If you're still using an iPhone 5 which hasn't been updated to the latest available software update, it's time to pay attention. Back in July this year, Apple released an iOS update for older iPhone and iPad models to fix a GPS time rollover issue. Users who didn't update their iPhone 5 units are now receiving a notification from Apple to update before November 3, 2019, or risk losing access to the App Store, iCloud, email, web, and other essential services.
Apple had released iOS 10.3.4 and iOS 9.3.6 back in July to fix a GPS time rollover issue on select older iPhone and iPad models, helping them maintain location accuracy. The Cupertino-based company has now released a new support page, highlighting the issue for iPhone 5 users, apart from a full-screen alert on the phone.
The support page at Apple says:
Starting just before 12:00 a.m. UTC (5:30am IST) on November 3, 2019,* iPhone 5 will require an iOS update to maintain accurate GPS location and to continue to use functions that rely on correct date and time including App Store, iCloud, email, and Web browsing. This is due to the GPS time rollover issue that began affecting GPS-enabled products from other manufacturers on April 6, 2019. Affected Apple devices are not impacted until just before 12:00 a.m. UTC on November 3, 2019.
GPS technology needs to monitor accurate date and time to determine your precise location. The way it does this is that it calculates the date by counting the number of weeks while storing these values as 10-bit figures. After 20 years, the 10-bit figures (saved for weeks) are reset to zero. Older devices have a hard time handling the change and need a firmware update to fix the issue.
It seems like the issue is quite serious for iPhone 5 users who haven't updated their devices to iOS 10.3.4 yet. In case users don't update their phones by the end of the deadline, they'll need to manually back up and restore their iPhones using a PC or a Mac to update as over-the-air updates and iCloud backups will stop working.
The GPS time rollover bug also affects other older iPhone models including the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and the fourth-generation iPad. In case users don't update these devices, their GPS features will stop working. However, those on an iPhone 5 are set to lose more essential features.
In case you have an iPhone 5 which hasn't been updated yet, go to Settings > Software Update to download and install iOS 10.3.4 on your device.