A glitch hitting Apple devices has been exposed after a number of users reported received ominous email messages dated 1 January 1970. The phantom communications have no sender or subject line text and attempting to open them has no result.

The issue only appears to be affecting the Mail client on iOS devices with other third party email applications not thought to be affected.

Yet it's not the first time the year has haunted Apple. Last month, a slew of users fell for a prank that left their iPhone bricked if the date was reset to 1 January 1970. This bug, however, is not malicious in nature.

Instead, as reported on messageboard website Reddit, the glitch appears to be a result of issues with how the device manages timezones – specifically when people try to check their emails in a different timezone than the default one saved on the iPhone or iPad.

As one user explained: "It's just a bug, it seems like the email wasn't downloaded properly. It looks like iOS is trying to make something out of nothing, hence the 'No message" and 'No sender'. Also the date 01/01/1970 is zero in UNIX time, the way iOS and many computers calculate time. It's perfectly safe, nothing to worry about."

According to users, the bug can be resolved by closing the Mail application and performing a hard reset on the device.

In more depressing email-related news, Ray Tomlinson, the American programmer credited with sending the first email across a network and initiating the use of the '@' symbol, recently died of a suspected heart attack at the age of 74. Alongside Shiva Ayyadurai, Tomlinson is generally considered as the inventor of modern-day email, sending the first on the Arpanet system in 1971.