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Bug Businesses Communications Apple

iPhone Wants To Hang On To the Old Year 104

pdclarry writes "Users of the iPhone have noticed that it is showing December 31, 2007, even where it is already the new year. There have been a number of reports confirming the problem: Bug in Clock, Problem with New Year: My Clock — shows wrong year, Worldclock went wrong for "tomorrow" items."
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iPhone Wants To Hang On To the Old Year

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  • Here it's already 2008 and where new year's have not arrived the iPhone's clock application is showing 01/08/01, doesn't make sense at all.
    Hope they fix it soon although it's purely aesthetic.
    • by karnal ( 22275 )
      Maybe it's converting to MM/YY/DD.
      • by rednip ( 186217 )

        Maybe it's converting to MM/YY/DD.
        Nope, just checked, my iPhone is showing "07/12/31" for those cities for whom the new year has arrived. No big deal, I don't use the world clock anyways, I even had to add a couple of cities to it just to check the bug. Personally, I'm much more concerned over the lack of stereo bluetooth.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      When the local year rolls over to 2008 it corrects itself.

      So it is a limited bug.
      • That will repeat every new year. Not so limited... (darn, that wrecks using modpoints on this thread)
    • Slashdot responses...

      Apple messes up dates in the world clock: Hope they fix it soon although it's purely aesthetic.

      Microsoft messes up dates in the world clock: Haha, id10ts in Redmond - or - Oh no, the security implications are huge - or - If this was F/OSS someone would have noticed the bad date code and patched it.

      Google messes up dates in the world clock: Huh, I thought India was 16 hours behind me, but they must be in some crazy timezone that isn't what I expected.

  • That's a pretty egregious bug. One would think that somebody should have caught it in testing.

    On the other hand, the clock is set by the phone network, correct? (I don't own an iPhone but my non-iPhone does this, so I feel like this is a safe assumption.) If that's the case, maybe the code to read the year part of the network time has a bug.

    I wonder if this means that the 1.1.3 firmware is going to come out sooner, or be delayed. A invalid date could potentially break a lot of functionality.
    • It's not really an invalid date problem, but an incorrect conversion problem. If it's like every other Unix system (and there's no reason to believe it's not) the date and time are stored internally as an integer and converted on the fly to whatever format is required for display. However, when comparing two dates, the unconverted date (possibly plus or minus any adjustments for time zones) is used.
    • Like the others, my phone's World Clock function is showing 07/12/31 in Hong Kong and London.

      And I guess this is a feature, not a bug, but it shows that the date in my current time zone is "Today." Well, that's not all that helpful if I don't know what today's date is, is it?
    • by wdr1 ( 31310 ) *
      The general time/date/etc. is correct. It seems to manifest in "world clocks" only (at least for me).
    • by ribond ( 149811 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @01:19PM (#21875034) Journal
      That's a pretty egregious bug. One would think that somebody should have caught it in testing.

      They're expecting you to buy a new ipod/iphone/iWhatever each year. Why should the date change? That's the 2007 model!
  • Confirmed! (Score:5, Funny)

    by sg3000 ( 87992 ) * <> on Monday December 31, 2007 @07:58PM (#21870984)
    I just checked my iPhone, and the world clock says New Delhi is 2007/12/31, rather than 2008/01/01. The regular calendar that handles appointments is unaffected since all my appointments are showing up in 2008 correctly.

    I assume that this surprise (not bug) in the world clock is because the iPhone is so cool that we will no longer be advancing years beyond the year 2007. 2007 will be henceforth referred to the "year of our iPhone". Changing from our current B.C./A.D. [] system to this now A.i.P. calendar system is the real news.

    Happy Year 1 A.i.P. everyone!
    • by secolactico ( 519805 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @08:14PM (#21871074) Journal
      Happy Year 1 A.i.P. everyone!

      Wait... shouldn't it be 2 A.i.P.? I mean, since the year formerly known as 2007 is now 1 A.i.P. not 0 A.i.P. right?

      I can already hear the discussions 100 years from now as to when does the next century really start...
      • by Ambiguous Coward ( 205751 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @08:57PM (#21871272) Homepage
        I'm not so sure...I mean, A.i.P. stands for *After* iPhone, right? So 2007 was *during* the coming of the iPhone. It's sort of like counting from negative to positive. We say ..., -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, ..., rather than ..., -2, -1, 1, 2, ...

