Nasty Apple bug reportedly killing FaceTime on iPhones

A a nasty bug has circulated affecting iPhone users that can cause iMessage and FaceTime apps to randomly turn off with no way to turn them back on.

The news comes from various Twitter users, including prominent Apple backer and Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, who all detailed their experience with the bug. So far, this issue is limited to users of T-Mobile and Verizon networks. This may seem like good news at first if the problem is limited to just two networks.

However, Verizon and T-Mobile have the most extensive service networks in the United States, and with more than 113 million iPhone users in the United States, this could be a major problem.

Problem with eSIM

The issue affects the eSIM chip specifically, according to 9TB 5 Mac. The eSIM chip allows users to set up and activate their phones on a network through software without having to use a physical SIM card or visit a carrier store. And if you don’t remember, a SIM card allows your smartphone to make calls, send texts and connect to the Internet via a cellular network.

The purpose of the eSIM chip is to make setting up the iPhone easier. Unfortunately, no one knows exactly what is going on inside the eSIM chip that is causing the problem. According to Gurman, this bug has been around for a while. This affects phones running iOS 15.4, 15.5 and 15.6 beta 1.

Verizon and T-Mobile seem to be aware of the bug, as several people in this Twitter thread, including Gurman, have reached out to their carriers for help. So far, Apple has yet to acknowledge the bug, let alone roll out a fix.

Solutions

Gurman says the only solution is to insert a branded physical SIM card into an iPhone to work around the bug.

It is also possible to delete your eSIM account and get a new one reissued on your iPhone. But Gurman advises against this because the process is too “complex for most people and should never have to be done”.

One person describes their experience of reissuing an eSIM through T-Mobile. According to the user, T-Mobile had to reissue the eSIM three times and it took 30 minutes for the last one to activate. But this caused further problems with the line and required the carrier to be called back.

It’s unclear if or when Apple will fix this issue. TechRadar has contacted Apple and Verizon and will update this story with their responses.

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