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Apple's latest iOS 9.3 update 'bricks' some older iPads, making them unusable

It seems the release of Apple's feature-packed iOS 9.3 update is not going over well with some users, as a small contingent of iPad owners are complaining of "bricked" hardware after attempting over-the-air and iTunes upgrades.

An unknown number of iPad owners, specifically those with second-generation models, are having trouble installing and activating the latest iOS version released Monday, according to posts on Apple's Support Communities forum and readers who reached out to AppleInsider.

The issue, which appears to be limited to older iPads, usually presents itself during the activation stage and multiple users have reported seeing authentication error messages. While the symptom suggests overly congested activation servers on Apple's end — situation normal for a new firmware release — some iPad owners have been waiting for 24 hours without luck.

A few Support pages forum members said they were able to work around the issue by downloading iOS 9.3 through iTunes on a Mac and installing over a hardwired USB connection, but others have attempted the same without success. Another method that proved effective for some is a full restore. It is recommended that users conduct a local or iCloud backup prior to restoring their device as the process erases all user data.

At least one Support Communities member affected by the potential bug took their device into a local Apple Store for help, but employees were unable to offer assistance.

Apple has not issued a statement regarding the matter and did not respond to a request for comment.