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AT&T Pushes First OTA Update Changing Carrier To 7.1

We first reported about AT&T using 7-14 days OTA update cycle which our source confirmed. He also mentioned that he saw 6 month worth of OTA updates in the server. Now the same source has double confirmed us that his iPhone has received a mandatory update from AT&T which has updated the carrier to AT&T 7.1.

iPhone 7.1

The iPhone 4 with this source is exactly 7 and half days old. This OTA will roll out slowly to more AT&T users starting today.

The Mandatory pop-up can be seen in the screenshot below and will show on top of everything else on the iPhone. Clicking Accept will restart your iPhone, and apply the update.

ota update

The only way to prevent this update is to click Cancel or the small “Back” icon on top left side of the screen. But be warned that if you shutdown or restart your phone, it will apply the update automatically once it is turned back on. There is a reason it is called a Mandatory update.

It must be noted that this OTA update can never brick your phone, it does nothing except giving data issues even when 3G has full signal. Some people are getting no data on their 3G network, confirms the source. The reason is because the iPhone portion is updated but not the AT&T, thus iPhones will not be able to use Internet.

To confirm that your iPhone is not up to date on AT&T, go to Network Settings and look at the part “Internet Tethering”. If there is no option for Internet Tethering, then your phone is not updated to current AT&T network settings.

Basically it comes down to this, AT&T sending OTA update to check your settings, and asking you to update it to continue using the internet.

If you complain to AT&T that the internet is not working, they will simply ask you to restore the phone and update to the latest OTA update. Now the internet will start working again and you can jailbreak your iPhone once again, but after 7-14 days they will release another OTA that will kill the internet, and the process goes on and on.


  1. hey jack ass… carrier updates don’t do anything to jailbreaks or unlocks. they can’t! you’re not thinking with your head here at all. you don’t understand the technical side of this it sounds like (which is pretty sad that i’m the one telling you this). jailbreaks and unlocks involve hardware and software that can’t be updated or changed via a damn carrier update. IF (and that’s a big if considering i haven’t seen this OTA update, and it’s been a week since you posted this) AT&T is sending out OTA carrier files, the worst they could do would be something like disabling unauthorized tethering (which isn’t even available yet). stop with the fud my man… seriously.

    • Did I say that they do something to jailbreaks and unlocks? I would be glad if you can mention the line in the article you are referring towards.

    • “…those who receive the updates will be safe while those who don’t get it, their phones will be locked.” and

      “Not on the network, no update. Thus, your phone gets locked down.” and

      “…go ahead Try to unlock the iPhone it will only last 14 days max then you will have to break that update for that one week then again and again we currently have 6 months worth of updates for this iOS4.” and

      “…you will then receive no Signal from the network anymore and your iPhone will potentially lock up with no signs of use…”

      Are these not referring to a situation where an unlock solution (jailbreaks are not specifically mentioned as a consequence of OTA’s, only of contacting apple support on the jailbroken handset) would be foiled by OTA’s, or a lack thereof?

      Just trying to get a hold of the situation. Still waiting for a jailbreak/unlock solution for iPhone 4 to be used in Japan with their iPhone 4 carrier. Not even sure if they’ll sell me a microsim for my phone, and with all this stuff there’s just too much to worry about. Shoulda forked out the extra $700 for a factory unlocked handset.

  2. Now that 3.1.3 is unlockable, would it be safe to not upgrade to 4.0 and stay on 3.1.3 to avoid these OTA updates?

    • Indeed, Until your phone has a Jailbreak for it, don’t update. Stay with 3.1.3 till then.

  3. A question I have, how can apple communicate with a phone OTA that isn’t on the AT&T network? The OTA wouldn’t and couldn’t be downloaded by say T-Mobile or any iPhone that’s unlocked and not on an “Apple Approved” Network as the data entry in their database required for the OTA would not be available or it would point to a phone number/network address that doesn’t register with their servers anymore, thus rendering said OTA update unavailable.

  4. I can Confirm that this is also happening in sweden…..

    I had Operator file “3 SE 7.0” and it OTA to 7.1 big issues with the phone so I had to Restore it to get the Internet working again…

  5. I’m on 7.0 in California, we’ve had no 3G issues here, and have full access to tethering ( says to call AT&T for setup though ). I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and wait another week to see what happens. I’m still waiting for that “4.1” firmware (lol) release. It was supposed to be this week according to your “source” right?

    • 7.0 is default carrier version, the OTA will update it to 7.1 and is being rolled out slowly to more users right now. This OTA is mandatory and not updating to the latest OTA will give issues on the network.

      Also as for the 4.1 firmware, the source corrected that it is 4.0.1 but while testing internally it is shown as 4.1 because it is still in beta right now.

    • well, according to Apple’s own “open letter” the software update which will just change the way that the bars are displayed won’t be out for “a few weeks”. Your source was saying this week? Humm.

    • They delayed it once again, otherwise it was expected to launch this week. Apple is hiring engineers who will fix the problem and then release the software update which will fix it.

  6. Didnt your “source” say that it will “brick” the phone if you dont accept the Mandatory update. Also, didn’t he say that there would be no way of opting out of the update?

    • As for your first question, he indeed said that it will brick the device but later apologized and corrected it. Because the OTA update was not live yet, he told me his theory from what he understood after reading the Apple’s secret internals. But now because the OTA is live, he has tested it first hand and thus corrected his previous claim.

      As for your second question, There is still no way to opt out of the update and he stands corrected. These are mandatory updates, clicking back or cancel will not install at that very moment, but when you restart your iPhone or Shutdown (and turn it back on), it will be installed automatically.

    • What if someone never shuts their phone down? I personally havent restarted my phone in over 6 months! Why does your “source” keep changing stories? First he said that Apple was sending the OTA updates, which would mean, it didnt matter if you were or any other network you would still get it. But, then he changed that. Then this phone being bricked by the OTA. I am still going to give your “source” the benefit of the doubt and wait until I see the OTA.

      Either way, this is good journalism, you definitely have me coming to your site once every other day, I didnt even know about this before your first post.

    • What my source meant was that Apple could push firmware update even when it is not connected to iTunes. We got confused between OTA update (which is pushed by the carrier) and firmware update (by Apple). It was an error on our part because we failed to double check it and we seriously apologize for that.

  7. I got this update thing on my iPhone now too! but i never noticed what the old carrier settings where at! All i know now is i can surf the web in 3G and finally see tethering on my iphone!

  8. Stay Firm and then Retreat
    then again
    Retreat from earlier Retreat and Stay Firm
    and then Retreat
    This is what you are doing WTF

    • Could you please elaborate as to what you mean? Any previous claims you are referring towards? This knowledge is based on what our source has said.

    • For the record, if you think these screenshots are fake, wait a few days before you see a flood of them. Only then you can challenge my claims.

    • I have received this right after i activated my iphone 4. i clicked cancel cause i didnt know what it was, and now i am glad that i did.

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