Apple servers fall over, iOS bricks iDevices

Many users trying to upgrade their Apple iDevices to the latest iOS 4.3.3 version are being left with a bricked gadget.

It seems Apple's iTunes activation servers developed a mind of their own - which may be more than can be said for many users of the software. Apple’s Support Communities have been bombarded with messages from folk left holding useless gadgets including iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches.

The cock-up was first reported on Friday evening. Once a required firmware download and upgrade completes, many devices give up the ghost, unable as they are to contact the iTunes activation servers to finish the installation:

"There is a problem with your device," reads the error message users are reporting. "We’re sorry; the device you connected may be damaged and cannot be activated for service. We recommend you visit your nearest Apple Store for more information. To find your nearest Apple Store, click here."

Apple is aware of the problem and has been out with screwdriver and rubber bands in an effort to sort things out. Some of the afflicted servers are apparently up and running again. In fact, reports from users as far apart as Sweden and Trinidad say their borked gadgets are now working again.

Some usesr are reporting getting shiny new replacement kit from their local Apple store after the 'geniuses' there were left scratching the heads by the cock-up.