I just met with my contact at Apple regarding the Error (3) issue. I as stated earlier, I can only share bits and pieces about what is being done on this issue. Here is my interpretation of what I can share openly.
"Apple team(s) are aware of the issue. It has been duplicated inside Apple, the cause has been studied and is understood. Software solutions are being considered but the decision to roll out a fix or not, has yet been made."
NOTE: The words above are 'solely mine' and in no way reflect any position Apple or anyone at Apple is taking on this issue. My sole goal in sharing this information with the people in this thread is to let you know that, in my opinion, Apple takes all product issues a customer has with their devices seriously and would like to fix every problem anyone has with an Apple device, but sadly, it is not always possible or practical to do so.
From my 30 years experience in high volume manufacturing, with any high volume product, an "issue" has to rise to a minimum "defect level" before resources are (1) put into analyzing the issue, then (2) coming up with a solution(s) to the issue, then (3) determining whether or not the risk/benefit ratio is "across the line" to roll out a "solution" to the issue.
This thread has done an excellent job of getting Apple to get through steps (1) and (2). Right now, its not clear if the volume of device failures is sufficient "at this time" to come out on the "solution roll out" side of step (3).
Nobody wants to have their $700-$1000 device become a "brick" due to an Apple iOS update. Apple I'm sure doesnt' want that either. However, with any "solution" to a problem, there are "risks" that the "solution" could cause a failure rate equal to or higher than that currently in existence. We have some 40K hits on this thread, and there are likely multiples of people who have this issue that don't know about this thread but have bricked Error (3) devices, but that's a math guessing game.
My contact at Apple is doing what they can to convince the "powers that be" that this issue is likely to only get worse with time, due the the basic "physics" of Flash chip technology, and that Apple should "roll out" a "solution". We need this threads help to make this happen.
How? Call AppleCare and have a bug report filed on this problem on your device. Do so before next Tuesday. AppleCare is the "key" to pushing through (3) above. Fundamentally, we need more people making "NOISE". The squeaky wheel gets the grease and we need to be "more squeaky". I've done all I can at this point and pushing it across the goal line, is now in the hands of those in this thread willing to pick up the phone and call AppleCare and register a complaint, and DO IT BEFORE NEXT TUESDAY! (don't ask me why).
Just called them and tried to explain the error 3. Of course they tell me to go through a series of pointless tasks that I've obviously already tried to fix the problem...useless. One time, the guy actually told me to call Microsoft and inquire about error 3! Lol, these people are clueless. They all seem to be under the impression that this issue is a problem with iTunes or the computer, rather than the iphone it self. Anyways, I cant seem to get them to do anything due to the fact that i dont have access to serial number or imei. The phone doesnt boot, so i can get it from the settings app, and i no longer have the packaging so thats also a no go.
Also, some info: Ive got an iPhone 4s, tried restoring/updating via iTunes, got error 3, and phone will only boot into recovery mode now. Heres the log if anyones interested: http://pastebin.com/d0fH0Nnn
Ive tried freezing the phone for 40 minutes and restoring, but it didnt do the trick. Ive also tried freezing the phone for about a week, and that has not worked either.
Hey kennethyoung, I've read and aknolowdged your last post, even posted a small thing on facebook to try to get more attention to our cause till next tuesday... anyways, I was getting a little nervous about this timeframe and tryed to redo to restore process, this time after a 45min into the freezer, and I almost thought it would go through bu it didn't...
I'm attaching the log file so you may have a look and maybe see anything different...
Thanks for all the help on that matter!
I just wanted to thank you very much, I to had this error and tried everything out there to fix it, saw your post and figured i would try it. It worked! i put in freezer for 40 mins, with rice, paper towel and rice. took it out started the restore immediately. i also placed the ipad on a table, i figured if i held it, it might heat back up to fast. at the point of firm ware was slowest, actually it went through twice itself, at one point i thought it wasnt going to go any further but it did! thank you so much for this post!
I just had this exact same issue with my iPhone 5. I took it to the Apple Store this morning and they fixed it within 15 minutes. Here's what she did:
1. Plug the phone in and open iTunes
2. When the message comes up asking to restore the phone, do this:
a. Hold down both the top and bottom buttons until the screen goes black
b. Before the apple sign comes back on, let go of the top button and continue holding the bottom button for 8 seconds.
c. After 8 seconds, let go of the bottom button.
d. iTunes prompted me from there.
After it fully restored, I set up my phone as a new iPhone. The Apple Store employee said that I could try to restore my phone from backup using my iTunes when I got home, but that there was a chance that the backup could cause my phone to have the same problem again (constantly saying "searching" and having no cell service). Since my contacts were backed up to my iCloud, I'm just going to play it safe and leave it.
Just to note, the Apple Store employee didn't even hint that the issue wasn't fixable. She seemed to immediately know what the issue was and how to fix it. So for those of you who were told that your phone is now a brick, you may want to try this.
So happy one of our threads solutions worked for you! Everyone, if our thread helps, or doesn't help, "unbrick" your iDevice, please take a minute and let us know via this thread. The "hit" count on this thread will/can make a difference in Apple decision process to "fix" this issue via a firmware update.
As indicated by others, what you did is known as a "DFU Restore". Is is a 'deeper' Restore and has been reported to "fix" some devices, so we're glad you found this thread and reported your solution. While it is possible the DFU Restore "fixed" your device, it is also possible that your iDevice had been "off" for a period of time, allowing all the internals to "cool off" a bit. This problem is very temperature sensitive, as others have reported 3-5 degrees cooler has "recovered" some devices. Regardless, glad you are up and running again!
I have an iPhone 4s, which was working great until i tried restoring/updating via iTunes, got error 3, and my phone will only boot into recovery mode now. I went to the apple store to talk with them about the issue. they were confused and did not recognise error 3 as anything.They just told me it was a hardware failure and it was time to buy a new phone and update to the newest model. I was pretty upset about their solution and they told me to call apple care to see if they would help me out. Called Apple care and they didnt know what error 3 was either. the representative i was talking to then went to talk to his supervisor and when he came back he told me it was a hardware issue and i had to buy a new phone or get this one repaired for $200. I told him i had read about this issue on forums and it sounded like it was an issue with the firmware. I have had this phone for 2 years. It cost a lot of money and when i asked the representative what kind of hardware issue it could be considering there were no issues prior to me updating the phone he just said that the hardware could fail at any moment and if it isnt under warranty there is nothing they can do to help. I am so frustrated and upset about all of this. reading all these posts makes me want to never buy any more apple products again ever and spread the word. Feel like im being scammed.