Apple releases a new iOS 9.3 build to Fix Activation Issue

As we reported, Apple earlier today confirmed that users of older iOS devices were affected by a bug that would potentially prevent users from successfully completing the update process. Apple said at the time that it was working on a fix, though it’s unclear at this point if the new build is for all affected devices or just the iPad 2:

Updating some iOS devices (iPhone 5s and earlier and iPad Air and earlier) to iOS 9.3 can require entering the Apple ID and password used to set up the device in order to complete the software update. In some cases, if customers do not recall their password, their device will remain in an inactivated state until they can recover or reset their password. For these older devices, we have temporarily pulled back the update and will release an updated version of iOS 9.3 in the next few days that does not require this step.”

After updating to iOS 9.3 on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, a small subset of users reported being stuck on the Activation Lock screen. Typically, entering an Apple ID and password would activate the device, but some folks were unable to move forward.

Activation Lock screen after the iOS 9.3

Apple has just re-released a new build of iOS 9.3 for iPad 2. The new build number of iOS 9.3 update for iPad 2 is 13E236. The previous build number was 13E233 (13E234 for iPhone,13E233 for iPod touch).

If your device has been bricked by the previous iOS 9.3 build, connect it to iTunes via the included USB cable and the app should put up a prompt offering to install the new version. Going to Settings → General → Software Update on an unaffected device won’t show the new build of iOS 9.3. The new build has been released without incrementing the version number and simply removes an authentication step.

Apple had pulled the iOS 9.3 update for the following devices:

  • iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad mini 2
  • iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s
  • iPod touch 5G

The important thing is, Apple’s moved swiftly to rectify the situation so owners of the iPad 2, iPhone 5s, iPad Air and earlier devices can now enjoy iOS 9.3. If anything, this case is another cautionary tale which underscores the importance of rigorous testing.

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