A growing number of iPhone owners are frustrated with the “error 53” glitch, which was triggered when they updated their devices to the latest version of iOS 9.
Thousands of iPhone 6 owners claimed that their devices became useless after updating their devices to the latest version of the operating system, which detected that their devices were repaired by a technician or service center not authorized by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
iPhone users are complaining that their iPhones were working fine even if their devices were fixed by a non-Apple technician. However, when the error 53 message appeared, they were horrified to find out that their iPhones are dead meaning their photos are other data on their devices are lost.
Antonio Olmos, a freelance photographer, who was working on an assignment for the Guardian in Macedonia, dropped his iPhone (the screen and home button were damaged) while covering the refugee crisis in September.
Since he desperately needed his iPhone for work and Apple has no store in the country, he asked a local shop to repair it and the phone worked perfect. According to him, he installed the latest version of iOS 9 after receiving the standard notification from Apple. After a few second, the phone displayed the error 53 message and the iPhone was automatically dead.
Olmos brought his iPhone to an Apple store in London and the staff told him that they can do anything to resolve the problem. In other words, the phone was junk and he had to pay £270 for a replacement.
Olson said, “The whole thing is extraordinary. How can a company deliberately make their own products useless with an upgrade and not warn their own customers about it?”
“Outside of the big industrialized nations, Apple stores are few and far between, and damaged phones can only be brought back to life by small third-party repairers. I am not even sure these third-party outfits even know this is a potential problem,” added Olson.
Some tech experts suggested that Apple is aware of the error 53 glitch, but failed to warn users about the potential problem it would cause to their iPhones.
According Mark Wehner, a writer covering the technology industry, it is impossible for users to fix their iPhones and it appears that their only option is to get a replacement from Apple for a fee.
Apple says error 53 is part of Touch ID security
A spokesperson for Apple explained that the error 53 message is part of the Touch ID security. It would appear once users update the operating system of their iPhones and detects that the Touch ID sensor was fixed by an unauthorized technician
“We protect fingerprint data using a Secure Enclave, which is uniquely paired to the Touch ID sensor. When [an] iPhone is serviced by an authorized Apple service provider or Apple retail store for changes that affect the Touch ID sensor, the pairing is re-validated,” according to the spokesperson.
The latest version of the operating system is integrated with a complex security check and if it detects that the iPhone has a component that is not original, it would automatically shut down the device, making it junk. iPhone owners have no option, but to buy a replacement because an unofficial repair is a violation of the warranty terms set by Apple.