Firmware Update Bricks Even New iPhones, Disables Pacemakers


Well well well. Look who's firmware update is spreading mass murder among unboxed iPhones. Reports are coming in from everywhere, and everyone but my Aunt Helen, that FW 1.1.1 is bricking factory fresh iPhones upon updating. So, even customers with iPhones that still have that new car smell are in the same sack of onions that we naughty unlockers are stuck in. Hmm. I'm going out on a limb and say that Apple rolled this update out a bit prematurely.

Apple support forums are filling up with angry posts from frustrated new iPhone owners pleading for help to revive their now otherwise paperweighted phones. And numerous readers have sent me stories about having to return their "new" iPhone thanks installing the update. Ruh Roh!

[Clarification] I want to clarify that my colorful use of the term "Brick" is used in general terms of otherwise fudging your iPhone. While I have read more than one or two cases of iPhones being rendered completely inaccessible, the problems resulting from the firmware update does no permanent damage to your iPhone...just renders it immobilized until help arrives.

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Reader comments

Firmware Update Bricks Even New iPhones, Disables Pacemakers


I don't get it... I guess I'm just one of the lucky ones. I'm gonna by a lottery ticket. I had used AppTapp to install a bunch of new applications, then restored my phone, and updated to 1.1.1 without any problems.

"Reports are coming in from everywhere, and everyone but my Aunt Helen,"
Funny, but not really true. I'm glad to say that Brian and I at iphonefreak seemed to have a fairly painless and smooth experience. Sorry to hear about yours, tho.

I had no problem at all. Neither did my son. We both bought ours new (8gig models) on the day of launch.
Sorry if people are having problems though, that's a bummer.
I was a bit freaked when it seemed to want to reactivate my phone to do the update. That was odd.
Otherwise, all is well.
I like how they seem to have fixed the calculator. It was way buggy.
Here's to hoping that Safari stops crashing unexpectedly. I mean, this update wasn't really for anything much except some minor bug fixes and to try to make me buy songs from the iTunes WiFi store, eh?

I'm fairly certain that 90% of users will have no issues with this firmware update. But it's quite clear that there are an usually high case of botch updates, and that makes it a risky upgrade.
For the time being I suggest that my readers NOT install this update. Wait for 1.1.2.

My install of 1.1.1 went fine yesterday, but then today I could not make any calls. I had to restore the whole system, recover with my saved configs, now it works fine.

hey Kent, i hear you.
Not only being one of the only iPhones here israel, it is pretty damn difficult to install. Therefore passing out seems the best choice for me.
Minor bug fixes and music store isn't gonna wreck my iPhone experience. I am talking about this phone like its an enzo ferrari. :)

Takeing advantage of being at the top of the list to say that the iPhone needs louder email and text message alerts.

I had apptapp in mine with multiple apps. I restored a few days ago, updated last night to 1.1.1 with no problems at all. Bummer for people with clean phones who are getting screwed!

oh yeah, and i guess this means firmware 1.1.2 isn't too far off eh? I guess I'm in no hurry to reinstall apptapp then ;)

yeah, kent. i would try making an apt at the genius bar. just tell them that after installing the update it did this, and that you have never unlocked it. the "geniuses" wont know the difference. they are pretty easy to manipulate. when i scratched my first iphone up pretty bad i made up some bs to get a new one.

I was shocked to see the activation message on my iphone after the update even though i did not have any kind of hack on it. But after I synched it 3 times was i able to get life back into it. must going little off edge with there updates.

My install went fine up until the very end when itunes couldnt connect to the store and the activation screen on my iphone didnt go away. tried various methods. So finalyl i had to restart my computer. That seemed to do the trick...i was worried for a few minutes. But now im happy.

My iphone is now a $600.00 paperweight. I did not modify or hack the darn thing....for start i do not have a clue as to how one hacks the phone...but i took out my sim card and put it on another phone when i went to europe. when i returned and popped the sim card in the iphone, it asked for an update. i complied. now the iphone is not working! help!

after the update I did notice this mrorning the screen turn. Yellowish dull.. I was like WTF ! Turned the phone off and luckily back to normal.

