Apple Pulls iOS 9.3 Update for Older iPhones and iPads; Working on a Fix


Activation Error

As we reported earlier, some users with older iOS devices had trouble activating their iPhone, iPad and iPod touch after updating to iOS 9.3. Apple has temporarily pulled the iOS 9.3 update for older iOS devices to prevent users from hitting the issue.

After installing the iOS 9.3 software update, some users are being prompted to enter the Apple ID and password used while setting up the device. They were getting stuck at the Activation Lock screen. However, users were unable to sign in.

Apple has temporarily pulled or stopped signing the iOS 9.3 firmware file for the following iOS devices, so users cannot install the update:

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

Apple had previously released a support document which provided workarounds for people you couldn’t activate their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch after installing iOS 9.3 software update.

Apple has acknowledged the issue, and is working on the fix. They have issued a statement to iMore on the issue:

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,” an Apple spokesperson told iMore. “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.

This is quite unprecedented. It is the first time that I can remember where Apple has pulled an iOS software update for some devices. Apple had pulled the Apple TV 6.0 update in 2013 after reports of Apple TVs getting bricked after the update.

If you’ve an iOS device mentioned above then you should avoid installing the update. You will get ‘This device isn’t eligible for the requested build’ Error in iTunes if you try to download iOS 9.3 IPSW file, and try to install it manually.

We’ll let you know as soon as iOS 9.3 update is available again for these iOS devices. Don’t forget to join our Facebook Fan page, follow us on Twitter, add us to your circles on Google+, subscribe to our RSS feed, or our Daily Newsletter for the latest update.

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