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iPhone 6S Has Problem Apple Won't Discuss

Forbes logo Forbes 19-11-2015 Gordon Kelly, Contributor

A customer tries out the new Apple iPhone 6S at an Apple store on Chicago's Magnificent Mile in U.S.© AP A customer tries out the new Apple iPhone 6S at an Apple store on Chicago's Magnificent Mile in U.S. It’s meant to be an unwritten rule. The launch of new iPhones brings a new generation of iOS that invariably causes some problems to older models, but the latest and greatest iPhones always work perfectly. Some think it’s an upgrade conspiracy, others that issues are inevitable with older hardware. But now this unwritten rule has been broken…

Famed Apple flag waver AppleInsider is the somewhat surprising source of the bad news. It reports widespread complaints across Apple Support Communities from iPhone 6S users who are suffering from an array of lost data including messages, call and Safari logs, Apple Health records and more.

AppleInsider admits it has verified the problem through its own tests and the sheer volume of traffic about this on Apple Support Communities is overwhelming with search results producing numerous threads.

iPhone 6S iCloud backups are having problems. Image credit AppleInsider© Provided by Forbes iPhone 6S iCloud backups are having problems. Image credit AppleInsider While the end result of data loss is undisputed, the exact cause of it is less clear. The common perception is it stems from iCloud backup errors in iOS 9. Some users say their data was lost when they restored their iPhone 6S from an existing iPhone 6S backup (in the case of replacement phones), others saying iCloud backups are simply being corrupted.

I’ve also been contacted personally by iPhone 6S owners, including several friends, who’ve been hit by this issue. Right now there’s no fix as the common option of a Factory reset only results in having to restore from these broken backups. Meanwhile users of older iPhones are not reporting any issues at all, so this is squarely impacting the iPhone 6S and some (though seemingly fewer) iPhone 6S Plus owners.

Interestingly feedback from Apple has been highly contradictory. Affected users across the threads report both admission of the fault and denial it exists following their contact with Apple support representatives and AppleInsider cites confirmations that the company is aware of the issue, but it not yet offering a timeline for a fix.

Looking to clear this up, I have been in contact with Apple’s US and UK press teams but after some delay was told the official response is “No comment”.

As with all hardware/software faults on any platform it is impossible to know the full scale of this one, but the traction behind it implies Apple will need to act sooner rather than later. With iOS 9.2 already in testing (and again breaking development speed records) it may bring a welcome fix. Better still would be an immediate fix via a smaller iOS 9.1.x release, though that will likely lead to conspiracy theories that its impact is larger than we know.

Sometimes you just can’t win…

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