        This way, 2007 is simply the central point from which you count outwards. Anything prior is negative (clearly, since there was no could anything be *positive* in such a state? It's a wonder we survived those dark ages) and anything after is positive (because we have the iPhone! The time of enlightenment has arrived!)

        At least with the iPhone, we're much more likely to witness a second coming...and a third, fourth, fifth, and so on, ad nauseam. Go Apple! :P

        • by Faylone ( 880739 )
          Well, some [] claim the iPhone IS the second coming of Christ.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by tverbeek ( 457094 )

          A.i.P. stands for *After* iPhone, right?
          No. Just like "A.D." doesn't stand for "After Death" (as I was told in elementary school).

          The "A." stands for "Anno", Latin for "Year". "A.iP." stands for "Year of Our iPhone".
          • Ah. I was victim of the same educational offense. It never made sense to me, anyhow, since it would imply a missing gap of 20-30 years, since Before Christ would be before he was born, and After Death would be some time later. Anyhow, I still stand by my reasoning that yes, there *is* a year zero. Otherwise, the math just don't add up none. :P

            • by Anomolous Cowturd ( 190524 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @03:43AM (#21872836)
              Programmers everywhere are dreading the unpredictable "second coming bug".
            • by mce ( 509 )

              Math-wise there is a year 0 only if your reference point lasts a year. But the birth of Christ didn't take a year, just a few hours (or a single second if you consider that we generally say that someone was born on YYYMMDD at hh:mm, irrespective of labour). Therefore, in Christian/western historical counting there is no - and has never been - a year 0. Year 1 AD starts at the moment of his birth (being the first year after his birth), Year -1 AD stops at that very same momment (being the last year before i

            • The 3rd millenium officially started 2001, but no-one wants to be a partypooper.
              • Just to be on the safe side, I do my part by celebrating the new millennium every single day, in the usual way: fireworks, heavy drinking, rioting, and hiding in my bomb shelter in fear of the next epoch bug.

        • by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @12:55AM (#21872276) Journal

          At least with the iPhone, we're much more likely to witness a second coming...and a third, fourth, fifth, and so on, ad nauseam.
          I didn't know the iPhone's vibration function was so strong!
      • by The One and Only ( 691315 ) * <[ten.hclewlihp] [ta] [lihp]> on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @03:38AM (#21872816) Homepage
        There are two kinds of people in the world: (1) Those who start their arrays from 1 and (1) Those who start their arrays from 0.
        • i'm trying very hard to throw points at you...

          let me know when it starts working.
        • There are two kinds of people in the world: (1) Those who start their arrays from 1 and (1) Those who start their arrays from 0.
          You forgot ("table") Those who use associative arrays
    • Unfortunately the iPhone uses 1 digit to store the year in order to save space.
    • You know, the ones where September 1993 continued through February 9, 2005.
  • Not a bug (Score:5, Funny)

    by CokeBear ( 16811 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @07:59PM (#21870992) Journal
    Its designed only to last until the end of 2007.
    Now that it is 2008, you need to buy a new one.
    • Sad, but true
  • The iPhone uses an ARM CPU [] for its processor. I did a Google search on any DateTime-related problems, and found two of interest, one of which was solved by disabling code optimizations. Someone with more experience should look into this idea. [] []
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekboy642 ( 799087 )
      Those two issues with software/runtime libraries being ported are completely irrelevant to a bug in a display module of a clock built in native code. Don't trust the first Google link you get if you don't understand the topic.
    • I have a little nslu2 I have debian installed on. It runs a ARM processor.

      I just check it's time Both date and hwclock are reporting wrong. I have it's clock set to utc.

      Interesting bug, I will set the clock tomorrow to see if it happens again.

      • by Briareos ( 21163 )
        Both date and hwclock report the right date for me on my NSLU2 running Debian, so something must be majorly wrong on your end.

        Also, even if hwclock were to report a bad time why should it concern the date command which just reports the kernel's idea of the current date and time which is keeping its own time? Nevermind getting updated regularly via ntp?

        Not that I'd think that the ARM CPUs in the NSLU2 and the iPhone would have the same RTC hardware, since that's not part of the CPU. Also, dates are calculate
        • Yep. I should have mentioned that I am the one that had the date wrong.

          So it's a day off. My bad.

