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iOS5 Bug – SOS Only

on October 25, 2011 | iPhone | Comments (20)

If you have upgraded your iPhone to iOS5 you may notice occasionally your network coverage says SOS Only.

This seems to be a bug affecting iOS5 users. I’ve tested this and it seems you can still make calls and send text messages, but the error is confusing as you may often think you have no signal or network coverage.

There doesn’t seem to be a statement from Apple about this yet, but no doubt the next firmware update will correct this problem.

You can restart your phone which may fix the issue for the time being.

Users from all around the world are reporting this bug.


David Cowling : Editor and Founder of SocialMediaNews.com.au. I also run a Social Media Agency where I do consulting work and another blog dedicated to Instagram news. Connect with me: Twitter | LinkedIn | Google + or contact me here. Alternatively, you can send me an email at david@socialmedianews.com.au

  • Hi I haven't had this bug but another issue is not being able to play my music!

    I have searched for an answer and it looks like one has to remove and re-install the music.

    Here is a good article with the steps….I will try this today:
    http://www.iosappadvice.com/forum/fix-music-not-w

  • Damn, not being able to play music is pretty annoying!

    • jerry

      this problem makes me miss several important call, and apple didnt want to change a new one for me….i feel that apple product is getting worse….maybe HTC IS BETTER….

  • Jason

    My Iphone 4 now does the SOS Only, and started doing this a few days after the upgrade.
    All 5 times, I have tried to make a phone call, the phone locked up and then after a minute the SOS Only signal was displayed. The phone still was locked up, and only way out is to reboot followed by unlocking the sim.
    Removing the PIN didn't change a thing.
    Apple, you're testing my loyalty!!

    • brian

      How do you unlock sos only from my apple iphone so i can ring and receive calls

  • Jason – that doesn't sound good.

    No doubt Apple is getting a huge amount of feedback from all around the world on this issue. I am sure internally they are scrambling for a fix they can roll out asap!

  • loveleena

    what is the solution to get rid of this bug ?

  • Bez

    Same. Getting same issue but can't do dick after getting SOS.. Seems to happen once network drops out, then stays on SOS until reboot.

  • Luke

    I have had the bug too… But no amount of resets got it going. It happened after i switched off my phone to go into a movie. Then once back on i couldn't get a signal. However as soon as i synced with my imac all my sms came in together and i had a signal again.

    • Janine

      Thanks so much Luke, I was having minor heart failure after the same happened to me after my phone was charging and I turned it on. Tried Telstra (Aussie provider) and they had no advice other than take it to one of their shops which wasnt an option with an early morning start and expecting a lot of phone calls. You've saved me a sleepless night as I followed your advice and synced my phone and it is now not showing the SOS. Thanks heaps!

  • rocco

    I am getting that sos only bug too, I have only had the iphone a week 🙁

  • conzza

    I have an Ipad 2 – mine did it with Ios 5.0. I just bought a sim and it would show SOS or invalid sim or no signal. I updated to 5.1 and it boots up with signal but if it drops out then it goes to SOS only and a reboot is needed to get it going again.

    Hope its in the NEXT update..

    My friends Ipad has no problems.

  • Steven

    I got this bug on iphone4 and 4s as well, have to restart my iphone.

  • Travis

    just got the sos when i woke up pretty annoying i will restart my phone

  • Mick

    Hey Davie,I know not much about the workings of my IPad but what I did was sync to my computer and the SOS was still there. Then what I did was to hold down the on off button for about 5seconds and whalla non more SOS. True I'm over the moon.

  • hales.shanz

    Ok, so I just went to Australia from NZ and the same thing happened to me. I was so annoyed as I couldn't text, ring or anything. I returned to NZ this morning, rang telecom and they said it's a hardware issue and talked me through this:

    Settings, Phone, SIM applications, roaming menu, manual, select your provider, accept.

    Go through each stage and this fixed the problem!!

    Good luck!!

  • YAY… THANKS so much hales.shanz – I didn't even get passed going to SIM applications and it was fixed!!! 🙂

  • Melissa

    Hi my iPhone 4s will not unlock the sim i have the right code and it just stays on the same screen and reads sos only has been working fine till now. What can i do ?? the sim works in other phones.

  • Annette

    Hi I just got an iphone 3gs I am not really up on these new smartphones so I wanted one that I thought would be easy to use ( WRONG ) I keep getting the SOS only & have tried to send & phone but nothing will work. I am so frustrated, if I phone apple will they be able to help me??

  • Annette

    Hi I just got an iphone 3gs I am not really up on these new smartphones so I wanted one that I thought would be easy to use ( WRONG ) I keep getting the SOS only & have tried to send & phone but nothing will work. I am so frustrated, if I phone apple will they be able to help me??











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