The iPhone 5 WiFi bug reportedly carrier-agnostic, double-check your cellular data usage

We thought a bug with carrier settings that led to some iPhone 5 owners reporting burning through excessive cell data on Verizon was fixed when Apple pushed a carrier settings update and Verizon promised not to slap the iPhone 5 owners for unwarranted cellular data usage. According to the latest by big media, the problem could be worse than originally thought.

As an added “bonus”, it doesn’t appear to be contained to Verizon customers only as apparently customers of AT&T, Sprint and other carriers are experiencing the same cellular data overages stemming from this bug. It would seem that something about the iPhone 5 or perhaps iOS 6 is causing the same cellular data drain even when the device is connected to WiFi…

9to5Mac writer Jordan Kahn was able to confirm these findings, first hinted at by The New York Times and CNN.

We received multiple reports of the same issue from AT&T customers, indicating the problem might be related to iPhone 5/iOS 6 rather than Verizon-specific.

The New York Times noted as much:

Mr. Fleishman said the problem might also affect iPhone 5 owners on other carriers, including AT&T and Sprint. Those two carriers and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

So did CNN:

It’s unclear if carriers beyond Verizon are also affected. Some on Apple’s discussion board have reported similar problems on AT&T’s network.

People are flocking to Apple’s discussion forums (here, here, here and here) with horror stories, here’s one:

I somehow managed to burn up 1.8gGB of data over 5 days on my iPhone 5. This had never happened in my past 4 years of owning an iPhone … I can’t believe I’m about to hit my full months data limit in 6 days when I connected to wifi 75% of the day.

You could imagine this being of big concern to people on metered plans.

That’s exactly what carriers were counting on when rolling out shared data plans, that misinformed public would not bother monitoring their data usage on a daily basis.

With big media picking up this story, the issue is bound to blow up soon.

Which brings me to today’s poll: have you experienced excessive cell data usage related to this issue?

We’d especially love to hear from non-Verizon customers.

One thing is certain: regardless of how widespread this new issue is, Apple needs to move fast to prevent people getting screwed with the overages because not all carriers are necessarily as forthcoming as Verizon.

Feel free to vent your frustrations down in the comments.