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iPhone 4S users should avoid iOS 6.1, says Vodafone

iPhone 4S owners should avoid upgrading to Apple's latest iOS 6.1 update due to numerous bugs, according to Vodafone.

The recently-released iOS 6.1 update brings bug-fixes and other enhancements to Apple's iOS platform, which powers the iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, iPod Touch and Apple TV. However, a flaw with the update when installed on an iPhone 4S has left users with batteries that drain significantly faster and network connectivity issues.

The problem is serious enough for Vodafone's UK arm to warn its customers to "hold off for the next version [of iOS] while Apple fixes 3G performance issues". It's these issues that are thought to be responsible for both the rapidly draining battery and a significant increase in dropped calls and lost data connections.

The flaw is thought to only affect the iPhone 4S handset, with the older iPhone 4 and newer iPhone 5 for some reason dodging the bullet. Non-iPhone devices, including 3G versions of the iPad 4 and iPad Mini, are similarly immune to the issue.

Apple has not yet commented on the problem, but early hopes that the issue may be resolved in the upcoming iOS 6.1.1 update seem overly optimistic: Apple had already begun the process of seeding iOS 6.1.1 to developers for beta testing before the iPhone 4S problem appeared, suggesting it may be too late for a fix to be developed in time for inclusion in the update.

For now, iPhone 4S owners are advised to ignore their handsets' requests to install the update, while those that have already installed the upgrade to iOS 6.1 should consider rolling their handset back to an earlier release or switching their iPhone to a 2G connection until a fix is released by Apple.

The new flaw in iOS 6.1 joins a more widespread issue on all devices, affecting business users: when connecting to a Microsoft Exchange account, iOS sends excess traffic to the server. As a result, business users are also being advised to hold off on installing iOS 6.1, meaning Apple has a significant amount of work ahead of it if it wants to maintain the trust of the lucrative corporate market.

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