A ‘blue screen of death’ bug is plaguing iPhone users on T-Mobile

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Have T-Mobile and wake up to a malfunctioning (or worse, nonfunctioning) iPhone? You’re definitely not the only one. According to MacRumors, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus devices with T-Mobile service began exhibiting bizarre instability yesterday evening.

In the very severest of cases, users report their iPhone crashing to a “blue screen of death” and restarting as often as every 10 to 30 minutes. It doesn’t appear to be a firmware issue — judging by the flood of posts on social media, the problem’s affecting devices running multiple versions of iOS 8, including 8.1 and 8.3.

The cause is still unclear. A reddit user who spoke with T-Mobile support was given the impression that “a memory problem” might be the culprit, but MacRumors readers have reported success disabling Voice over LTE (VoLTE), Wi-Fi calling, or LTE data entirely. Others write a factory reset fixed the crashes.

The blue screen of death probably isn’t unfamiliar to some unlucky iPhone 5S owners. At launch the smartphone’s new processor architecture and software — the 64-bit Apple A7 chip and iOS 7 — led to a higher-than-average app crash rate: 2 percent versus the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5’s 1 percent. A range of apps, including Apple’s own Settings, Numbers, Safari, and iWorks, caused lock-ups, shutdowns, and blue screens of death.

More broadly, this isn’t the first time iDevice owners have had to put up with debilitating bugs. The introduction of iOS 7 also brought random black-and-white screen reboots, some as frequent as several a day, to older iPhones and iPods. In May, researchers discovered a string of characters that caused the iOS 8 Messages app to lock up or crash.

Apple was able to resolve most of those bugs with a speedy series of patches. We’re hoping for just a quick a resolution this time around.