People can be so cruel at times. For no reason other than to trick people into rendering their iPhones useless, someone recently put together an elaborate hoax. It was discovered that if an iPhone’s date was manually set to any day earlier than a certain point in the past and reset, the phone would enter an endless reboot cycle and become completely unusable. So naturally, someone created a graphic that looked like a page from Apple’s website and explained that by setting the date on your iPhone to January 1, 1970 and rebooting the device, a special retro Mac theme would appear.
Needless to say, a whole lot of people fell for it and bricked their phones.
We told you how to fix your phone in a subsequent post, though the quickest fix required a special tool. The trick is to open your iPhone’s housing and briefly disconnect the battery, which will force the phone to reset the time and date when powering back on. Apple seals its iPhone cases with special screws though, so a normal screwdriver won’t get the job done.
Word that this was a hoax has hopefully reached far and wide enough now that people are no longer falling for the trick. Just in case, it has been confirmed that the latest beta version of Apple’s iOS 9.3 software no longer allows the user to set a date earlier than January 1, 2001.
Apple’s iOS 9.3 software hasn’t yet been released to the public, but it is expected to exit the current beta phase in the coming weeks.