Repair Needed: iPhone Cannot Make or Receive Calls [updated]
It’s the iPhone dialog box you’ve hopefully never seen before: “Repair Needed. iPhone cannot make or receive calls. http://www.apple.com/support” If it had happened only once this week to someone I’d bought an iPhone for, I would have totally written it off. But twice? What are the odds?
My wife has been traveling for the past week and a half, and had this message come up on her after several days of iPhone flakiness, in which the phone’s ringer stopped working, then the phone failed altogether. Her experience? She’s lucky enough to be in a city with an Apple Store, where though it wasn’t convenient to give up part of her day for the appointment, the unit was replaced on the spot. Not bad at all. Her only complaint: she lost her photos and other content that hadn’t been synchronized to her computer.
Yesterday, a friend who’s visiting from out of town told me that his iPhone—bought by me for him as a gift—wasn’t holding a charge properly. Last night, the phone said that it needed to be reactivated in iTunes. Then the battery completely died. When it was recharged, the Repair Needed screen came up. “Have I lost all my photos?” he wondered. I suggested that he sync with his Mac and find out. Though iTunes wouldn’t work—he got a message saying that “the SIM card is not installed”—iPhoto saw his pictures and let him pull them off, which would have been good for my wife to know: you can try to recover the iPhone’s contents before taking it in. My friend’s appointment with the local Apple Store is today, so we’ll see how that goes.
A few points: neither of these phones was ever (and I mean ever) Jailbreaked, modified, or attempted to be Jailbreaked or modified. Both were upgraded from Apple’s own iTunes updater from software version 1.0 to 1.0.1 to 1.0.2 and 1.1.1. The first one was purchased and activated in the first week of the iPhone’s release, which is to say that it was around 3.5 months old when it failed. The second one was delivered roughly a month after the iPhone was released, which is to say that it was 2.5 months old. Neither one was misused or mishandled. And both my wife and my friend have mid-line Core 2 Duo Apple MacBook computers, which they were using for charging around the time the iPhones experienced problems.
I know that these people aren’t the first two to see this error message; readers, have you experienced this, and under what sort of conditions?
[Update: We visited an Apple Store, which rapidly replaced the iPhone. Overheard during the repair: as of 11:30AM, 6 iPhones had apparently been replaced today with similar symptoms. Sounds like a 1.1.1 firmware problem to me.]
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Apple announces ‘Spring Forward’ event for March 9
- Brikk unveils opulent Apple Watch line priced up to $75,000
- Apple Maps adds new third-party data providers
- Apple ordered to pay $532.9m in iTunes patent infringement case
- Apple reportedly streamlining Genius Bar experience
- Report: Apple acquires Camel Audio
- VISA ‘tokenization’ may speed Apple Pay EU deployment
- Apple releases iOS 8.3 beta 2 to developers
- Toyota currently has ‘no plans’ to adopt CarPlay in the US
- iLounge Weekly arrives Monday, sign up now
- Olloclip Macro 3-in-1 Lens, Telephoto + CPL Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- ExoLens Professional Photography System for iPhone 6
- Incipio offGRID Shine for iPhone 6
- Seidio Obex for iPhone 6
- RooCase GlacialTough for iPhone 6 Plus, VersaTough for iPhone 6 + 6 Plus
- CM4 Q Card Case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- iWalk Extreme Trio 10,000 Universal Battery
- NewerTech NuGuard KX for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- Incipio Clarion and Faraday for iPad Air 2
- iWalk Rugged Power Case for iPhone 6
- How do I disassociate my phone number from iMessage?
- How do I stop Siri from randomly waking up?
- How do I cancel a print job on iOS?
- How do I make my camera LED flash when my iPhone rings?
- How do I re-sync contacts to my vehicle after switching to a new iPhone?
- How do I move away from a shared Apple ID for iMessage?
- How do I consolidate iTunes purchases into a single account?
- How can I more easily Handoff a web page from my Mac to my iPhone?
- What can I actually share with Family Sharing in iOS 8?
- How do I find and remove only downloaded tracks with iTunes Match?