The Blue Screen of Death, or BSOD, is a bug so infamous that it has earned its own extensive Wikipedia page. In recent years, the dreaded BSOD has popped up on Windows machines, PlayStation portables, and the Nintendo DS (see also: The Xbox 360's "red ring of death"). And now there are reports that the Apple iPhone 5S has a BSOD all of its own.
As Tom Warren of The Verge points out this morning, a number of users have taken to Apple forums to complain about a bug that seems to occur when users attempt to access iWork apps. Others have found the error popping up during the use of Numbers, a spreadsheet app, or the ESPN application. Either way, the result seems to be the same: A blue screen, followed by an unrequested reboot.
"This is happening to me when using Facetime, Safari, the camera and assortment of other apps," a user wrote this week on the Apple support forum. "I tried restoring my phone and deleting every non-Apple app. My phone has started crashing every few hours and sometimes takes as long as 30 minutes to cycle between the blue screen and Apple logo."
No word yet from Apple on what exactly is causing the bug – or exactly how to fix it.
In related news, a new report from analytics company Crittercism (hat tip All Things D) suggests that apps crash much more frequently on the iPhone 5S than they do on the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5C. "Anytime there is new hardware or software release, we see issues," Crittercism CEO Andrew Levy told Ina Fried of All Things D. "Inevitably, over time, those issues get resolved."
But what accounts for the increased amount of crashes on the iPhone 5S? Well, Don Reisinger of CNET thinks it might have something to do with the hardware on the phone.
"Although app developers were able to fix iOS 7 bugs for months while the software was in testing, thus limiting crashes on the iPhone 5 and nearly identical iPhone 5C, they weren't made aware of the iPhone 5S' 64-bit architecture or its M7 coprocessor until the device was unveiled," he writes. "Those app developers are now trying to catch up."