When going links in Chrome and other apps some customers confirming iPhone failures on iOS 9.3

Readers are reporting a strange bug with iOS 9.3, primarily affecting the latest Apple devices, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The issue has also been reported on older phones and some iPad models as well. The cause is unknown, but many users are finding themselves unable to open links in Safari, Messages, Mail, Notes and other apps. Instead of visiting the target website, the app crashes, freezes or hangs. Hundreds of reports have already been posted about the iOS 9.3 problem on the Apple Support forums.

Other users are reporting that tapping on links simply does nothing, whereas a tap-and-hold causes a crash. A permanent fix for the issue is not known and Apple has yet to comment on what may be going on. Some people have reported that disabling JavaScript partially solves the issue for opening links in Safari, but remains for other apps.

We have received several tips about this, in an addition to many frustrated users messaging AppleSupport on Twitter, so it appears to be a significant widespread issue. Although the cause of the issue is unclear, most reports appear to come from people with iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus devices … potentially linking back the problem to bugs with 3D Touch.

However, it is not purely limited to those devices so another root cause (or multiple causes) is also likely responsible. It is somewhat strange how the bug appears to be affecting people differently, across so many different apps and devices. Watch a video of the issue in action below for one example … following a link press, the Safari app refuses to respond to further touch input.

We’ll update if Apple comments or a solution comes to light. iOS 9.3 was released last week and the launch was generally smooth. However, in the following days, news surfaced that older devices (like the iPad 2) were failing to activate successfully after upgrading, causing Apple to re-issue iOS 9.3 for some iOS devices.

Let us know if you are experiencing this problem in the comments, and on what devices. We’d love to hear about any potential workarounds or fixes too.

You can follow iPhoneFirmware.com on Twitter or join our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Apple and the Web.