I have a complaint about 1.1.1. This update introduces the first springboard button that only works "sometimes", the wifi store.
All the other buttons are standalone apps or Edge capable apps, meaning they function 99% of the time. But the wifi stoenonly works with wifi, and open wifi networks are anything but common where I live, making an app that I aready think is mostly pointless fluff even less useful. And the icon is butt ugly too.
Cmon apple, let us hide/remove icons we don't use, and let us rearrange the others while you're at it huh? So much potential not being activated with these updates! 3rd party developers have shown what CAN be done.... Apple now its your job to DO IT, or at least let OTHERS do it.

I've got a question about restoring.
I've been having some audio problem (no external sound) and so support suggested doing a restore before sending it in. I decided that it was worth re-installing all my 3rd party apps (which I love) to restore so I started the restore process. I had NOT earlier chosen to download the newest 1.1.1, yet when I click 'restore' it says "are you sure....blah blah blah...the newest version of the iphone software will be installed", I DON'T want 1.1.1 till I hear more and until people figure out how to get 3rd party apps.
Problem though: now my iphone, despite a full reset, only says "Please Connect to iTunes" -its seems ot be forcing me to restore to newest 1.1.1
Any suggestions on how to keep 1.02 instead? Again, I have NOT installed 1.1.1 on this iphone yet.

leif, the only thing i can think of is to restore the iphone and use original 1.0. i dont think youll be able to install the 1.02 firmware on there anymore.

Micah wrote: "3rd party developers have shown what CAN be done…. Apple now its your job to DO IT, or at least let OTHERS do it."
Guys, Apple is a business. I am fully confident that once they know the iPhone environment is secure, they will begin SELLING new apps on iTunes. Of course, we all know what the truly amazing iPhone can due, and Apple deserves to be able to develop it and sell updates and applications for it.

Micah, Apple is a business. I am fully confident that once they know the iPhone environment is secure, they will begin SELLING new apps on iTunes. Of course, we all know what the truly amazing iPhone can due, and Apple deserves to be able to develop it and sell updates and applications for it.

I'm trading in my iPhone for the AT&T 8225. I want a phone that will let me put a stickin TODO LIST on it the company bricking it.
Sure the iPhone looks pretty, but it doesn't do anything.

"Sure the iPhone looks pretty, but it doesn’t do anything."
Wow. That's about the most uninformed, unintelligent thing I've ever seen in print about the iphone. And I've seen some amazingly dumb things said about it.

Can anyone help me? I received my new phone today and it has already installed. I have access to the old firmware... Is it possible to downgrade it to 1.0.2 so that I can jailbreak it?

Sure the iPhone looks pretty, but it doesn’t do anything.

Ryan, I value your opinion as much as any other reader, but that is a generalization if ever I heard one. And a really bad one too. Doesn't do anything is painfully nonspecific, and inaccurate considering what iPhone does. That Windows Mobile device you intend to buy will, admittedly, do more than iPhone, in terms of functionality and third party software support. But what iPhone does does so LIGHT YEARS ahead of any other smartphone on the market. You should know that by now if you've put your iPhone through its paces.
Web browsing is a shining example; on iPhone you get a REAL web browser, not puny Fisher Price browser on Windows Mobile, PalmOS, Sybmian, Blackberry, etc. I hope you enjoy scrolling left and right with a toothpick stylus on a smaller screen, with idiotic web page rendering, because that's what you have in store...and I speak from experience.
Where Windows Mobile is concerned, it is a double edged sward. The platform is, by far, the best development architecture among mobile operating systems. Well documented, easy to program for, and chock full of applications and services.
Unfortunately from a usability standpoint, WM, like nearly all Microsoft products, is the worst platform in terms of user interaction. It's generally slow, difficult to manage, and less than reliable. So you are migrating from both extremes; best to worst.
I'm really sorry to see you go, both from iPhone and my site, but do keep an open mind and don't let your initial unpleasant experience turn you off of completely. iPhone is the beginning of a new mobile platform. One that I am hopeful Apple will get right.
The best is yet to come. :-)

hey Hollywood, did you send your phone to Apple, when you say you received your new phone today and it has already. Did you update to 1.1.1 and got SIM error? Let me know please! thanks.

