The vulnerability crashes the app in which the character appears and can send the affected device into an endless loop of reboots, according to the Italian blog Mobile World, which reported the issue yesterday.
The Verge also reports that the bug is not present in the iOS 11.3 beta, indicating that Apple already knows the problem exists, and is preparing to patch it in the next update. iOS 11.3 public beta 2 is available for download already, so if you're particularly anxious about someone spamming you the character to be annoying, you can download the beta today to immunize yourself.
Tests by a variety of publications have been performed with third-party apps such as FaceBook Messenger, WhatsApp, Gmail and Outlook, with the issue appearing in all cases.
Devices running on iOS 11 crash when any application receives the character, The Verge reported.
The problem also affects the software which powers Mac computers, Apple Watches and Apple TV devices. Apple has frequently cited security and other under-the-hood improvements as reasons for customers to keep their devices up to date with the latest OS releases; continued compatibility with popular apps can also increase updates.
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Furthermore, to put the problem in perspective, roughly 47 million people in India understand Telugu, a number that amounts to more than double the population of Canada - this also doesn't include those that are part of the diaspora around the world.
Still, until that updated version is released - or, indeed, until Apple pushes out a patch before that point comes - it's a frustrating and potentially very disruptive issue. Whenever this symbol is placed into the text space of chat or email apps, the iOS 11 will struggle to render it and apps that try to do so will freeze and shut down.
The character being talked about here belongs to the Indian language Telugu. Apple has responded just recently that it is now working on a fix for the bug for iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, watchOS 4 and tvOS 11, confirming that the bug will cripple not just Apple smartphones, but nearly all of the company's other products as well.