iPhone's black screen of death (updated 2x)

iPhone's black screen of death (updated 2x)

Summary: I received an email from an iPhone user greatly concerned about "either an unaddressed issue with both 2.0 and 2.

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iPhone black screen of deathI received an email from an iPhone user greatly concerned about "either an unaddressed issue with both 2.0 and 2.01 software - or a rogue app(s) that is taking down the entire OS."

After visiting the App Store from his iPhone "nothing loaded, the screen just stayed white." After pressing the Home button and tapping the App Store again, nothing happened again. After rebooting the iPhone it hung on the black screen with the white Apple on it – permanently. What's scary is that a restore as new doesn't appear to fix the problem. He tried that four times.

BTL has the full text of the email and there's a growing thread about it on Apple's Support Discussion boards with more than 200 replies. If you've been bit by this bug you should also consider filing a bug report with Apple.

Update: One commenter on the PowerPage notes:

I've experienced this. What appears to happen is that the OS takes far longer to boot than normal. All I've had to do is have patience and wait for the login screen shortly after the two vibrations. This can take 3-5 minutes (I didn't time it, but time passed very slowly). My impatience sometimes lead me to believe that the iPhone was bricked and to force another restart. However, after the first, long, really long, incredibly long reboot, the iPhone seems to boot normally. Just be patient!

Update 2010-0416: If waiting doesn't work, the solution is to hold home and power for 20+ seconds until you see the "connect to iTunes" screen, pictured below:

http://static-cache.ipodtouchfans.com/imgcache2/40799.png

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Collaboration, Mobility

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23 comments
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  • Waited 2 hours to boot...

    In reply to this story's update - I waited more than 2 hours
    the first time that this happened while I scoured the Internet
    looking for help. After finally giving up, I found the way to
    force the phone into restore mode through iTunes.

    You are correct though, in stating that at times boot times
    can be much longer than expected and make you sweat.
    johnfinley
  • RE: iPhone black screen of death (updated)

    I agree with johnfinely. I have waited 15-20 minutes and
    STILL have the Apple Logo. I have given up updating apps
    until this is resolved. Maybe the length f time is directly
    related to how full/how many apps you have on the iPhone?
    ebernet
  • Restore? What?

    I never thought that the word restore and apple would be put into the same sentence. Its funny how karma can come back to bite some people. I think everyone needs to wise up and realize that no one is perfect and humans are behind any product you buy. Atleast I am not to arrogant to realize that. Start bringing their products to the masses and the people that will be honest about the products will start speaking unlike the past when Apple only sold to the hush hush crowd. Welcome to the real world Apple, hope it doesn't bite all the way to the core.
    OhTheHumanity
  • Why not return it or go to the store?

    If I had paid as much (up front and ongoing) for a defective product, I would simply take it back to the Apple store. I read all over how people are trying to fix this on their own. It's under warranty and this is all speculation as to what the problem is. I say see what a store front has to say. You know that the non technical, this is what they are doing.

    TripleII
    TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
    • So what happens to "IT JUST WORKS"?

      Isn't that what Apple fanboys have been bragging about?
      LBiege
      • I don't know...

        I have never owned iAnything. Just wondering why people don't just return it.

        TripleII
        TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
        • Maybe it's the fear of standing in line for hours...AGAIN...

          If a LOT of people are having the same problem, then it would be quite possible they'd have to repeat the process they went through to buy the stupid thing in the first place.
          Wolfie2K3
  • USER EXPERIENCE!!!

    [i]All I?ve had to do is have patience and wait for the login screen shortly after the two vibrations. This can take 3-5 minutes (I didn?t time it, but time passed very slowly).[/i]

    Fantastic user experience! Very intuitive.
    NonZealot
    • Re: User experience!!!

      Hmm, I dunno that a longer bootup cycle quite has the ring of a
      user experience issue. If so my local grocery store or Best Buy
      would be running around like mad so I didn't have to wait in line.
      Just out of curiosity, NonZ, what do you do for a living that you
      can hang out and post on ZD all day? Literally every time I read
      something on here I see a comment by you. Inquiring minds want
      to know ;)
      Win3.1
      • Probably has a job like me!

        Probably running a windows shop with windows servers and applications like myself. As you can see we have alot of time on our hands to post on here all day, isn't life grand. But I'm thinking about ripping it all out for linux or Apple because I am getting bored these days, but its too bad Apple won't run on the blades.
        OhTheHumanity
  • RE: iPhone black screen of death (updated)

    I think this is JUST the kind of thing that apple trying prevent by
    removing and/or preventing apps from getting to store. I wish users
    would stop complaining as apple makes these sort of decisions
    with regards to our iPhone experience. However, I will state that I
    wish apple would be more forthcoming to the developers and users
    of these apps as to why the have been pulled or not allowed.
    LanPhantom
    • Ya know.. You just might be on the right track...