Dennis... I bought a new phone from Apple. It left there warehouse a 3 days ago and when it arrived it had installed. I never updated... Well I ran Ibrickr but I had not internet connection. I unplugged the ethernet connection, so I don't think it's possible that it updated... is it?

Kent just to let you know, my iphone was unlocked and i was one of those idiots who got tempeted and updated to 1.1.1 thinking that the coast was clear. but anyways, after my phone restarted it gave me an Invalid SIM error. I then got a new SIM card from AT&T. I noticed that when I changed the SIM card, the unit also changed the IMEI of the unit. Does this make any sense to you?

spread the word... all apple phones now ship with ;) $%^ They got me, so i will have to wait for hack. I guess I better wrap this bad boy up and put it under my bed.

give it a little bit hollywood, i wouldnt really be all that surprised if people start rolling out ways to put 3rd party apps on 1.1.1 ...

You know anyone that jumps Apples ship due to this latest update is NOT into technology and the advancement of it. Jump to Windbloze and see where it gets you in the end? I have a 21 year old son who is always saying Linux, and linux based phones/pda's well for right now and what we have here in the US I have to say Apple is on the right track, its not going to happen overnight it is going to take time. As for SJ's stopping and locking out hacked phones, give it up SJ it is not going to 100% happen.
I'd love to get one of these iPhones "AGAIN" had one and the volume in the ear piece was not loud enough, well go figure a day after I return mine they release an update and what is one of the items fixed or adjusted? the volume in the earpiece? GO figure eh?
For all the bad wishers and upset people that have ibricks and are pissed off because you broke the legal agreement, have a nice weekend. READ the web and you will figure out how to come out of this smelling good.

Evil Apple. - First they make you get locked in to a contract with AT&T and then they screw people that have spent money to have the phone unlocked. When did Apple become another Microsoft?

Guys, stop complaining about Apple going to the dark side (a la M$). Apple isn't open-source. They don't have to make it easy for you to be cheap.
If they wanted to do that, then iTunes would be free, along with iWork and iLife. They're a corporation too. If they don't make money then they can't continue to develop innovative products. I think I'm going to go blog about this now...

I love this iphone... There is an amazing feeling of triumph that you feel once you have unlocked your phone. :-) This phone is wow...

"Evil Apple. - First they make you get locked in to a contract with AT&T and then they screw people that have spent money to have the phone unlocked. When did Apple become another Microsoft?"
Don't be RIDICULOUS. Apple didn't "make you get locked" into ANYTHING. Don't want to use ATT? Don't buy an iphone. It's called a free market, that's how it works.
And Apple didn't screw ANYBODY who was dumb enough to spend money to unlock their iphone... or dumb enough to unlock it and then update it with and update that APPLE plainly and CLEARLY stated might turn their unlocked phones into pretty door stops.
Stop blaming Apple for the decisions that people make of their OWN FREE WILL.
God DAMNIT I get pissed when people blame companies for their own foolish decisions. None of this is apple's fault, not one bit. IMO Apple was actually quite nice to even bother telling people with unlocked iphones about the possible conflict with the update, they were under ZERO obligation to warn anyone. If you didn't want att you shouldn't have bought an iphone. If you didn't want a bricked iphone, you shouldn't have unlocked your iphone and updated it with 1.1.1... just like apple told you not to.
Take responsibility for your actions, stop blaming others.

They did warn people not to install 1.1.1. The updates aren't even worth it, not sure why people are installing it.
Especially after they said it might brick your phone.
on a side note, I changed most of my icons today. I can't find the ipod.png icon file for the main screen...
The more I use this phone the more i realize this thing is unbelievable.

