APPLE HAS ACKNOWLEDGED the issue that renders an iPhone or iPad useless when the date is changed to 1 January 1970.
The bug, which was discovered last week, affected those iOS devices which use a 64-bit processor running iOS 8 or iOS 9. This meant that devices like the iPhone 5s or newer, the iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 and 4 and the 6th generation iPod Touch were affected by this.
Apple confirmed the bug in an update saying that if anyone changed it to May 1970 or earlier, it wouldn’t work the next time it was restarted. Instead, it would just display the Apple logo without changing.
“Manually changing the date to May 1970 or earlier can prevent your iOS device from turning on after a restart, said Apple in an update. “An upcoming software update will prevent this issue from affecting iOS devices”.
The company also said to contact Apple support if you were affected by the issue.
It’s believed the bug was down to a Unix glitch. The date 1 January 1970 has an internal value of less than zero under this system, which the software isn’t able to handle.
Some tricksters tried to fool users into thinking the change would give their iPhone a classic Macintosh look. If a user fell for the advice, the only way to fix it would be to contact Apple Support or bring it to an Apple Store or a third-party store approved by Apple.