Last week, it was discovered that setting your iOS device system date and time back to January 1st 1970 would crash your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch effectively bricking it. Setting the date back this far would prevent the iPhone or other iOS device from booting up until the battery died.
AppleCare has been flooded with people bringing in their devices after trying out this bug … Now, Apple has officially acknowledged the problem on its Apple Support website. The company says it will release an upcoming software update to prevent this issue from affecting iOS devices in the future.
Apple’s comment on the situation is short, but it claims that the bug can cause iPhone crashing with any date before May 1970.
Manually changing the date to May 1970 or earlier can prevent your iOS device from turning on after a restart.
The new page suggests anyone affected by the problem should contact Apple Support for assistance. We have heard mixed signals from readers regarding support. Some people have been able to get full device replacements at the Genius Bar on the back off this bug, whereas others have been turned away.
We have also heard that this bug has caused a big headache for Apple Store employees in the past week, as people intentionally set the date back on demo iPhones and iPads in retail stores to break the products on the benches.
It isn’t clear what Apple means by an ‘upcoming software update’, whether it will wait until iOS 9.3 (expected to be released in March with a host of new features) or push an earlier OTA bug-fix release like iOS 9.2.2 to resolve the date bricking problem sooner.