I gotta disagree about the value of the added features of the update. Are they as cool as they could or should be? Not even close. But still, it's very handy to go directly to my favorites with a simple double-click of the home button, the ability to control the ipod without unlocking the phone is great and my speakers are now actually somewhat useful.
But hey, that's just me.

I updated this evening BEFORE looking at the blogs about 1.1.1 It failed. When I restarted the iPhone it asked to be connection to iTunes, then iTunes said I had to reset. When I reset, it waiting quite awhile then failed. I tried to call Support (wrong time of the day to have a problem!). I then tried twice more to do the reset, the 3 try worked. It appears I lost my mail messages I was hanging on to for reference and all the passwords to connect to Wi-Fi. That is the biggest pain, some of the passwords I don't remember anymore :(
It's working now.

Apple indirectly promoted the SIM unlocking program, anySim, that caused thousands of iPhone to not work after their new update and should be held responsible for replacing or reprogramming useless phones. promotes the use of third party applications at MacUpdate website: offers the iPhone unlocking program AnySim 1.0 for download.
Since refers it's customers to this other website that offers anySim, couldn't people hold Apple responsible for the bricking/disabling/renderingUseless, etc... of our iPhones? recommends as a source of third party applications for it's products. Someone with more time than me needs to look into holding Apple accountable for the damage they caused to thousands of iPhones. This link between Apple and anySim should be more than enough...
(I have screen shots and links to Google's cache of these links if Apple tries to cover this up)

I will now weigh in.
On my 8525 I can TAKE video and upload it onto Youtube.
The camera has White balance, flash, and I can upload onto any major photo site.
I have a full featured budget software.
I have a TODO list that the company lets me keep without having to hack it.
I have Opera web browing with tabs.
I have a software that keeps account numbers, credit card number, etc.
I have the entire bible in New Living translations complete with commentaries.
I have so so much more.
The iphone turns the screen when I turn it and has cool transitions when I close an app. Yeah, the design is good, but it's like having a hot dumb girlfriend. She looks good, but she doesn't do anything.
I understand that it's not a smart phone or PDA; I also understand that I'll wait a few generations. In the meantime I'm going to make a few hundred bucks selling it to some sucker on ebay.

I do agree. It is beautiful. All they need to do is apply this usability and interface to more apps. I feel so stiffled using it.
I'll probably actually still read your site. I will miss some features of this phone and I will hover around until they open up third party apps.

How great would it be if the iPhone supported Word and Excel? In not just a read-only format. And gave you the ability to save files. It'd also be great if Apple would actually answer questions. I can understand their stance on wanting everyone on the edge of their seat and I guess it makes it easier on them because if they never guarantee something they can never be called out on coming up short on their word. However, this can really discourage people from buying the iPhone because even though they love the interface and usability, they'd rather get a phone with the features they want right away since Apple won't ever give them a timeline of what to expect and when. I mean, tell someone "we're in the midst of developing Excel support and rolling it out sometime in the next 6 months" and maybe that person will buy your device in anticipation for that. It's a really big turn off when you walk into a store and ask a representative a question and all they can say is "I don't know, I guess we'll find out when it happens." It could go so much better if they could just say "Yes, xyz will be introduced within the next 3 to 6 months definitely so you have no need to worry about purchasing today." Sorry, I'm ranting now so I'll stop, but it's discouraging sometimes when you could be given the information to make a decision, but aren't because everything is kept so closed.

Norman, the chances of the iphone being able to use MICROSOFT word or excel are slim to none.

I figured that much but I was basically just trying to say that it would be great to have those apps and that it would better for consumers and Apple to let consumers know what the near future holds.

actually, apple and microsoft share certain platform software, like microsoft excel and word, is on both windows and mac just like final cut is avaiable for both platforms. this allows microsoft and apple to gain more coustomers, with the opposite platforms. it makes sense. oh and there is info on how to downgrade the baseband, on iphone here " " this is so you can use an att sim after the downgrade from 1.1.1 =]

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