Two-year-old boy locks parent's iPhone for 47 years

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Allowing a toddler to use a smartphone doesn’t sound like a great idea. Not only might they start playing catch with it, but you also run the risk of being locked out of your device for almost five decades. That latter scenario happened to a Chinese mother, whose two-year-old son entered an incorrect passcode into an iPhone so many times that it was disabled for 47.5 years.

According to news site Kankanews.com (via the South China Morning Post), the incident took place at the start of the year after the mother handed over her iPhone to her child so he could watch educational videos online. She returned home one day to find the boy’s repeated failed attempts to enter the passcode had locked it for 25 million minutes.

While the report doesn’t specify which iPhone was being used, it appears to be an iPhone 5; a handset that launched before the arrival of Apple’s Touch ID and Face ID biometric security.

The system gives users five attempts to enter the correct passcode, but every subsequent attempt after this adds a time-based lock penalty that keeps increasing in length.

Shanghai Apple store technician Wei Chunlong said there had been phones locked for up to 80 years using the same method. “In this woman’s case, the only way out [without waiting] is to erase all the phone data and do a factory reset,” he said.

The woman reportedly waited two months in the hope that the issue would fix itself, before deciding to seek help. “I couldn’t really wait for 47 years and tell my grandchild it was your father’s mistake,” she said.

Sadly for this parent, it seems that she never backed up the contents of her phone, so she’ll either have to lose everything or wait until the year 2065 for the iPhone to unlock.

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VitalyT

Russ-Puss
I would just wait and see what happens, it's the only logical step. And if it doesn't start working 47 years later - call Apple's support (thought by then it could be called Pitches, and hopefully selling nothing but).
 
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cartera

TS Evangelist
'Educational videos' I'm pocketing that for next time someone judges me for giving my child a tablet or phone to keep them quiet.
 
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TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
"... handed over her iPhone to her child so he could watch educational videos online."

Yeah, right. Serves her right for using her phone as a babysitting tool instead of just taking care of the kid herself.
 

TheBigT42

TS Guru
My son used to get his sister's ipod touch and enter the wrong password until she was locked out for hours just to piss her off. Good Times Being a parent.
 
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antiproduct

TS Addict
Doesn't the lockout go to hours, then days? I wouldn't imagine it would be like 5 min, 10 min, 47 years. So how long did she really leave this phone with the kid for?? Also, that's quite an attention span for a kid to go "oh, I gotta try in a couple minutes/hours" and have the kid keep trying. I would think most kids would be like "what? locked out for 5 minutes??! That's like forreeevvverrrr" and then move on to something else.
 

jason lee

TS Rookie
I blame the Apple's software engineers for such a ridiculous anti-security design.

Just how they screwed up their own Apple Maps, same with how they slowed down speed with iOS11 upgrade.
 
'Educational videos' I'm pocketing that for next time someone judges me for giving my child a tablet or phone to keep them quiet.
If it's the only way to keep them quiet your raising them wrong. Shame they are the ones who will suffer from eye and social problems and you will get no punishment for being the one who caused it all. If you didn't want kids why didn't you go for abortion? If your their father and only stick around because "you have to" I just have to say, no you don't have to stay, they will be better off without you.
 

GregonMaui

TS Booster
Are we sure this isn't FAKE NEWS? I am pretty sure thats not the way it works. I can find no reference on google to support this article. More like it disables the phone, or erases the data after 10 attempts.

Maybe someone smarter than me could find a reference to an article to support this claim before we all run around believing it when in fact it is not true.
 
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Xasrai

TS Member
Are we sure this isn't FAKE NEWS? I am pretty sure thats not the way it works. I can find no reference on google to support this article. More like it disables the phone, or erases the data after 10 attempts.

Maybe someone smarter than me could find a reference to an article to support this claim before we all run around believing it when in fact it is not true.
I agree. Further, I don't see any possible way for the scale to go, "2 hours locked, now 47 years locked" there should surely be a lock in between at, say, 1 day?
 

cartera

TS Evangelist
If it's the only way to keep them quiet your raising them wrong. Shame they are the ones who will suffer from eye and social problems and you will get no punishment for being the one who caused it all. If you didn't want kids why didn't you go for abortion? If your their father and only stick around because "you have to" I just have to say, no you don't have to stay, they will be better off without you.
Just wow!

In our current age if I didn't educate and allow my child to learn to use technology would I not be doing them a disservice? Our very society pretty much relies on this very technology we are talking about. I also shouldn't have to justify allowing my child to learn by play.

I'm not even going to counter the abortion comment.
Last of all, the comment was said with a heap of sarcasm. Which I think most readers could tell, perhaps your the one with lacking social skills. Please don't reply, I'd hate to hurt your eyes with all that extra blue light.
 

erickmendes

TS Evangelist
I would wait 47 years, and if the phone doesn't unlock with the correct code by then, I would sue the as* out of Apple for waiting 47 years and not being able to unlock my phone.
 

McMurdeR

TS Addict
"... handed over her iPhone to her child so
Yeah, right. Serves her right for using her phone as a babysitting tool instead of just taking care of the kid herself.
"... handed over her iPhone to her child so he could watch educational videos online."

Yeah, right. Serves her right for using her phone as a babysitting tool instead of just taking care of the kid herself.
Haha! Hopefully someone will remind you of that if you're lucky enough to have kids of your own.