooling around by manually changing the date on your 64-bit iOS device to May 1970 or earlier.

source: Apple via AppleInsider

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21 Comments

1. Tanii

Posts: 132; Member since: Apr 30, 2015

wao this bug is so cute xD

2. GreenMan

Posts: 2683; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Who discovered this bug anyway? A time traveler, perhaps? Man, bringing an i phone in the sixties or seventies would be a killer!!!

5. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

With no connection it would be rather useless really. Neat, but not killer. But, you're right, bringing an iPhone back in time would be the only way to make it amazing. :P

6. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

If you bring any current era smartphone to the 70 and they study it well back in today time we will end up much more advanced in tech ;)

13. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

they'll be amazed by the component inside, its filled by chinese and korean component.. and they'll start investing at chinese and korean industries (even if samsung maybe still have ramen shop at that time :-/)

17. dimas

Posts: 3235; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Samsung's been a titan since 1970s. I think the company started around 1940's and has been controlling large business from insurance to real estate. Sorry, too lazy to google.

8. Trakker

Posts: 283; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

Maybe someone just set the date to the only year the iPhone would have been seen as cutting edge.

9. AlikMalix unregistered

Why is that?

19. My1cent

Posts: 370; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

Look closely... at the logo.

3. legiloca

Posts: 1673; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Maybe the Flinstones tried to use an iPhone and insisted it's not the right date

4. DnB925Art

Posts: 1165; Member since: May 23, 2013

All they have to do for a fix is to not give the option to set the date back before 1970. Let year only be set to 1971 and up.

7. darkkjedii

Posts: 30661; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Apple please don't send a fix, dare those stupid enough to do it, to do it. Let that be their punishment for being idiots.

11. bambamboogy02

Posts: 827; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Why not? A device shouldn't be bricked over something like this.

18. dimas

Posts: 3235; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

I think the 1970 can brick phones because all the apps, contact registrations and updates rely on accurate dating system. It's like you're planning for 2017 but you're holding a 1998 organizer, it will screw your brain yes?

12. tedkord

Posts: 17041; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I think I read that it could be induced by apps or websites, so you really do want a fix. But apparently running the battery out will unbrick it.

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 30661; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Well we know it can be induced on purpose, by idiots.

15. tedkord

Posts: 17041; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Sure, it can. But if it can be caused outside that, then everyone is at risk. Get that fix out there.

16. bambamboogy02

Posts: 827; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

It's your/my/their device. Should be able to do what I you/I/they want with it and/or to it. It's asinine this happens because of the way Unix keeps track of time. Only thing Apple will do is not allow anything before the date, it won't allow you apply the date. If you own a device, use it how you want, set what ever apps, wallpaper, date, and time you like. Why should I be restricted in doing so? If I feel like driving my car 5 MPH in my neighborhood, I can. 40MPH, I can. 100+ on the highway, I can. My car isn't going to blow a gasket or have a catastrophic breakdown if I drove it in a non conformed manner. Why are phones allowed to be restricted in such a manner, where the manufacturer tells you what you can or can not do to something YOU spent your hard earned money on? If I want to throw 22 inch rims on my Prius, I can. Turbo the little engine, I can. Was it meant for that, no, can I do it? You bet your house I can. But you mean to tell me apple doesn't want you to set your own damn date on your own damn phone to some damn date in 1970? Because of Unix date time, which also causes the day time savings alram bug. Seriously, and you are okay with this kind of restriction? Come on. You are smarter then this.

10. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

You guys should just read more about UNIX maybe you would understand why this bug exists and why it isn't Apple's fault. And heck if someone is that stupid to break his phone on purpose don't fix it for him Apple

20. My1cent

Posts: 370; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

NOT Apple's fault at all. Apple never sell any bricked unit to anyone (who'd buy unusable phone?)

21. Trakker

Posts: 283; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

Well apparently Google, Microsoft and everyone using 64 bit chipsets knew about this problem and made sure it never happened to their phones, so I'd say Apple is responsible for their lack of knowledge.

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