Xiaomi Mi 9 owners furious after dodgy Vodafone software patch bricked their mobes

No calls, no texts, no data

Updated A software update issued by Vodafone for the Xiaomi Mi 9 phone has left some users unable to connect to the cellular network, preventing them from making calls, sending texts, and accessing mobile data.

The issue was brought to our attention by regular Reg reader Tim Allen, who accused Vodafone of "spannering" his phone and leaving him in the lurch.

"Vodafone released an update for the Mi 9 phones on their network on Saturday night (9th May), updating them from MIUI 10 to MIUI 11. This update has stuffed every updated phone, including mine," he claimed.

Allen says that when he tried to use the phone, an error message appeared saying it could not activate the SIM card.

"The SIM itself appears to be OK as it works in my spare phone and my daughter's working PAYG SIM doesn't work in the Mi 9," he added.

Affected punters were initially advised by first-line tech support staffers to factory reset their phones, which proved utterly ineffective at solving the problem — although it did a cracking job at wiping their apps and photos.

Others on the official Vodafone support forum, which at the time of writing had stretched to six pages worth of comments, were told to wait for a software fix, or alternatively return their phones to the mobile giant for repairs that could take as long as three weeks.

Vodafone has yet to respond to our requests for comment. However, a company representative has confirmed it's aware of the problem, via a post on the support forum.

The rep claimed that a patch is in the final stages of testing and should be deployed to customers by the end of the week at the very latest.

Speaking to The Register, a Xiaomi spokesperson said: "We are aware of an issue regarding the Mi 9 software update for Vodafone customers and are working closely with the Vodafone team to resolve this matter.

"We have already identified the root cause and are working quickly to implement a solution. Whilst we understand this has only impacted a small number of customers, we apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused." ®

Updated at 11.22 GMT to add

As if by magic, Xiaomi contacted us following publication of this article to state: "We've just been informed that a fix is already available and will be reaching out to the affected customers."

Still no word from Vodafone, though.

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