FaceTime randomly making phantom phone calls

Many iPhone 4 users may have started receiving random FaceTime calls that were unable to connect at all hours of the night after upgrading to iOS 4.2.1. The calls are more than an annoyance as they are coming from friends and create concern when they fail to connect after this out-of-the-blue call.

The random calls have inspired a thread on Apple's Discussions message board where 40 iPhone 4 users, all with iOS 4.2.1 have experienced this same issue. One major round of false FaceTime calls went out to the United Kingdom from 2 A.M. to 2:30 A.M, causing much unrest, annoyance, and concern, especially as all of the calls originated from someone in the contacts list of the phone.

Users in other parts of the world reported similar issues all at the same time as the UK users, who seem to have been hit the hardest by this, experienced their phantom calls. One user mapped out all of the times reported by the users who have complained. "It does seem to be the same time across the world, 6:30pm LA, 9:30pm NY, 2:30am London, 3:30am Europe. What was Apple doing?"

Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any major connection between the calls other than iOS 4.2.1. The users chosen in the contact list however, seem to be at random; not the first person in the contact list or even the last person who called. Even stranger, many of the phones were turned off that supposedly "made" the calls.

FaceTime is not maintained by the mobile companies rather, but instead by Apple. There seems to have been a server blip, but with such extraneous results it isn't clear what caused the rude awakenings. Some users speculated that it may be the desktop version, but other users have no connection to the desktop version leaving everyone scratching their heads.

The issue was not contained to that one blip at 2:30 A.M. in the UK, before that night, other users were also experiencing similar phantom FaceTime calls, most of which are related to iOS 4.2.1. If this is an issue with the update, Apple will be quick to fix it if their response to the iPad iOS 4.2 WiFi issues holds true in all situations.

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47 Comments

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chisss said,
Soooo. 40 people around the world had this issue and it's a concern because????

Not all people are exhibitionists (dunno about Apple users). Not everyone likes Steve Jobs remotedly activating his camera and peeping at what he's doing.

what's scary about this is, that apple can initiate face time calls from my phone without my knowledge. face time calls. transmit my video, see what im seeing, and not even tell me about it.

that just creeps me out.

Me and my brother have iphone 3gs. And my brother faced the same issue yesterday, random phone calls were made, so he just restored the phone, now it seems to be fine.

Probably testing some remote device to see if Apple can control the phone. Or maybe trying to turn on the front facing camera remotely.

RangerLG said,
Probably testing some remote device to see if Apple can control the phone. Or maybe trying to turn on the front facing camera remotely.

Creeeeepy...

Elliott said,
Sounds like a server-side bug that sent calls that originally didn't go through.
If its server-side its even worse, because if you read in article above, it says
Even stranger, many of the phones were turned off that supposedly "made" the calls.
this means apple has our contact list with them.

Shishant said,
If its server-side its even worse, because if you read in article above, it says this means apple has our contact list with them.

Not really. A bunch of calls were not delivered and just got stuck in a queue on a server. At some point the pending calls were finally processed.

DeaconFrost88 said,
But wait...I thought people were willing to pay more, aka the Apple Tax...because everything for Apple "just works".

I've heard Apple people now trying to say they never said "it just works"..... I had to say seriously? and point out numerous recorded videos of steve jobs saying that

neufuse said,

I've heard Apple people now trying to say they never said "it just works"..... I had to say seriously? and point out numerous recorded videos of steve jobs saying that

Google says it too when you first start the Chrome browser. /pointless random info

Just now? The short time frame is odd, besides the bug itself. We're just talking observations the past three days?

I wonder if it's due to some temporary issue on Apple's FaceTime servers.

Apple should really implement OTA. Its gonna be helpful when urgent bug fixes need to be released instead of the current scenario where the user will be expected to download a typical 400-600Mb Firmware and update the phone.

StandingInAlley said,
Apple should really implement OTA.
Having to wipe the phone, download the whole OS bundle, and sync everything again is too intuitive for Apple to do it any other way.

Wanyal said,
Having to wipe the phone, download the whole OS bundle, and sync everything again is too intuitive for Apple to do it any other way.

Well, you don't really have to wipe the device for an update now do you? (If your jailbroken it's recommended though)
But still, the updates are very large...

Leonick said,

Well, you don't really have to wipe the device for an update now do you? (If your jailbroken it's recommended though)
But still, the updates are very large...
The updates are so large because every time you update your iOS device, that package contains *everything*, it isn't like Windows Update where it only downloads what it needs (well, for updates to the system)...

Which is why Apple tries to combine so many updates in one...

Mr aldo said,
The updates are so large because every time you update your iOS device, that package contains *everything*, it isn't like Windows Update where it only downloads what it needs (well, for updates to the system)...

Which is why Apple tries to combine so many updates in one...

That's the reason why big glitches like this appear, trying to fix everything in one update.

neo158 said,

I would say "you're holding it wrong" but that's about as original as the original post!!!

Ba-dum-chhh

.Neo said,

Original.

I was saying it to be sarcastic hence the speech marks and 'anyone?' This is the standard comment people have in regards to Apple and bugs these days.