Apple Confirms Serious New Problems For iPhone 14 Buyers

09/20 Update below. This post was originally posted on September 17th

It was a bumpy start for iPhone 14 owners. Yesterday, Apple released iOS 16.0.1 specifically to address issues related to data migration, authorization, and range photos. Today, the company confirmed additional issues with iMessage and FaceTime.

In a new support document, Apple also admitted that “iMessage and FaceTime may not complete activation on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro,” and admits that problems may still persist even after updating to iOS 16.0.1.

In resolving the issues, Apple states that “After setting up your iPhone, you may experience one or more of the following issues”:

  • You can’t receive iMessages or FaceTime calls.
  • When you send a message to another Apple device, you’ll see a green message bubble instead of a blue one.
  • Messages conversations appear as two separate threads instead of one.
  • Recipients can see your messages coming from the wrong account, such as your email address, if you dialed the phone number.

  1. In the Settings app, tap “Cellular”. Make sure the phone line is on. If you’re using multiple SIM cards, make sure the phone number you want to use is selected and turned on.
  2. In the Settings app, tap “Messages”. Then tap “Send & Receive”.
  3. Tap the phone number you want to use in Messages.
  4. Go back to the Settings app and tap on “FaceTime”.
  5. Tap the phone number you want to use with FaceTime.

End? Not completely.

In an internal Apple note seen by MacRumors, Apple acknowledges activation issues and states that “there are no current official fixes and support personnel should not be creating a repair [case] for the problem ”. The recommended procedure is also different:

“Connect to a Mac or iTunes computer” in the initial iOS entry process when prompted to connect to a Wi-Fi network, then back to the previous screen and try again over Wi-Fi until activation is successful . ” MacRumors cites the report.

I contacted Apple to clarify what was included in iOS 16.0.1 and the conflicting information in the disclosed note. I will update this post when / if I get a reply. In the meantime, I would strongly advise owners of older iPhones to go for iOS 15.7 over iOS 16, which is currently the rubbish bin for iPhones of all ages.

9/19 Update: Further issues have been reported for iPhone 14 Pro models. Received by 9to5Mac, reports are arriving from owners that the model’s new 48-megapixel main camera cannot take photos and videos on third-party apps like Instagram, SnapChat, and TikTok. Moreover, the defect appears to be physically damaging the lens.

YouTuber Luke Miani (below) showed a glitch that occurs when using the main camera on third-party apps. The optical image stabilization does not work properly, causing the lens to shake violently – so much so that noise is audible. Reports of this issue can be found on Reddit and TikTokand Miani reports that after posting it on Twitter, “a surprising number of people said they’ve experienced it on their Pros and Pro Maxs as well.”

Moreover, this violent shaking can have a lasting effect. “Worst of all, we started noticing damage to the camera itself,” explains Miani. “It was very hard for him to focus and in the end he just didn’t focus on the things that came close, even in the camera app.”

After taking the phone to the Apple store, the device was replaced. Whether Apple can fix this in software remains to be seen, but for affected users it will be a race against time before the shock will physically break the main camera. Apple has yet to comment on this, but I reached for a comment.

Update 09/20: interview with BloombergApple has confirmed that it is working on fixing a camera glitch on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models that causes the phone’s main camera lens to physically shake when used in third-party apps.

Apple claims that the fix – presumably in the form of iOS 16.0.2 (after iOS 16.0.1 was only released for iPhone 14 models) – coming next week.

It’s a quick response from Apple, but timeliness also seems crucial after YouTuber Luke Miani revealed that camera shake on his affected iPhone 16 Pro eventually damaged the camera and was replaced under warranty at the Apple Store. The longer it takes to repair, the more iPhones will likely need to be repaired or replaced on the Apple card.

Snap, the creator of Snapchat, also confirmed on Monday that it is “working directly with Apple” on a fix after its app, along with Instagram, TikTok and others, was hit with the issue.

The problem indicates the latest iPhone 14 / iOS 16 launch issues, including activation issues on new phones and a litany of bugs in iOS 16 itself. Bugs are common in every new generation of iOS, but iOS 16 seems to have caused more than usual.

And don’t expect iOS 16.0.2 to be the end. The fast turnaround time means that the release is unlikely to have time to fix for many other bugs reported by users. Dedicated bug fixes are usually “minor” releases, so iOS 16.0.3 and 16.0.4 may come before iOS 16.1, which is currently in beta testing. So beware of iPhone owners, you can expect multiple update notifications in the coming weeks.

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