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday December 31, 2007 @08:13PM (#21871072)
    And they said I was crazy for stockpiling all that food!
  • by fluch ( 126140 )
    The iPhone is sooo 2007! Apparently. ;-)
  • 1.1.3 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gutnor ( 872759 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @08:33PM (#21871178)
    I guess that we now know for sure 1 of the features of the new firmware 1.1.3.
    Compatibility with 2008 !
    • 1.1.3 is already in testing. Nobody uses the date on their phone anyway, so they'll just wait for :-)
      • If 1.1.3 adds just a fix for this, I'd skip it. I have a site,, which I'll post any deltas of the forthcoming 1.1.3 update to. I suspect it's just trivial BS and maybe a block to those of us who unjail our iPods/iPhones so we can add third party apps. No good reason to install 1.1.3 unless it adds some killer app (FLASH PLEASE). Even so, even with Flash, I'd probably wait for the unjail process to be solidified, or for the flash stuff to be backported to 1.1.1 or 1.1.2 by the mods comm
        • The stuff I've read says that 1.1.3 is going to be fairly substantial.

          Supposedly you're going to be able to move icons on the iPhone's "desktop", set icons for favorite websites, etc.

          But no, no Flash. Which makes no sense. For the people worried about battery life / CPU power, they could make Flash an opt-in setting.
          • The stuff I've read says that 1.1.3 is going to be fairly substantial.

            Supposedly you're going to be able to move icons on the iPhone's "desktop", set icons for favorite websites, etc.

            Ah, as I can more or less do today with "smbprefs" and "customize".

            But no, no Flash. Which makes no sense. For the people worried about battery life / CPU power, they could make Flash an opt-in setting.

            No flash, no upgrade, far as I'm concerned. Custom icons were solved months ago by the hacker community. Same with moving icons around on the screen. If that's all they've got for 1.1.3, I'll wait for Flash. Got a source for that info, by the way? I'd love to read it.

          • I for one hope flash never comes to the iPhone. I'm tired of reading everyone beg to have crappy battery life. I appreciate you saying it should be opt out but I suspect most other folks asking for it are not understanding the true impact of their wish on hardware rev 1.
            • Does it somehow drain the battery when you aren't using it? I'll answer that for you - no, it doesn't. Quit bitching about useless stuff.
  • by UbuntuDupe ( 970646 ) * on Monday December 31, 2007 @08:38PM (#21871194) Journal
    I'm a little disappointed. No one seems to be considering the possibility that the OTHER clocks are wrong, and the iPhone (er, I mean, and iPhone) is right?

    I mean, come on, which is more likely, that some central time authority everyone is syncing to had a glitch, or that an Apple product was in some way imperfect?

    Think about it.
    • It would certainly open whole new avenues of scientific research if it turned out that something like a cesium clock can suddenly have such a disparity from it's regular exponentially fractional precision. I would really like to read some of the doctoral papers that would suddenly arrise in an attempt to understand and explain the occurance.
  • Since I don't own an iPhone, and I didn't RTFA (much), I gotta ask...
    Is it getting its time from AT&T's network? If so, is this really Apple's fault?
    I've had similar problems on more than one occasion with a regular cell phone showing daylight savings time wrong, or radio stations broadcasting RDS with the time wrong, and the downstream device dutifully sets itself to whatever it gets over the air.
    • It's also on the iPod touch, which isn't getting its time from the network (I'd be very surprised if it could). Reykjavik and zones to the east all show 31 Dec 2007 instead of the customary "Tomorrow" for those presently past-midnight WorldClock choices. All the way, that is, until Pago-Pago, Samoa, across the date line, where it is showing Today. Wellington, New Zealand is the same time modulo 24 hours, only Tomorrow, er, 31 Dec 2007 iTouch(iPod) Central Standard Time. :)
  • Like this problem has never been solved before...

    What kind of incompetents write this software? It is not even that you have to solve this for yourself. Just take a day to research solutions. And then test it. Hint: The tests should include new year, end of February in a leap year. Run this for the next 100 years or so (simulated, of course) and avoid embarassment.

    Seriouly, those responsible shoud be fired with a perfomance review that prevents them from ever writing software for others again.
  • by rob1980 ( 941751 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @10:21PM (#21871678)
    Oh wait, it's only 830. nm.
  • by Aphrika ( 756248 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @10:50PM (#21871770)
    Well, it seemed to be ok, until I go into the clock application and all the dates read 08/01/01.

    System settings say 1 January 2008, so I assume it's a display error. At least it rolled over into 2008 though which is what I thought the main article said was the problem. Odd really, as you'd expect such as basic issue to be caught in testing.
    • by NateTech ( 50881 )
      Ha. Hey guys, another newbie here thinks companies have time/budget/staff for this thing he calls "testing" again!

