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Apple's Error 53

02/12/2016

Apple's Error 53

If you have been affected by Apple's mysterious "Error 53" I'm afraid we have bad news for you. Your phone is now a very expensive paperweight.

Reports of iPhones being bricked by Error 53 have been coming out of the woodwork for some months now, however the problem appears to be becoming more widespread; and it's not likely that Apple is going to do much about this one given the cause of the error - third party repairs.

It stems from a security measure Apple have in place around the Touch ID feature that allows users to unlock their phone, make App Store purchases etc by scanning their fingerprint. When a repair is made to the home key or any of the parts connecting it to the phone's motherboard, it has to be reprogrammed with a security code, a task it would appear is not being completed by third party repairers. Upon upgrade to iOS 9 the problem kicks in.

This is the text of a response Apple has been giving:
"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."

The more cynical minded of us might just think that Apple is trying to lock down turf in the repair of their own handsets...

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