This week's sponsor


Clean Up Your Inbox Today (and Keep It That Way Forever)

“Random” FaceTime Calls A Bug in Apple’s System?

According to several reports surfaced on iSpazio, fscklog and Apple's discussion boards, hundreds of iPhone, iPod Touch and Mac users received random FaceTime calls from themselves or one of their contacts in Address Book on Saturday. Most specifically, it appears that a bug triggered these FaceTime calls to go out at 6:30 PM PST, 9:30 PM EST, 2:30 AM GMT and 3:30 AM GMT +1 on Saturday, November 27th (United States) and Sunday, November 28th (Europe).

Basing on the reports from iSpazio and Apple's forums, it seems like these random and "fake" calls (not initiated by users, coming randomly from iPhone numbers and email addresses associated to FaceTime on iPod Touches and Macs) happened on devices running iOS 4.2.1 and iOS 4.1 (both regular and jailbroken devices). FaceTime for Mac, on the other hand, is currently in beta and available for download on Apple's website

Hundreds of readers reported the issue on Italian website iSpazio: as you can guess, being Italy a GMT +1 time zone country, those readers woke up in the middle of the night after their iPhones and iPod touches started ringing; others reported they simply found a missed FaceTime call the morning after. These calls weren't initiated by anyone. Similar comments have been posted on Apple's FaceTime discussion boards, with US users reporting they received random calls in the evening even from their own number / account.

Some reports:

Facetime made a few phone calls on its own, setting off panic buttons all around the world to random people on my address book. Following many emails and worried phone calls this morning, I launched Facetime and there were no records of any 'recent calls'.

Same here in the UK. At 2.28am GMT, my son's friend received a call from my son which we've confirmed did not take place. This morning, we've learnt that there has been a spate of phantom calls throughout my son's school - so a lot of kids with disturbed sleep and lots of annoyed parents!

The same thing just happened to us, at 2 AM. My FaceTime called my husband's phone, but when I looked at my phone no calls where being made from it. 5 mins later the reverse happened.

Add my experience to the list. The phantom call happened at the same time. According to my brother that has an iPhone, I attempted to FaceTime him at 9:27pm from my MacBook. I was in a movie at the time.

Apple Support made no official statement on the issue, and it also seems like this was an isolated issue happened on November 28th. Several users are guessing it was just a bug in Apple's own FaceTime system that remotely triggered the calls, others suggest it may be a bug in iOS. The iOS bug theory, though, doesn't explain why calls came from computers running FaceTime for Mac.

Have you experienced this issue? If so, please detail it in the comments below.

Unlock MacStories Extras

Club MacStories offers exclusive access to extra MacStories content, delivered every week; it's also a way to support us directly.

Club MacStories will help you discover the best apps for your devices and get the most out of your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Plus, it's made in Italy.

Starting at $5/month, with an annual option available. Join the Club.

A Club MacStories membership includes:

  • MacStories Weekly newsletter, delivered every week on Friday with app collections, tips, iOS workflows, and more;
  • Monthly Log newsletter, delivered once every month with behind-the-scenes stories, app notes, personal journals, and more;
  • Access to occasional giveaways, discounts, and free downloads.