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Apple releases "patch" that unbricks iPhones affected by Error 53

By Shawn Knight
Feb 18, 2016
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  1. Earlier this month, The Guardian highlighted an issue in which iPhones that have had their Touch ID-equipped home button replaced by third-party (unauthorized) repair centers were essentially bricked after connecting to iTunes and upgrading to iOS 9.

    Apple described "Error 53" as a "security check." iOS checks to see that the Touch ID sensor correctly matches the hardware in the phone as the two were paired at the factory. If iOS sees that the Touch ID sensor doesn't match the phone's hardware, the feature is disabled to prevent someone from using a fraudulent Touch ID sensor – something that doesn't even yet exist according to iFixit co-founder and CEO Kyle Wiens.

    Nevertheless, Apple has published an updated version of iOS 9.2.1 that will restore iPhones bricked by Error 53 and prevent future iPhones from running into the same problem following an unauthorized repair. Note that the update is for those that update their phones via iTunes only (those that update over-the-air wouldn't have run into Error 53 to begin with).

    In a statement issued to TechCrunch, Apple said Error 53 was designed to be a factory test and was not intended to affect customers. Those that paid for an out-of-warranty replacement based on the issue are urged to contact AppleCare regarding a reimbursement.

    It's also worth pointing out that this patch will not re-enable Touch ID.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Maniac Posts: 398   +207

    ISIS says thank you to Apple ...
    the rest of us say "Thanks Obama !"
     
  3. Guest17

    Guest17 TS Enthusiast Posts: 92   +37

    First, Apple cold shoulders the FBI. Now, it's correcting its "Error 53" blunder. Next, they'll be announcing deep discounts on Apple products. Has the world gone completely bonkers?!!!
     
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  4. cartera

    cartera TS Addict Posts: 296   +78

    I'm interested what reimbursement all the effected people who bought new iPhones will get. Free iPhone anyone?
     
  5. PurpleYoda

    PurpleYoda TS Rookie Posts: 17

    What does it mean that the patch won't re-enable the touch ID?
     
  6. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,475   +2,033

    Apple actually did something good? Color me surprised. I was expecting them to turn around and say "You wanted to do something stupid? Don't make your problems ours, just buy a new iDevice at RRP and cut your losses".
     
  7. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 494   +126

    I believe it unlocks the phone but you can no longer use touch ID once you have a non-paired sensor on your phone.
     
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  8. PurpleYoda

    PurpleYoda TS Rookie Posts: 17

    Wow that's a bummer but at least pll will get their phones back. Certainly a smaller price to pay them buying a new one. But I wonder will fixing a cracked screen will result in similar outcome.
     

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