Recently, many Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users have claimed that their smartphones have stopped working since updating to the latest iOS, as the recent software update released by the company permanently disables the handset if it detects that the device has been previously repaired by a third-party technician.x
Most of those affected users have their phone’s home button (where touch ID fingerprint sensor resides) repaired by a non-Apple technician. Once the software detects it, it shows the “error 53” and it literally kills the iPhone, leaving it useless. Despite damaging the home button, some users haven’t repaired it and carried on using it, but the software has also shown them “error 53.”
The problem arises when the device being updated to latest iOS 9, even if you have repaired it a month ago. If you have installed the iOS 9 and repair your damaged home button after one month, your iPhone too will be dead. Once the “error 53” shows up, you will lose your $700-plus worth smartphone along with any photos, videos stored on the phone, which is irretrievable if not stored on iCloud. Despite knowing this issue, Apple calls it “bricking” and hasn’t done anything to warn users about this problem. This made the company face severe backlash by many users and media across the world.
One user called Olmos, who has spent thousands of dollars on Apple devices over the last few years, faced the same problem after updating the iOS. He said that when he took the iPhone to an Apple Store, he had to pay around $400 for the replacement of the device, and Apple staff told him that nothing can be done except the replacement.
One more user had to repair it by himself due to unavailability of Apple Store in and around his city, he said, “why Apple sells iPhones, if they don’t have an Apple Store in my city? If it sells, then why this discrimination? If there is an issue, why haven’t they informed us or at least warn us?
So far, almost all users who have had the “error 53” issue on their iPhones, haven’t managed to retrieve the device to its original form – it’s just a costlier dead handset!
One user has posted a message on an Apple Support Communities forum stating that he bought iPhone 6 in January last year in Dubai, and accidentally dropped the phone, but kept on using it without repairing it, because it was working fine with a small amount of damage. But, when he tried to install iOS 9 from the company’s notification in November 2015, his device popped up “error 53.”
Meanwhile, Apple Inc charges approximately $350 to repair the home button on iPhone 6, in case of any damage. The same repair will cost approx $50 or less at many third-party mobile technicians. According to the “iFixit” tech expert Kyle Wiens, “error 53” is a big problem for Apple users and the error pops up if iPhone’s cable or home button gets replaced by third-party manufacturers or technicians. He said,
“Following the software upgrade the phone in effect checks to make sure it is still using the original components, and if it isn’t, it simply locks out the phone. There is no warning, and there’s no way that I know of to bring it back to life.”
There is no fix than buying a new iPhone. What we know so far is – the error 53 is the result of a hardware change/failure within or near the home button assembly. But, Apple Inc defends Error 53, stating that it has been set up to secure users touch ID, Apple Pay and fingerprint details. Stay tuned for more updates.