Yesterday, media reports flooded the tech world that Apple’s big iOS 9.3 release was causing upgrade errors and now Cupertino has gone on record to confirm these issues.

Speaking to iMore, Apple confirmed activation problems for some users and a partial suspension of the upgrade:

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.

It is quite interesting to see that Apple’s explanation for the update is simultaneously building upon and playing down the existing reports. The case of building upon the existing reports reveals that the update impacted a wider array of devices than was initially estimated, even when the media coverage was suggesting that the issue was solely limited to the iPad 2 tablet.

As for downplaying the reports, the company has claimed that the whole issue was created duly to users that had forgotten their passwords. However, the 139 comments that were made on the respective support page had not a single user who seems to have forgotten their password.

According to reports by 9to5Mac, Apple has already started to push a new build of iOS 9.3 (13E236 vs 13E233) to older devices, far ahead of its “next few days” timescale.

Furthermore, the release of iOS 9.3 was accompanied by the launch of the more budget-friendly and smaller iPhone SE.

Has your device been affected by the iOS 9.3 update? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Please check out the Apple Support Communities thread regarding: URLs not working in Safari or Mail after iOS 9.2.1 issue. Thousands of views, hundreds of emails complaining about this issue. Although it started in 9.2.1 release, it was NOT fixed in release 9.3, and interestingly, different people reported the URLs not working in Safari or Mail issue started for them in the after release 9.3 upgrade! If you read the posts, people are furious! In my case, the problem, so far, is only on my wife’s iPad 2 Air, while my iPad 2 Air is working normally ALTHOUGH both iPad were purchased at the same time, and upgraded through the various releases at about the same time. The various comments have people saying “Apple service is aware of this issue” but I have yet to read anything where Apple acknowledges the issue!

  2. I cannot activate my IPAD 4. I spent time on the phone with Apple support. I’ve gone through all their suggestions to fix the problem and I still cannot activate my IPAD. I get a message during installation to enter my apple id and password. It then states the my apple ID cannot unlock this ipad. I can log into ICloud fine and it lists my ipad as one of the registered devices. beyond frustrated