iPhone 4S owners are reporting that the iOS 7 update is breaking their smartphones.
Apple iPhone 4S owners across the world were delighted when they heard that their smartphone would be upgradable to iOS 7, and - at least in theory - made the aging smartphone a more viable alternative to the iPhone 5C or iPhone 5C.
Unfortunately, the iOS 7 update seems to have caused a major problem on Apple's iPhone 4S. Apple's support forums are inundated by users claiming that they can no longer access WiFi on the smartphone after updating to iOS 7. On affected smartphones the WiFi button becomes "greyed out", and can then no longer be used.
This isn't the first time that iPhone 4S owners have had problems with WiFi - they also saw similar symptoms when the iOS 6 update was released for the smartphone.
Generally, the problem occurs after prolonged use of WiFi or Bluetooth and is caused by "serious overheating of the Broadcom chip caused by iOS". One user on Apple's support forum reported that 'my wifi button is greyed; if I put the phone in the fridge for 15 mins the button is green' - not really a viable solution, but it gives a clear indication of the where the problem lies.
The issue was bad enough when iOS 6 was released for the iPhone 4S, but this time around it seems to be more severe. Multiple users are reporting that the update has actually permanently 'fried' the iPhone 4S's chip - meaning that they'll never be able to use WiFi or Bluetooth again.
A number of iPhone 4S smartphones also broke when Apple released iOS 6, but the difference then was that they were still under warranty. This time around users whose smartphones break are left without any real options. Therefore, those whose warranty has expired might want to minimise their WiFi and Bluetooth usage - at least until Apple release a software patch.
Apple are still very silent over the issue, presumably while they investigate the issue further. As you might imagine users whose smartphones have broken are very unhappy and a number of petition websites have been setup.
Behind the scenes we're sure that Apple will be working overtime to fix the problem. Hopefully, they can come up with a viable solution for those whose iPhone 4S has been permanently damaged. As soon as 3G get more news on the situation we'll let you know.
Update 28/10: Many users on Apple's forum are reporting that placing their iPhone in the freezer (in a jiffy bag) for 15 minutes fixes the problem. People who are suffering from the problem might want to try this solution, but they do so at their own risk.
Update 19/11 Apple have now offered advice for anyone suffering from the WiFi problem.
If your iPhone is suffering from a greyed out WiFi you should try the steps below. However, users are reporting limited success on the iPhone 4S and if the chip itself is damaged it won't obviously won't work.
Follow these steps to resolve the issue:
- Verify that airplane mode is off by tapping Settings > Airplane Mode.
- Reset the network settings by tapping Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
Note: This will reset all network settings, including Bluetooth pairing records, Wi-Fi passwords, VPN, and APN settings.
- Ensure that your device is using the latest software. To do so, connect your device to your computer and check for updates in iTunes.
- If your issue is still unresolved, perform a software restore in iTunes.
By Simon Thomas on 17th October, 2013