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Glitch hits New Year wake-up calls for iPhone users

There was further alarm for Apple over the weekend as iPhone and iPod users complained they had missed wake-up calls because of a software programming error.

The New Year malfunction followed problems with late alarms for users in Europe and Australia and New Zealand as the clocks changed last year and an embarrassing hiatus over how their grip might affect signal reception for the then new iPhone4 in the summer.

Apple promised everything would be back to normal on Sunday: “We’re aware of an issue related to non-repeating alarms set for January 1 or 2,” spokesperson Natalie Harrison told Reuters. “Customers can set recurring alarms for those dates and all alarms will work properly beginning January 3.”

Owners complained on Facebook and Twitter: “2011 broke the iPhone alarm,” as one put it. Others said they had missed meetings, church, airline flights and trains as a result of the bug.

No reason has been given for the glitch, which Apple said affected iPhones using its latest iOS 4.0 operating system, including updated earlier versions of the smart phone.

Holly Wheeler, from Edinburgh, commented on a BBC thread: “Four adults, four iPhones, six alarms, one baby and all of us overslept by an hour and a half! It was manic trying to get our friends and their baby out of the house to make their train from Edinburgh to Bournemouth. They made it ok, but it could have been a very expensive problem. Do we blame it on Apple or our over-reliance and belief in their products? I’m just off out to get myself a rooster.”

Nick Pound from Staffordshire, wrote: “I had two alarms set for 0400 to get my family up and to Birmingham airport for 0500. Alarms failed! We missed the 0700 flight to Turin and had to pay over £1 000 for flights to Chambery. I’m typing this from a private taxi trying to get to Sestriere for our ski holiday! Far, far, far from happy! Dear Apple.”

Kerys Bessell, from Basildon, Essex, said: “Myself and my boyfriend were late for work this morning due to this fault. We both work for the ambulance service and because of the fault a front line ambulance was unmanned until we got there.”

More than 50-million iPhones have been sold since 2007. – guardian.co.uk

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