      [b]I think this is JUST the kind of thing that apple trying prevent by removing and/or preventing apps from getting to store. I wish users would stop complaining as apple makes these sort of decisions with regards to our iPhone experience. [/b]

      And when iPhone 3.0 comes out next year - it'll be back to being locked down like version 1.0 - along with a giant "I TOLD YOU SO" from Apple...
      Wolfie2K3
  • Apple got caught with too much success

    They weren't prepared for the sheer
    volume of sales, nor the demands that
    would be put on their servers. There were
    bugs that were in places where it hurts, a
    new platform for apps that went online at
    the same time, etc.

    I believe we'll see the AppStore running
    smoothly before too long, but it might
    take Apple longer to approve new apps.

    Programmers are working on the bugs
    and I'm sure new hardware is being
    installed as fast as possible.

    It might turn out that poorly written apps
    or the server issue are the major cause of
    current user problems.
    Ken_z
    • Too much success?

      Ken:

      "They weren't prepared for the sheer
      volume of sales, nor the demands that
      would be put on their servers."

      What do the servers themselves have to do with the excessive boot times for an iPhone? 15-20 minutes? 30 minutes? Up to [b]two hours[/b]?

      And:

      "There were bugs that were in places where it hurts, a new platform for apps that went online at the same time, etc."

      I can see bugs causing excessive boot times, but [b]a new platform for apps[/b] (the AppStore) wouldn't cause that.

      And:

      "I believe we'll see the AppStore running
      smoothly before too long, but it might
      take Apple longer to approve new apps."

      Equally as off-topic as the "server problems" issue. However, since Apple has absolute control over which apps are available in the AppStore, why is it that they (Apple) are stealthily [b]removing[/b] already-approved apps from not only the AppStore but from their customers' iPhones? And, for those removed apps that have been [b]paid for[/b] by the customer, is Apple offering to refund the money spent by those customers?

      And:

      "It might turn out that poorly written apps
      or the server issue are the major cause of
      current user problems."

      I doubt that the apps themselves are causing problems. Nor is it likely that the servers are causing the boot time problems. However, buggy code in the OS updates (v2.0 and 2.01) are obviously quite suspect.

      I suppose, due to excessive hubris on the part of Apple Inc., Apple products no longer "just work".
      M.R. Kennedy
    • Horsehocky!

      [b]They weren't prepared for the sheer
      volume of sales, nor the demands that
      would be put on their servers. There were
      bugs that were in places where it hurts, a
      new platform for apps that went online at
      the same time, etc. [/b]

      That MIGHT possibly have the ring of plausibility IF this was the first version. But it wasn't. The first version sold like hotcakes. Apple HAD to see the version 2.0 tidal wave of sales coming. The hype machine was running at full power before the launch. Almost every blog you read had something to do with the 2.0 rev. It was like you couldn't swing the proverbial dead cat without hitting a story about the iPhone 2.0 and how it was going to solve ALL of the 1.0 generation's ills.

      They KNEW that the 2.0 phone HAD to be activated right here in the store.

      They KNEW there would be a LOT of traffic hitting the activation servers.

      As far as bugs go... It sounds to me like their entire beta cycle was skipped. The activation servers were definitly not tested under any serious load. 5 - 10 simultaneous activations does not a load make.

      As far as apps go... They may indeed be buggy. They may indeed be crap - BUT... If an app blows chunks and dies, it shouldn't kill every other app on the phone nor kill the OS either. Sheesh.. Even Windows XP has better protection against BSODs and badly written apps taking down the entire computer. It sounds to me like the iPhone OS needs some serious work to prevent that kinda thing.
      Wolfie2K3
      • XP? How about the early releases of Vista?

        ...

        It was amazing what a few (or a ton of) badly conceived and written drivers could do.
        flatliner
  • RE: iPhone black screen of death (updated)

    what can i do
    murali05
  • Apples New iThink Interface

    This must be Apples new thought based interface.

    You just need to stare at the white Apple logo in the middle of the screen and control the device with your thoughts.

    Of course if the device doesn't work then it's because you're not thinking correctly.

    Apple Tech Support suggest staring at the Apple logo for at least a few hours and think of how lucky you are to own an iPhone and it will all just start to work.

    Users lucky enough to have received the new iThink interface upgrade should count themselves VERY lucky to have been selected.
    iTeaBoy
    • Apples New iThink Interface

      Nice one!!!!
      funfox
  • I CAN'T Resist...

    Who says Apple never copies anything from Microsoft? Newest release from Apple: The BSOD!!!!

    Of course, Apple being Apple they have to be more stylish. So: Black is the new Blue(tm)!

    Hey, extra points for a double-entendre! :)
    wolf_z