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iOS 9.3 On iPad 2 Makes A Big Mess: Bricked Hardware, Activation Issues And Potential Workarounds

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Apple unleashed its latest iOS 9.3 update early this week, bringing some cool new features that should enhance the overall experience.

Despite the neat improvements, however, the latest OS version also brings a number of issues that affect several devices. As we previously reported, users already flooded Apple's support forums and other such online venues following the update to iOS 9.3, complaining about various issues.

While the update wreaked havoc for a number of devices, including iPads, iPhones and iPods, it seems that it's particularly nasty for older iPads. More specifically, iPad 2 owners seem to have it the worst.

A number of iPad 2 owners report that after attempting over-the-air (OTA) and iTunes upgrades to iOS 9.3, they ended up with bricked hardware. Moreover, many users say they were not able to activate their devices for up to 24 hours after the update.

"iPad 2 iOS 9.3 can't activate after update, not over wifi, not via iTunes," one user writes on Apple's support forum. "iTunes says contact Apple Support..."

A number of other users responded to this message, confirming that they faced the same issue. Affected users report trying to connect to iTunes via USB, unlinking the iPad from iCloud, restarting when linked or not linked, removing the SIM card and other tricks, but to no avail.

"Support is useless. They need the iPad number which cannot be accessed as the iPad is locked up in a 'continue' which results in a message the problem is with the server. The result of that is - if Support is correct - server overloaded - the iPad is useless meantime," says another user.

This activation issue seems to be limited to older iPads. Many users report getting authentication error messages on their iPad 2, although they had no issues with the update on other iOS devices.

"I have been experiencing the same issues with both of my iPad 2 (GSM) models. Had no problems with our other work and personal devices (iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 5c)," reads another message on Apple's support forum.

Potential Workarounds

Some users managed to get their iPads working again by downloading iOS 9.3 on a Mac via iTunes and installing the software via USB. Others managed to overcome the issue with a full restore. On the downside, neither of these two potential workarounds proved effective for all.

Apple has yet to issue a formal statement on the matter or announce a solution for this fiasco. We'll keep you up to date as soon as it does, but in the meantime you might want to steer clear of the iOS 9.3 update if you haven't installed it already.

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