Several iPads bricked during iOS 9.3 installation
Several iPads bricked during iOS 9.3 installationApple Press Kit

Apple rolled out the latest iOS version Monday to all iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices around the world with a series of new features and improvements. Some owners of iPad, especially the second-generation models, are reporting issues activating iOS 9.3 via iTunes, rendering most devices unusable.

Apple Insider spotted a thread on Apple's Support Communities forum where complaints of bricked hardware after attempting to upgrade to iOS 9.3 show the problem is limited to older iPads. Users are reporting authentication error messages during the activation stage and the iPad doesn't get past that.

While Apple hasn't officially responded to the problem, few Support page forum members have issued a temporary workaround. International Business Times India has reached out to Apple for a comment on the matter and we are yet to receive a response. 

Another thread on Apple Support Communities forum shared a few alternate methods to bypass the activation error and get the iPad to work as before.

One user pointed that restoring the iPad to iOS 9.2.1 fixed the bricked device. Users must enter DFU mode in order to restore by following these steps:

Step 1: Connect the iPad to a Mac or PC and launch iTunes.
Step 2: Turn off the iPad.
Step 3: Hold down the Home and Power buttons for 10 seconds.
Step 4: Release the Power button, but continue holding the Home button.
Step 5: A message will appear on the iPad saying the iPad in recovery mode has been detected.
Step 6: Choosing "Restore" option in DFU mode will put the iPad back in the iOS 9.2.1 version.

Note: In DFU Mode, the iPad screen will go completely blank without any logos. It is normal.

Another user said that the iOS 9.3 installation via iTunes worked just fine in recovery mode. Performing a restore would only retrieve the backed up data, so there is a high possibility of losing some files in the process. A local backup of all the important data is advised before updating or restoring the device.

Apple Insider suggested that the activation errors on iPad are caused due to congested servers and waiting for a few days before updating could make the process simpler.

Apple introduced a series of new features in iOS 9.3, which include Night Shift mode, smart education upgrades, Notes app with Touch ID security, new options in CarPlay, Health app, News app and security patches. The 1.7GB-software update is rolled out over-the-air and updating an iDevice is as simple as connecting to Wi-Fi and granting permission for an update on the iPhone or iPad. Users can also install the software via iTunes on a PC or a Mac.