Apple’s iPhone owners are a breeding ground for countless frauds and security threats. Right from zero-day attacks, a slew of security threats, to App Store scams in recent months. There is an even greater threat to your iPhone now!
There have been reports claiming that an increasing number of iPhone owners have lost access to cellular data since Apple released iOS 14.7.1, rendering their devices useless without WiFi. Although initial reports indicated iOS 14.7.1 was a rock-solid update after troubled releases, this is a surprise.
According to reports from affected owners, the bug is present on iPhones of all ages, with users citing models from the current iPhone 12 range right back to the iPhone 6S. It is true that Apple provides a guide on how to fix
“If you see No Service or Searching on your iPhone or iPad”, but its recommended action (toggling cellular data on and off – Settings > Cellular Data) is ineffective. Several users have expressed their frustration with their phones no longer functioning properly.
Apple has been providing support specifically for users who frequently have “No Service” or “Searching” issues on their iPhone or iPad (Cellular version). If other suggestions do not work, users are encouraged to restart their device, check for a carrier settings update, and reset their network settings.
What is happening?
Interestingly, some comments on a few articles provide some insight:
“My phone is no longer a phone. This is great.” wrote one affected user.
One user complains, “Since this update, my 12 loses connection when out of range.”
“I left a building and was using WiFi calling the other day because [of] no service at the building. Been doing this for years. Drove down the road away from that building… all the way home. Showed 0 bars the whole way despite me knowing there is good coverage 1/2 a mile from the building. The phone should have found service. Instead, it stuck with 0 bars. 10 minutes later when it went onto WiFi at home it finally worked out there was service as well as WiFi. So there is some kind of bug where once it latches on WiFi calling with no service when you leave it doesn’t pick up service.” says another.
According to these descriptions, iOS 14.7.1 was not more widely reported to have this bug last month. It appears to strike when you lose your cellular connection, so people living in areas with good reception may never see it. This scenario also helps to mask the number of iPhones that could be affected.
Apple fixed a bug that prevented Touch ID on iPhones from unlocking Apple Watches with “Unlock with iPhone” enabled through iOS 14.7.1. The software also addressed a zero-day vulnerability for which the Indian government had also asked users to update their iPhones. However, it appears the iOS 14.7.1 update has introduced the annoying network problem for several users even though it fixed some of the previous issues.
In short, iPhone users face a difficult situation. This potentially crippling flaw could (understandably) make you avoid upgrading to iOS 14.7.1. The problem is that the release also includes a critical fix for a new zero-day security flaw (zero-day means hackers are actively targeting it).
How should you proceed?
The latest public release of Apple’s iOS has not been the first time that a new release has caused issues for some users. Earlier this year, some users reported significant battery drain after upgrading to iOS 14.6. A number of iPhone users reported similar problems with battery drain after upgrading to iOS 14.2 in December.
A recommendation would be to wait before upgrading to iOS 14.7.1. Apple is currently working on iOS 14.8 (with .8 being the highest version number in iOS history) which will be released in the coming weeks. iOS 15 will also be released next month. If Apple releases an iOS 14.7.2 emergency fix, then the wait will be even shorter. If it doesn’t, it may indicate the scale of the problem is not severe.
Apple has received a number of complaints on its forums, so users can expect a fix to reach them in the coming days.