Apple Pulls IOS Update After Version Causes Dropped Calls

Apple iPhone 6
Apple Inc.'s iPhone 6 is displayed at the company's Omotesando store in Tokyo. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Apple Inc. pulled an update for the iPhone operating system after the new software caused some people to lose cellular service.

After rolling out the latest version of its iOS 8 mobile software earlier today, the Cupertino, California-based company withdrew the update when scores of customers experienced dropped cellular service so they couldn’t make calls. The fingerprint reading Touch ID feature also wasn’t working after the update, according to some customers.

“No service on my iPhone after iOS 8.0.1,” said one Twitter user. “DO NOT UPDATE,” said another.

Apple said in a statement that it had received reports of the issues with the update, which is called iOS 8.0.1. Customers can still use iOS 8, which was released last week.

“We are actively investigating these reports and will provide information as quickly as we can,” Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman for Apple, said in the statement. “In the meantime, we have pulled back the iOS 8.0.1 update.”

The pullback adds to the snafus Apple has experienced with the iOS 8 mobile software since it was released last week. Popular applications made by Facebook Inc., Dropbox Inc. and others have been crashing more frequently. According to data from Crittercism Inc., an analytics firm, iOS 8 causes apps to crash about 3.3 percent of the time, or 67 percent more than last year’s version. Customers also have complained about having to delete photos, videos and apps to make room for the new software.

Going Wrong

Apple shares fell less than 1 percent to $101.75 at the close in New York. The stock is up 27 percent this year.

Apple released the iOS 8 update today to fix software bugs and add the health and fitness-monitoring application HealthKit, a program that had been cut from last week’s initial release because the company discovered flaws. After the new version went out today, many customers immediately lost cellular service.

“That’s the danger with all these updates: if you get it wrong, it goes wrong big, bad and fast,” said Frank Gillett, an analyst with Forrester Research. “There’s a fundamental question of how it got out in the first place.”

The iOS software is the system that powers the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. According to Apple, 46 percent of devices connecting to the company’s App Store are running iOS 8.

Marred Rollout

For Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, the software problems tarnish what has been a record-breaking release for the latest iPhones. The company sold more than 10 million handsets of the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in their first weekend on sale starting Sept. 19, with the devices becoming available in more than the original list of 10 countries beginning on Sept. 26.

Apple has also dealt with problems with previous software releases, most famously when the mapping software it debuted in 2012 gave people wrong directions and showed mislabeled landmarks. Cook later apologized for the program.

“Apple’s not the first to have this kind of problem, but when a gadget is in your pocket, it’s a completely different reaction,” said Forrester’s Gillett.

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