iOS 7.1 Error: “WiFi Not Available”

Despite promising fixes, Apple has botched up WiFi connectivity for some users

Apple is looking at a new wave of complaints following the release of iOS 7.1 on Monday, including one potentially serious problem with WiFi connectivity. For some, iOS 7.1 has rendered WiFi completely unusable as a way to connect to the Internet.

An admittedly short thread on Apple Support Communities starts with user fahruzi noting that the WiFi function on his iPhone 4S no longer works after installing the latest software update from Apple.

“WiFi not available on my iPhone. Any help?” fahruzi writes, and attaches the screenshot displayed above (click to expand to full size).

Normally we’d regard this as a lone cry from someone whose handset may have been damaged, either by them or during assembly, but several other customers are voicing out similar complaints.

A customer who uses the handle Pragasan on Apple’s forums claims to have the exact same problem. Pragasan didn’t sit around waiting for a miracle to happen and decided to take the matter up with Apple’s techies.

This person relays a discussion with one of the company’s consultants, who allegedly said that the phone needs to be repaired.

“I also have the same problem. I spoke to a consultant at apple store. he said the wifi chip has burnt out during the update. We tried restoring my phone, same problem. I will have to get a new wifi chip fitted in,” Pragasan writes.

It isn’t clear if a) this person is telling the truth; b) this person accurately reports what Apple’s help desk really said; or c) if an iPhone’s WiFi chip really can be replaced (without having to replace the entire logic board).

In any case, for some customers the broken WiFi really is a hardware issue, as Apple has replaced handsets with the WiFi function grayed out in the past. However, in the case of these users, it appears that they had a good working WiFi before applying iOS 7.1. A new software patch may be required for them.

If the Touch ID issues we reported on earlier also prove to be widespread, Apple will undoubtedly have no choice but to release iOS 7.1.1 (or whatever numbering they choose) to patch things up with the customer base.

For now, iOS 7.1 remains a good working update for most users. Regarded as a major software update, iOS 7.1 delivers CarPlay (described as the “iOS experience designed for the car”), new Siri voices and functions, enhancements for iTunes Radio, Calendar and Accessibility improvements, a new Camera setting to automatically enable HDR, and lots of bug/security fixes.

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