It's happened to me twice in the last month too (both after restarts). Fortunately, I had most of my contacts in Address Book, and I was able to resync (after backing up the Address Book as well in case the iPhone decided to wipe out those contacts during the sync). It is an incentive to regularly sync / back up - but I do have better things to do with my time & disk space.
I high suspect it has something to do with Facebook. I had no issues until I did a facebook update then it started crashing, reboot, BOOM all contacts gone.
Same thing just happened again today. I was messaging in Facebook, then when to check email and contacts, nothing would open so I restarted the phone and my (one re-added) contacts were gone again.
Putting aside all the back seat driving about "you should back it up regularly...blah blah blah"; damage is done so it's a moot point now.
Myself, and I'm sure plenty others, would like to know if and why there's a coorelation with facebook and contacts disappearing in the first place.
Back in my jailbreak days, I used to have plenty of programs that would freely allow me to export my address book from the backup files. Go figure after I clean up my PC none of them are no longer able to be found, everyone wants you pay ~$60 to upgrade from their trial version. My laptop that had the original address book synced to is out of commission as well
I had a similar 'lost contacts' experience with my IOSv6 iPhone 4S when I turned on the Contacts sync to Facebook.
I found that the postal address details disappeared for all my iPhone Contacts who had Facebook accounts. I also saw that a slew of facebook.com email addresses had magically appeared. Interestingly enough all the original email addresses were still in place.
Worse still, because I sync back to my 'master' Contacts address book in Yahoo, the postal addresses disappeared from there as well. So it looks like the Contacts sync to Facebook was in fact an invitation for Facebook to wipe all the postal addresses from my iPhone 4S, my iPad, my Mac and my Yahoo address book.
Needless to say I turned off the Facebook sync and spent hours reconstituting the lost data.
I'm not impressed Facebook, and even less impressed with Apple.
So here is the question:
What is the relationship between the Facebook App and the Contacts list?
Speaking as one who has NEVER allowed Facebook or any associated app access to my contacts, and has never used the search for friends using contacts / email facility, then I find it deeply disturbing that there can be ANY link between the two.
Is Facebook surreptitiously trying to access my contacts?
Does the Apple OS have a bug in it that allows third party apps access to my private information without consent?
I should really log in to Facebook and post the same question there.
May I just say, I do not normally post on forums. But this incident is simply to important to disregard.
Long time fan of Jurassic park (inner child), I have the builder app. I was downloading other apps to allow for free "in game purchasable material" when the game I downloaded required a Facebook login. On attempt to login the app crashed. I attempted several times without further success. I turned back to the jurassic park builder app to find I cannot login there now aswell. As I opened up the Facebook app (not a fan of Facebook) tried to see if there was any evidence of app removal or password change. All seemed clear so I left it at that till the morning. In the morning I restarted my iPhone to try and get access to my apps. After restart, I had noticed my contacts were wiped.
Syncing to a computer is fantastic, but when ur hard drive gets corrupt, things can easily go downhill.
Apart from the general "create bugs so that an upgrade is needed", I believe that apple should not have allowed this to happen in the first place due to the fact this device is a phone. To loose ones contacts on a machine used for contacting others is simply unacceptable. The contacts should have been more secure. By my understanding to delete ones contacts you need to go into the contact you would like to delete, go through the confirmation stage and do this process one contact at a time. This issue has completely bypassed the user and without any time wasted, has unallocated the contact data leaving us without a foot to stand on.
There should be a program/app created now, that searches and recovers these missing contacts as a simple courtesy at the least.
Running iOS 5.1.1 iPhone 4.
I have not updated to ios 6.xx due to removal of integrated YouTube/Google maps.
While I am an iPhone fan, this issue is unacceptable.
Same thing just happened to me. I just assumed that when synching with iTunes it was backing up my contacts list, but no it wasn't. Safari locked up while reading Foxnews, then went back to icons screen, so I restarted it, and years worth of contacts were wiped out. I managed to restore some from a year-old backup on my Verizon Wireless backup at least. Totally blows.
So I called apple and their resolution was to upgrade to ios 6.1.3. I currently have 5.1.1. I said to the tech " so either stay on 5.1.1 and live with the issue or upgrade to latest iOS version and have it go away?". She basically said YES without literally saying YES. So my question to all. How many are on latest version of ios and still having this issue? I see a lot of people on 5.1.1 on this forum. Just curious. For me the fix is having contact on in iCloud setting and or if u have Verizon, back up your contacts with their app. Good luck all.
Adding reply from apple support from this mornings call.
Your support Advisor, Xxxx, has a follow-up message for you:
Good Morning, I apologize for not being able to offer a better solution regarding your problem other than updating to iOs 6.1.3 but hope we will have the chance to assist in the future. Thank you, Have A Great Day xxxxx
In response to that superficial reply from Apple Support - All my IOS devices are up to date, the wipe of my contacts was simply caused by Apple allowing Facebook to erase my contacts' postal address information under the guise of synchronisation.
Well, if that's synchronisation I'd hate to see what Apple's definition of 'replacement' is - total devastation I would think.