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New iPhone owners are apparently experiencing a peculiar glitch that triggers an Activation Lock on newly unboxed devices.
An increasing number of iPhone owners have reported experiencing this issue, in which they discover their new device is already linked to an Apple ID that does not belong to them. This prevents users from setting up their device, and in turn, renders their smartphone essentially unusable. The glitch has apparently affected newly purchased iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models. Additionally, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus owners are also reporting similar issues, ZDNet reported.
Activation Lock is a security feature and a handy tool that prevents people from using your iOS device if it’s lost or stolen. But, to owners who experience this issue with their own device being linked to a stranger’s email, it’s a major annoyance.
Many of the anecdotal reports come from users who have complained about the issue on Twitter, as well as iPhone owners who wrote about the glitch on internet forums.
“Just received my brand new 256GB Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus. Looks immaculate, screen is perfect, machining all fine… Only problem is, it appears someone has already used it as the iPhone is asking for the account used to activate it — o…..@icloud.com. Apple say it needs replacing […] Now got to wait for an expedited replacement iPhone once I’ve returned this one,” iPhone owner Balders wrote on the MacRumors forum.
It’s currently unknown when the glitch first started showing up, but user reports have been streaming in since September. It’s also unclear what exactly causes the glitch. So far, the problem has not been widespread enough to warrant significant attention, according to BGR.
Cupertino hasn’t publicly provided a comment on the issue, but they are aware of it. iPhone owners who have been affected seem to have two ways to fix the problem. Some users have removed the Activation Lock by providing Apple with proof of purchase — either at a Genius Bar, or by calling Apple support at 1-800-MY-APPLE. In rare cases, if the Activation Lock problem persists, users have reported that Apple provided them with a replacement iPhone.