I sincerely hope that no one reading this post ever sees this alert bubble. If you do, you’re probably going to have to get yourself a new iPhone—because the one you’ve got has just turned into a brick.
Over the weekend The Guardian reported on “Error 53”. In the latest update to iOS 9 Apple has implemented some sort of check for unauthorized hardware repairs. If your phone fails the test it will immediately become inoperable.
Apple says it’s a security measure. Others see it as an attack on third-party repair shops. Maybe it’s both.
Here’s Apple’s official response to complaints about error 53:
“We take customer security very seriously and Error 53 is the result of security checks designed to protect our customers. iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor in your iPhone or iPad correctly matches your device’s other components.
If iOS finds a mismatch, the check fails and Touch ID, including for Apple Pay use, is disabled. This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent Touch ID sensor from being used. If a customer encounters Error 53, we encourage them to contact Apple Support.”
Makes sense, right? Unfortunately some iPhones, with Touch ID sensors damaged due to drops or other wear-and-tear, are also bricked by the check— even though no repairs were ever carried out on their device.
Here’s what an iPhone owner had to say to The Guardian:
“I think they made an after-the-fact adjustment to a poorly conceived and implemented security system on the iPhone. They hadn’t properly considered the implications of third parties substituting parts on the phones, whether these were bonafide alterations or not.
They didn’t think about the customers at all…”
What do you think about Error 53?