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Apple's iOS 12.1.2 fixes eSIM and cellular errors, but it may be more

Samuel AxonApple released a new version of iOS yesterday, and the public only notes this time on iPhone only. Marked iOS 12.1.2, it only comes two weeks after 12.1.1 hit and first and foremost fixes a couple of bugs. Both bugs are related to cellular connection and only apply to the three phones just released this year: iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. One is a problem with eSIM activation on these devices. (eSIM is a new feature in these phones that allows a single phone to have multiple numbers or carriers; they are useful if you have separate personal and work numbers, for example, or a frequent international traveler.) Other bugs are related to cellular connection especially in Turkey. Here are the notes that are included with the update: iOS 1 2.1.2 contains bugfixes for your iPhone. This update: Fixed bugs with eSIM activation for iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max Addresses a problem that may affect mobile phone connection in Turkey for iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max Cadence of this update is unusual; Apple usually waits between updates and distributes more beta versions than we have seen here. When that cadence has been broken recently, it is because the current update addresses a very pressing and serious problem. For example, Apple released a quick follow-up of minor updates to iOS 11 (11.0.1, 11.0.2, 11.0.3) by the end of 2017. These updates resolved a problem that broke email functionality with Exchange servers,…

 iPhone XR.

Samuel Axon

Apple released a new version of iOS yesterday, and the public only notes this time on iPhone only. Marked iOS 12.1.2, it only comes two weeks after 12.1.1 hit and first and foremost fixes a couple of bugs.

Both bugs are related to cellular connection and only apply to the three phones just released this year: iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. One is a problem with eSIM activation on these devices. (eSIM is a new feature in these phones that allows a single phone to have multiple numbers or carriers; they are useful if you have separate personal and work numbers, for example, or a frequent international traveler.)

Other bugs are related to cellular connection especially in Turkey.

Here are the notes that are included with the update:

iOS 1

2.1.2 contains bugfixes for your iPhone. This update:

  • Fixed bugs with eSIM activation for iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max
  • Addresses a problem that may affect mobile phone connection in Turkey for iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

Cadence of this update is unusual; Apple usually waits between updates and distributes more beta versions than we have seen here. When that cadence has been broken recently, it is because the current update addresses a very pressing and serious problem. For example, Apple released a quick follow-up of minor updates to iOS 11 (11.0.1, 11.0.2, 11.0.3) by the end of 2017. These updates resolved a problem that broke email functionality with Exchange servers, then an audio issue with iPhones, then audio and screen issues on iPhones, all within a few weeks.

These eSIM issues are quite small which has led to enthusiast publications like AppleInsider and MacRumors to speculate that iOS 12.1.2 may contain changes that deal with Qualcomm patent violations that led the Qualcomm modifier to seek a ban on the sale of some iPhones in China. If these changes are included, Apple has not spoken publicly about them.

Usually, Apple has also provided a list of security changes associated with each update on its developer site. But the post for iOS 12.1.2 reads “This update has not been published CVE records.”

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