Apple has finally issued a fix for the notorious "1970 date bug", a bug that would render an iPhone useless by setting the date back to January 1, 1970.
The fix itself comes in the form of iOS 9.3 beta 4. With the new update, the earliest date that the device can be set to is January 1, 2001, 12:00 AM GMT.
Users have reported being able to restore their devices by flashing iOS 9.3 beta 4. This is, of course, not something that everyone has access to. Registered developers have access to beta recovery images. Those on the pubic beta program do not.
Since iOS is based on Unix, all dates start at January 1, 1970 and count up from that. Setting the device back to that date effectively sets the date to zero and depending on the user's time zone, less than zero.
Normally, most software issues that might break an iPhone can be solved by putting the device into recovery mode. The user can do this by shutting off the phone, holding the home button, and plugging it into a PC running iTunes. That wasn't the case with this issue.
UPDATE: Many have reported that DFU mode would work after an hour and others have reported similar fixes. Still, there was no simple answer to the problem until now.