      Didn't he get the memo? Only enough of this "testing" to be able to say it was done is ever accomplished anymore. Anything beyond that is a waste of resources that could be used getting the next crap-tacular product out the door.

      Man I love Slashdot. Always good for a laugh.
    • I had a Tandy 102 for taking notes in law school. It actually decremented the year in 1988 . . .

  • That's Ok... (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by dreamchaser ( 49529 )
    Lord Steve will just declare Dates to be irrelevant and the herds of his fanbo...I mean devotees will march in lockstep.
  • As mentioned above, the problem also occurs on the iPod Touch under the Clock icon function.

    Oh, and for those with Mac OS/X, the fifth generation of the iCal application still totally misses the Gregorian conversion that occurred in September 1572.

    For those with Unix, type "cal 1572" into a shell and then "man cal" for an explanation.
    • by fluch ( 126140 )
      1752 is what you mean. 1752. ;-)
      • Yeah, but its even more confusing than that. 1582 is the date that one of the Popes( Greogory, hence Gregorian Calendar) decreed the calendars change. The protestant heathens refused as they didn't read about the time change in the bible, or int the wittings of martin Luther. So they kept the old Julian system until 1752. So there are dates that did exist in some countries that didn't in others, and there was a disagreement about the date between countries.

        As per usual read the wiki Here []

        After writin
  • Bug report entered (Score:4, Informative)

    by edp ( 171151 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @01:13AM (#21872314) Homepage

    I work at Apple, and I entered a bug report. I suspect the problem is merely a display error in World Clock, but, since it is affecting many people, I asked my manager to ensure the right people are notified quickly.

    The problem does not seem to affect date displays outside of World Clock. For example, if you go into General settings, then Date & Time, turn off "Set Automatically," set the date to January 1, 2008, and then look at some recent calls in the phone, you will see they have correct dates. At least for me. If somebody observes otherwise, please let me know, and I will add it to the bug report.

  • I'm in Atlanta (EST). I just threw up a couple of World Clocks (hadn't bothered with that prior to this), one for Denver, one for Honolulu. Both display the dates as "08/01/01" (nevermind it's still 12/31/07 in both time zones).
    • "...I just threw up a couple of World Clocks..."

      Dude, I do NOT want to know what you were drinking last night.
  • Switched from Dec 07 to Jan 08 exactly on time.
    • Hmmm.... most other people would be breaking open champagne and kissing a loved one at midnight on New Years Eve.

      But iPhone users are staring into their phones... I guess that says it all.

      • by tgibbs ( 83782 )

        Hmmm.... most other people would be breaking open champagne and kissing a loved one at midnight on New Years Eve.
        But iPhone users are staring into their phones... I guess that says it all.

        Actually, in the minutes before New Years Eve, most people are looking at their watch, waiting for the precise moment to crack open the champagne.

        Like many iPhone owners, I no longer bother to carry a watch.
    • I checked mine (and my wife's) at about 1AM on Jan 1... they both rolled over just fine. Sounds like our SEP field [] is working just fine.
  • Hmmm. All my Windows Mobile devices have seemed to figure out that it's 2008..... It could be because I have an autographed picture of Bill Gates watching over my computer (no seriously). muahahaha -1 troll me! Happy new year from your pal Bill Gates!
  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @07:34AM (#21873380)
    Your 2 year contract only expires when the iPhone says it does.
  • I'm running Leopard, and the dock icon for iCal is still displaying Dec 31 for me, even though it is almost Jan 2 here.

    While iCal is running it displays the right date, but reverts to Dec 31 as soon as iCal is quit.
    • That's almost normal.. although early reports said it was "fixed" in Leopard. But on Tiger, the icon wouldn't update. (the actual image file). Pretty minor bug, unrelated to this problem, and if I do say so, I would rather not have my resources consumed with updating an image file.
  • Feel free to call me crazy on this one, but has it been considered such an obvious error was intentionally left in place to "encourage" iPhone users to update their firmware once the next release is issued? No matter how cool it may seem to show off your 3rd party apps running on your jailbroken iPhone, it's unlikely anyone who bothered to jailbrake their iPhone will want to show it off with a screwed up date/time setting they can't correct by themselves.

    Of course, if Apple does finally release a "true" iPh
  • I have no iPhone, but my 5G iPod with Video is keeping perfect track of time and date. Does that mean it's Linux?
  • I live in Norway and use Telenor as my carrier on my iPhone with 1.1.1 firmware... It shows all the dates correct. Shame on AT&T?

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"