iPhone maker apologises for issue that had ‘bricked’ iPhones with third-party repairs
Apple has released an update to the ‘Error 53’ issue that had been rendering some devices useless.
The company has apologised for the issue, which had been affecting thousands of iPhone users who had used third-party services to replace their TouchID-enabled home buttons.
Devices which had had their home button replaced due to damage and then installed a subsequent software update would then receive a message that a non-standard component had been detected, which then shut down the device with no way to restart it.
Apple said in a statement to TechCrunch that it apologised for any inconvenience to customers, adding “This was designed to be a factory test and was not intended to affect customers. Customers who paid for an out-of-warranty replacement of their device based on this issue should contact AppleCare about a reimbursement.”
The fix comes as part of a patched version of iOS 9.2.1, and is able to restore phones disabled by Error 53, and will prevent future iPhones that have had their home button (or the cable) replaced by third-party repair centres from being disabled.
Users affected in this way will only need to plug their devices into iTunes to get the update, which should download automatically once an iPhone is detected. Apple says that users who update their iPhones via iCloud should not have been affected by the issue.
However the update will not restore TouchID functionality to any affected devices, as this can only be done by taking the affected device to an Apple store to have the part replaced with an official company component.
Apple had previously said that the reasoning behind Error 53 was a security feature to protect customers, keeping them safe from fraudulent Touch ID sensors which could have stolen their fingerprint information.
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