Apple has just released a new build of iOS 9.3 for iPad 2, following complaints that installing the software update on the tablet and other older iOS devices has resulted in a significant activation issue.
As previously reported, after updating older models of iPhone as well as iPad to iOS 9.3, users might see the Activation Lock screen requiring them to enter the Apple ID and password combination originally used to set up the devices. Failing to input the correct credentials, most probably because users had forgotten them, could cause the affected devices to be bricked.
Apple acknowledges the issue
In some cases, if customers do not recall their password, their device will remain in an inactivated state until they can recover or reset their password.- Apple
Initially, it was thought that the issue arose simply because Apple’s activation servers were struggling under the load of a large number of users updating to iOS 9.3 at the same time. (The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system was released to the public on Monday, March 21, shortly after Apple’s media event for the iPhone SE and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.)
But the company acknowledged the issue as a bug that it would have to do away with as soon as possible.
“Updating some iOS devices (iPhone 5s and earlier and iPad Air and earlier) to iOS 9.3 can require entering the Apple ID and password used to set up the device in order to complete the software update,” an Apple spokesperson told iMore. “In some cases, if customers do not recall their password, their device will remain in an inactivated state until they can recover or reset their password.”
Apple addresses the issue on iPad 2
To address the issue, Apple has “temporarily pulled back” iOS 9.3 — that is, stopped pushing the software update to affected iOS devices — as it works to release new builds that don’t require the activation step “in the next few days.”
The first of these new builds has arrived, and it’s for the iPad 2, which appears to be the older iOS model that’s most affected by the issue. As noted by 9to5Mac, this new build of iOS 9.3 for the iPad 2 is identified with the build number 13E236, while the original public version of iOS 9.3 has the build number 13E234 for iPhone and 13E233 for iPad.
If you have an iPad 2, you can update to the new build via iTunes on your computer or, if it’s not in a bricked state, via the over-the-air software update function in the device’s Settings app.
Apple needs to be even more careful next time
The dreaded Activation Lock screen.
If you have a different iOS device affected by the activation issue, you may refer to a support document recently published by Apple for instructions on how to work your way past the Activation Lock screen — at least until a new build of iOS 9.3 is released for your device.
While the issue is not as serious as the one that caused iOS 8.0.1 to cripple cellular service reception and Touch ID functionality on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, this activation issue underscores the importance of rigorous testing and quality assurance of software updates before they’re officially released — even for a company that’s as famously fastidious as Apple.
Refresh your memory about the iOS 8.0.1 fiasco