We all know iPhones can be fragile at the best of times, but a fresh bug has been discovered that can quickly turn that expensive Apple device into a useless brick. Several reports have emerged claiming that if you change the date and time of your iPhone to 1 January 1970, the device will re-boot but not come back to life. Instead, you will need to call your local Apple store for help.
The Apple bug is said to impact any iOS device that uses a 64-bit processor and is running iOS 8 or newer, and that includes iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. However, if you use a 32-bit device, you're in the clear, according to 9to5Mac.
In order to change the date setting you can go to Settings > General > Date & Time > Set Automatically. From there, you are free to scroll right back to the no-go era of 1970.
While we here at the IBTimes UK technology desk did not have a spare iPhone to experiment on, YouTube user Zach Straley has graciously martyred a handset in order to test the bug:
The exact reason for the bug is yet to be clarified by Apple, but a thread on the popular forum Reddit may have cracked it. "In some time zones, setting the date to 1 Jan 1970 will set the internal clock to a number less than zero, as the time is stored in GMT (as the number of seconds since midnight on that date) and then the offset is applied before display," wrote Reddit user redion1992. "In other time zones, setting the clock will result in a positive time value. Best guess is that this is triggered by having the time value less than zero."
In any case, if you do intend to try this at home it's probably best to make sure your device is still under warranty.
Recently, Apple was hit with a separate bug after scores of iPhone 6 users reported experiencing a mysterious error that made the device completely unusable. Branded Error 53, the issue shows up when the latest operating system is installed on a device which has previously had the home button repaired by any unauthorised provider. The update has left many users with dead phones.