iPhones ‘bricked’ as Apple releases iOS 10 (and then rapidly fixes the problem)

Some iPhones and iPads busted by Apple’s buggy update.

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Apple releases iOS 10.0 (and then - rather rapidly - 10.0.1)

Apple has officially released what it describes as “the biggest release of iOS ever.”

And, I’m afraid, it hasn’t been a complete success.

Some early adopters of iOS 10 discovered that their iPhones and iPads were “bricked” by the new version of the operating system, turning their devices into rather expensive paper weights or doorstops.

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This is why I often recommend that users wait a day or two before rushing to apply the latest major update of an operating system… unless they believe they might be at particular risk of being targeted by online criminals exploiting security holes fixed by the new version.

Often, despite the rigorous beta testing that you trust has been carried out, there will still be some wrinkles that haven’t been properly ironed out. And wouldn’t you rather wait for millions of other iOS users around the world to give the software a whirl before you take the plunge?

After all, the various iterations of iOS 9 have presumably been serving you reasonably well for the last year… does waiting an extra couple of days really matter that much?

The good news is that on this occasion Apple seems to have responded rapidly to the reports of bricked devices and *already* resolved the issue (owners of broken iPhones can reportedly resolve the problem if they connect their device to a computer running iTunes).

In a statement to the press, Apple described the problem as a “brief issue”:

“We experienced a brief issue with the software update process, affecting a small number of users during the first hour of availability. The problem was quickly resolved and we apologize to those customers. Anyone who was affected should connect to iTunes to complete the update or contact AppleCare for help.”

My advice? I think most people can probably afford to wait a couple of days before updating their iOS devices – just in case other niggles are found. But don’t wait too long – after all, iOS 10 *does* contain security patches that make more sense to have installed than not.

Update: The initial version of this article reported that Apple released iOS 10.0 and then replaced it with iOS 10.0.1 to fix the issue that some users were experiencing.

It has now become apparent that the initial release was of iOS 10.0.1, and that the fix was achieved without issuing a further update if the operating system. Sorry about that.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

5 comments on “iPhones ‘bricked’ as Apple releases iOS 10 (and then rapidly fixes the problem)”

  1. Bob

    "further update if* the operating system" should be *of

    You were right first time Graham; 10.0 was inadvertently released when it should have been 10.0.1.

    The in-built protections kicked in and stopped the devices updating OTA hence the need for an iTunes update. The problems were remediated in 10.0.1 and you can see that the two different versions (10 and 10.0.1) do exist by following the HT201222 link to Apple's website quoted in your article. Both versions were updated on 13/09/16.

    1. Paul · in reply to Bob

      Never mind *ifs and *ofs: "remediated"should be "remedied" surely?

      I agree about waiting a few days or so before an update. In fact with OSX I usually wait until at least "-.-.3" for them to find the kickers. My phone though is android (which seems to be altogether less secure than iOS so I just wish Google would up their game. I tend to just go ahead and run the OTA update from Samsung when my phone asks – by the time Samsung/Vodafone have released it I hope enough testing has been done.

      1. Bob · in reply to Paul

        Remediated = 'The action of remedying something' according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

        Whilst it was a very minor glitch Paul, it only affected the initial batch of OTA updates downloaded. Furthermore 10.0.1 was pushed out within the hour.

        The solution was simple – connect to iTunes instead of doing an OTA update. The iTunes method is perfectly valid and in fact the preferred way by Apple.

        The 10.0.1 update had an extra security patch which was pushed out earlier than planned because of the severity of the issues fixed therein. Indeed 10.0 was going to be the official release as 10.0.1 had been released to beta testers earlier but because of the issues with 10.0 and the security implications of delaying the second incremental upgrade it was decided to bring the release forward. It killed two birds with one stone.

        10.0.1 is extremely stable and the base version, 10.0, has been tested for some time.

        You're right about Android; it's appalling insecure but neither Google, the manufacturers or the carriers have any financial incentive to support old devices.

        Two very severe vulnerabilities were announced last week which affect Android and they further add to the security woes of the platform.

        Nothing's perfect but Apple is light years ahead.

  2. Jim

    Just read the above article (at 17.20 hrs in the UK) then checked my 'Software Update' on the phone and it clearly is offering 'iOS 10'.
    Surely it should have been updated/modified by now – thought I might just try joining the phone to iTunes and sure enough, that is now offering 'iOS 10.0.1'.
    Think I'll just let the dust settle for a day or so.

    1. Bob · in reply to Jim

      The OTA has been updated. It doesn't show the full suffix.

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