Fix the iPhone 5 WiFi bug

October 1, 2012

Apple has released information on how to fix a particularly bad iPhone 5 bug that burned through the data plans of some Verizon customers.

Those who bought the new smartphone noticed that they were being charged for using cellular data even when they were using their phones on WiFi networks. That quickly ate through their monthly data quotas and, in some cases reported on Apple’s support forums, nearly cost some users hefty overage fees.

On Sunday, the company posted a page on its help center telling users how to fix the problem.

To do so, users should head to the “About” menu in the general settings menu of the iPhone. An alert should pop up with a message saying that your carrier settings have been updated. Hit the “okay” button to get the update. Once it’s installed, turn the phone off, and then on again to activate the update.

Once your phone is back on, head to the same menu. If the problem’s been addressed, the words “Verizon 13.1” should be in the “Carrier” field.

If you were affected by the glitch, Verizon has said that it will work with its customers to fix the situation.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Verizon Wireless said that it will not be charging users for “unwarranted cellular data usage.”

“Under certain circumstances, the iPhone 5 may use Verizon cellular data while the phone is connected to Wi-Fi network. Apple has a fix that is being delivered to Verizon customers right on their iPhone 5,” said Verizon spokesman Torod Neptune.

Verizon hasn’t released how many iPhone 5 units it sold in the first push, though the company’s Web site shows that the iPhone 5 will not ship until Oct. 26.

Verizon iPhones shipped “unlocked,” meaning that the same device could be taken to other phone networks. While Apple sells unlocked versions of the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, this is the first time that a carrier has done so. Verizon said that it will not relock the iPhone, meaning that users will have the option to take their phones to a competing network after their initial two-year contract with Verizon expires.

The unlocked iPhones will not, however, work other carriers’ high-speed 4G LTE networks.

Related stories:

Apple’s iPhone 5: Five observations

Traffic: Apple Maps vs. Google maps: Which is better for D.C. navigating?

Verizon Wireless says iPhone 5 won’t be ‘relocked’ to remove ability to access AT&T network

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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