Today, Apple has officially acknowledged the “1970” date bug affecting 64-bit iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. The support document does not identify a current fix, but Apple said that an upcoming iOS software update will prevent the issue.
The Cupertino company says in its short statement that an upcoming software update will prevent this issue from happening. As for already affected users, the company recommends them to contact Apple Support.
Manually changing the date to May 1970 or earlier can prevent your iOS device from turning on after a restart. An upcoming software update will prevent this issue from affecting iOS devices. If you have this issue, contact Apple Support.
Manually changing an iOS device’s date to January 1, 1970 results in a continuous reboot cycle, effectively bricking the device. Restoring through iTunes in DFU Mode may work for some users, while others have resorted to hardware fixes.
Apple has not provided a reason for the bug, but YouTube video maker and programmer Tom Scott speculates that setting the date close to January 1, 1970, which is 00:00:00 in Unix time, may be resulting in an integer underflow — in this case, a date prior to January 1, 1970.
This bug affects all iOS devices running iOS 8+ and powered by a 64-bit chipset. As reported on many forums, a successful solution to fix an iPhone ‘bricked’ by this bug is to manually disconnect and re-connect its battery, though this requires opening up the phone.
It is unclear if Apple will be rolling out an emergency iOS 9.2.x software update to fix this issue, or wait until the rollout of iOS 9.3, which is expected to happen sometime in March, to fix the bug.
Apple Will Fix ‘1-1-1970’ Date Bug