By no means does it appear to be a widespread issue, but there are scattered reports of the update to iOS 9.3 bricking iPad 2 devices. As reported on Apple’s support forums and by at least one Twitter user, attempts to update to the latest version of iOS, whether over-the-air or via iTunes, result in the iPad 2 devices being unable to contact Apple’s activation servers.
What could be causing it?
Since it’s an activation issue, the problem could be Apple’s servers struggling under the load. However, some users are reporting that their iPad 2 devices still haven’t activated more than 24 hours later. This seems to be a bit on the long side for the activation servers to catch up with demand, since iOS 9.3 was released two days ago, on March 21.
How can I fix it?
Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this. For some users, simply plugging the iPad 2 into iTunes has done the trick, but this is an inconsistent workaround. Others have been forced to do a restore via iTunes, but even that has not always proven to resolve the issue. One last-ditch effort you can attempt is to restore your iPad via DFU mode and then update to iOS 9.3. Here’s how you can accomplish that.
- Plug your device into your computer with a USB cable.
- Power off your iPad 2.
- Press and hold the Power button for three seconds.
- Press and hold the Power and Home buttons for 10 seconds.
- Release the Power button, but continue holding the Home button for another 15 seconds.
- At this point, iTunes should alert you that it has detected a device in recovery mode.
- Follow the instructions iTunes gives you to restore your iPad 2.
Should I get mad at Apple?
I’ve seen a few affected users blame Apple, saying there isn’t enough testing going on with iOS updates. I’m inclined to side with Apple on this one, simply because of how scattered the issue is. Apple surely had iPad 2 devices involved in testing iOS 9.3 at some point during the private and public beta cycles, and the issue didn’t appear. It seems to be isolated to a relatively small number of devices, and while it’s unfortunate and frustrating, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that Cupertino failed to do enough internal and beta testing on the update.