Apple Will Fix 'January 1, 1970' Date Bug in Upcoming iOS Update

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has officially acknowledged the "1970" date bug affecting 64-bit iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. The support document does not identify a current fix, but Apple said that an upcoming iOS software update will prevent the issue from occurring in the future.
    Manually changing an iOS device's date to January 1, 1970 results in a continuous reboot cycle, effectively bricking the device. Restoring through iTunes in DFU Mode also does not appear to work.

    Apple has not provided a reason for the bug, but YouTube video maker and programmer Tom Scott speculates that setting the date close to January 1, 1970, which is 0 in Unix time, may be resulting in an integer underflow -- in this case, a date prior to January 1, 1970.

    iOS then handles the underflow by returning the negative integrer to the maximum value, which Scott says results in a date that is some 20 times longer than the universe is expected to last. Scott believes iOS may have difficulties handling this large number, resulting in affected devices crashing.

    German website shared a second YouTube video showing that opening an iPhone and resetting its battery could fix the problem, but this method could damage your smartphone and void your warranty if done incorrectly. The safer option may be to visit a Genius Bar or contact Apple Support online or by phone.

    iOS is a Unix-based operating system, and Unix time starts at 00:00:00 UTC on January 1, 1970. Apple does not allow you to manually set your iOS device to a date prior to then, likely in an effort to prevent a bug like this, but changing the date to May 1970 or earlier still causes issues on 64-bit devices.

    Article Link: Apple Will Fix 'January 1, 1970' Date Bug in Upcoming iOS Update
  2. 2010mini macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2013
    why would anyone set their phone to the wrong date?
  3. TMRJIJ macrumors 68000


    Feb 22, 2014
    South Carolina, United States
    Probably the same reason that people set their clocks to the wrong time. It might be some weird placebo effect that comes from it.
  4. rdlink macrumors 68040


    Nov 10, 2007
    Out of the Reach of the FBI
    I've done it before for testing/troubleshooting other issues. But never to 1970.

    I find it funny that we continue to have such large issues related to something that seems as benign as the date/time of a computer. I think back to all of the hullabaloo around Y2K. Just curious and a little amusing to me.
  5. Ev0d3vil macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2014
    Why would anyone set their date so far back?
  6. Steve121178 macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    I wonder if this will be fixed in a minor update or will it be part of 9.3?
  7. amirite macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2009
    "00:00:00 in Unix time"? wouldn't it just be 0?
  8. American Hero Suspended

    American Hero

    Jan 25, 2016
    Yet another bug with iOS. Tim Cook and his team have done a great job with the software!
  9. NY Guitarist macrumors 6502a

    NY Guitarist

    Mar 21, 2011
    Beyond '64 bit' is there any list for which specific devices are affected?
  10. winstars macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2015
    Yeah, THANKS OBAMA!!!

    (oh, I mean Tim Cook)

  11. simbo123 macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2013
    My brother changed mine. iPad is absolutely screwed. I can't run it down because the batteries too big. I can't take it apart because according to ifixit it's one of the most difficult iOS devices to disassemble (iPad Air) and Apple said they wanted £75 to give me a new battery! I didn't want a new battery I just wanted them to fix my iPad but that was all they offered
  12. StevieD100 macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2014
    not far from 40ft Drain, Chatteris
    Aw shucks. Lawyers all over the US have to go and lie down. Another class action lawsuit path to riches bites the dust.
  13. gnasher729 macrumors G5


    Nov 25, 2005
    There was a website that told people you could charge an iPhone in a microwave in very short time. Some people did this. The truth is, after a short time in the microwave, you will never have to charge your iPhone again :)

    There's a website that says "do this and this, and your iPhone will be bricked", and some people are just stupid enough that they have to try.

    What's the problem? Take your idiot brother to the store, let Apple do what needs doing, and make your brother pay. (There are also claims that the problem fixes itself if you wait until the clock is back in positive territory, which might take 8 or 10 hours if you are at the US west coast).
  14. JohnApples macrumors 6502a

    Mar 7, 2014
    This is a warning for us to never attempt time travel.
  15. simbo123 macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2013
    Hes 9, And I think Apple should be fixing this free of charge. The shouldn't have an option in the standard setting menu that basically says 'Brick phone here' and 'Pay Apple ransom to fix'! IMO
  16. TMRJIJ macrumors 68000


    Feb 22, 2014
    South Carolina, United States
    You're joking, right? It's a UNIX issue. Other UNIX based OSs would have had this exact bug at some point. Though it was just now discovered in this current version of iOS, they probably had this issue for a while.
  17. b0nd18t macrumors regular


    Apr 9, 2012
    Correct. This isn't your fault. It's a software bug. I'd fight them over it until they replace it for free like they should.
  18. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Oh yeah? Well Samsung is making a phone that measures time THIRTY times the length of the universe.
  19. vertsix macrumors 65816


    Aug 12, 2015
    Such a simple and common sense thing that could've been prevented when the 64-bit iPhone 5s even launched.

    You're doing a fantastic job, Apple.
  20. Zorn macrumors 6502a


    Feb 14, 2006
    Just out of curiosity, why should the system even allow you to change the clock to a date in the past? I can't think of any reason someone might want to do this, other than to screw with someone and cause a headache, or purposely temporarily brick a device in this case.
  21. lkrupp macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2004
    No. HELL no. You did this to your phone by your own volition. You knew from the beginning that it would brick your iPhone but you went ahead and did it anyway. This is totally on the ignorant, stupid users who went and did it just to see what would happen. It would be the same truth if this had been an Android phone. Stupid is as stupid does.
  22. 2010mini macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2013
    Apple should prevent idiots from doing idiotic things with their hardware?
    What possible reason is there to set any clock back that far?
  23. lkrupp macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2004
    I find it funny that you refer to this as a “large issue.” This is a bug that has gone unnoticed for years until some OCD type figured it out accidentally. It’s a SELF INFLICTED bug that is easily avoided. Simply don’t do it! But the stupid ones did it anyway and you call it a major issue?
  24. ninjadex macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2004
    Sounds like your brother owes you a new iPad Air? If not, something of equal value may do?
  25. American Hero Suspended

    American Hero

    Jan 25, 2016
    Are you saying there's not a problem with iOS being bugged filled lately?

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