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The iPhone Safari browser has been crashing when some users type three-letter words such as “bes”, “wal”, or “tar” into the address bar, possibly due to a server-side issue with Google.

Multiple reports from users describe a strange bug that causes Safari to crash every time a specific search term is entered. The words appear to be the first letters of retail chains such as Best Buy or Target.

The bug is not reproducible for everyone, so it appears to be some sort of server-side issue for those affected. The error occurs when opening the Safari browser and typing “wal”, “bes”, or “tar” into the address bar. In some cases, Safari crashes without further input, or when typing a space.

The users reporting the problem appear to be from California and Florida. They also appear to be using the Google search engine with the Safari browser on the iPhone.

Apple has not yet responded to the bug or provided a solution. Users experiencing this issue can install a different browser or use an alternative search engine to prevent the Safari browser from crashing until a fix for the issue is fully operational.

Since this appears to be a server-side issue, it will be up to Apple or Google to implement a fix. As of 2:26 p.m. ET, the issue appears to be slowly fixing itself. It is unclear whether this is an Apple or Google-related issue, and neither has commented on it.

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