Apple has stopped signing iOS 9.2.1 for compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models, preventing users from downgrading their installation of iOS 9.3 or later to any earlier firmware version. The move comes less than three weeks after Apple made its first iOS 9.3 update available to the public.
iOS 9.3 has suffered from several bugs since it was released, which may have prompted some users to downgrade to the more stable iOS 9.2.1 release. An Activation Lock issue on some older devices caused Apple to temporarily pull the iOS 9.3 update for some users shortly after iOS 9.3 launched, and the iOS 9.3.1 update was released to fix a second major bug that caused apps to crash or freeze after tapping or long pressing on a web link. Both issues have now been solved.
With iOS 9.2.x no longer being signed, anyone who attempts a restore will be stuck with iOS 9.3 or iOS 9.3.1, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The new firmware update is a great update with new features like Night Shift mode, protected Notes, pairing multiple Apple Watches, and more.
Of course, this isn’t exactly bad news for jailbreakers, since there was no jailbreak for iOS 9.2.1 anyway. Apple patched two exploits that were being used with earlier versions of iOS 9 when it rolled out its iOS 9.1 release.
Those jailbroken on iOS 9.0-9.1 are advised to stick where they are if their jailbreak means anything to them. The extended amount of time we’ve been waiting for a jailbreak illustrates just how difficult it really is to come up with a jailbreak with all of Apple’s upgraded security with each release.
It doesn’t really matter if you’re running iOS 9.2.1 or a version of iOS 9.3, then. In fact, it seems there’s a greater chance we’ll see a jailbreak for iOS 9.3 at the moment, since that’s what hackers are focusing their efforts on. Some have already jailbroken most versions of the software.
On the other hand, security has never stopped hackers before – Pangu or TaiG could drop a jailbreak for iOS 9.3 or later any day. They’re not typically the type of teams to host major announcements like evasi0n team has done in the past.
If you ever need to check and see whether or not a firmware is being signed that process is easy. You can always use ipsw.me, which is an online utility you can use to pick your device and the iOS version you want to run to check if it’s being signed.