Here’s something curious. Owners of Apple’s iPhones and iPads have, according to numerous reports, been receiving emails dated Jan. 1, 1970. Yet the strange messages have no subject, no sender, and no content. Where do they come from? Is there a rational cause, or no explanation?
A glitch in Apple's iOS
The news comes from the Telegraph, in a report published earlier today. The publication explains that countless users posting on Reddit have indeed been uploading screenshots of curious emails, seemingly sent 40 years ago but from unknown senders. Messages have indeed been reaching both iPhones and iPads, and have arrived from inside a number of different email clients on iOS.
Because of this significant UNIX date, it seems that a glitch in Apple’s iOS is most likely responsible for the email (rather than any kind of malicious cause). So don’t panic if you do happen to receive one. Better yet, there is something you can do to correct the problem.
How to fix the problem
The fix is simpler than you’d perhaps expect. Rather than fully restoring an iPhone or iPad, either force closing the email application in question (through double-pressing the Home button), or performing a hard reset, seems to correct the issue. After, users have found that their iPhones and iPads have returned to usual functionality.
Comically, as the Telegraph adds, “nobody ever received an email in 1970. The first electronic message between computers is widely held to have been sent in 1971, by email pioneer Ray Tomlinson.”
On a more solemn note, however, Tomlinson actually died on Saturday, aged 74. As the publication adds, many of his innovations in electronic messaging, including the @ symbol, are still widely used today.